Bull Riding #travel #rodeo #BullRiding

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On Tuesday of this week, I hinted at an interesting story pertaining to my visit to La Cruces, New Mexico.

I was visiting El Paso, Texas for — if you can believe it — the second of three times total. (Who wants to go to El Paso more than once?) At someone’s suggestion, we headed over to La Cruces for a bull riding event. It wasn’t a full rodeo. All of the competitions were bull riding. I didn’t expect to enjoy this show at all, but I’d absolutely see another one if it were ever convenient. Moreover, rodeo clowns are amazing. That’s not sarcasm. They’re remarkably good at what they do and save riders from serious bodily injury and/or death multiple times a night.

In an of itself, that would be interesting (though nothing to wake the kids over), but there’s more to this story. During the event, they held a customary game of “cowboy poker” or “suicide poker.” Everyone’s sitting around a table pretending to play poker, then they let the bull in. The last one remaining in their seat wins. The bull hung out for a few seconds. It appeared he wasn’t going to do anything. Suddenly, he charged the table. The one woman at the table was caught beneath him, and her life was saved not just by the rodeo clowns, but also by the other player who was “scalped” by the bull. Everyone survived. The scalped guy was on the radio later that week telling everyone that was complaining about the event to calm down. He knew the risks and accepted them. Whether he eventually changed his mind and sued, I don’t know. He really was a hero for jumping in and saving that woman. On the other hand, the two cowardly New Mexico University football players at the table bailed on her as quickly as they could.

The video of it made a bunch of “events gone horribly wrong” compilations over the years. Here’s an example video with a story on the event (embedding not permitted by YouTube due to age restrictions). It gets a little gory, so you may not want to watch.

Now, of course, you’re going to.

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