DIXON — The West Coast Rodeo Company has added saddle bronc and bareback riding to the Friday night bull riding event, which will make the evening a triple-action nail biter.
Saddle bronc riding is rodeo’s classic event, both a complement and contrast to the wilder spectacles of bareback riding and bull riding. This event requires strength to be sure, but the event also demands style, grace and precise timing.
Saddle bronc riding evolved from the task of breaking and training horses to work the cattle ranches of the Old West. Every move the bronc rider makes must be synchronized with the movement of the horse. The cowboy’s objective is a fluid ride, somewhat in contrast to the wilder and less-controlled rides of bareback riders.
Bareback riders endure more abuse, suffer more injuries and carry away more long-term damage than all other rodeo cowboys. Bareback riding has been compared to riding a jack hammer with one hand.
Bull riding is the most notorious of professional rodeo events and West Coast Rodeo Company is known among bull riders to have top-of-the-line stock that likes to buck.
Why would anyone climb on the back of a bucking bull for a small chance at a little bit of prize money or a silver buckle? Most would consider it a foolhardy act. The risks are obvious. Serious injury is always a possibility for those fearless or foolish enough to sit astride an animal that weighs more than 1,000 pounds and is usually equipped with dangerous horns. But cowboys do it, fans love it and bull riding may rank as rodeo’s most popular sport.
While bull riding is dangerous, how would you like to be the man in the barrel distracting the bulls from the down rider? Or the bullfighters dodging in between the bull and the cowboy who is racing to climb the rails? The safety of the riders is of the utmost importance. These brave men are trained professionals, knowledgeable about the bucking animal’s behavior.
The risk-takers are willing to climb on the back of a bucking bronc or notorious bull for a share of the purse or a silver buckle and the ride of a lifetime. It can take just eight seconds – if you can last that long!
Bull riding bucks into the arena at 7 p.m. Friday, May 9. Tickets for the event are $20 and when purchased in advance include fair admission. Tickets purchased day of the event do not include admission.