Call of the Wild

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Gallery 71 - Bull-ish Intentions

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Showing his winning style is Andrew Bark.

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Andrew Bark dismounts his bull after the buzzer sounds, completing a full 8 second ride. He scored 81 points and took 1st Place for the afternoon performance.

It's been said that Bull Riding is the most dangerous sport in the world. Each bull averages 1500 pounds of bucking, twisting, out of control muscle and these brave young men literally take their life into their own hands every time they climb on board. The Big Hat Rodeo company, along with the Tebala Horse Patrol put on two rodeo performances this past Saturday September 11, 2010 in Belvidere, IL. The Big Hat Rodeo Company is associated with the International Professional Rodeo Association and the Central States Rodeo Association.

Bull Riders appear to take their sport very seriously, as they prepare their equipment religiously before each ride they take. Ropes are waxed, body joints are taped and wrapped for support and protection, tops of boots are tied tight with leather laces or tape, chaps are applied to their legs, and protective vests are put fastened on. Proper protective gear is not only necessary, but very expensive. Each rider brings to the rodeo, everything he needs to ride a bull, from his spurs to even the rope he hangs onto during the ride. Outfitting a rider with even the most budget priced gear will cost close to if not over $1000. While some riders wear a helmet, the majority seem to go with the traditional cowboy hat to cover their heads. But, can you really put a price on the safety of your life?

The only rider who was able to complete the required 8 second ride was Andrew Bark. He scored a big 81 points for his afternoon ride, while all of the other cowboys posted non-qualifying rides. For viewing below is a assortment of photos taken during the Saturday afternoon performance.

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The equipment of Bruce Brock hangs on the outside of a holding pen, ready for use in his upcoming ride.

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