In bull riding, bucking happens

By Linda Bentley | January 6, 2010

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bull rider$15 and a signed liability waiver provides equipment,
instructions and an experience-appropriate bull

CAVE CREEK – Bull riding, which has become the most popular rodeo event, is also the only event in the rodeo that has nothing to do with cattle ranching or being a cowboy.

For the past year or so, Dirt Tour, owned by David and Cynthia Smith, has held professional bull riding competitions at the Buffalo Chip Saloon on Friday nights, where professional rodeo riders pay an entry fee and winners are paid a purse.

But, on Wednesday nights, almost anyone can be a bull rider.

When asked if anyone can ride a bull that wants to, David Smith, who runs the show, responded “not just anyone,” adding they first have to pay $15 and sign a liability waiver.
All kidding aside, Smith said they will turn people away who appear to have health problems or who appear inebriated.

Then, he said they’re provided equipment, instructions and an experience-appropriate bull.
Sonoran News contacted Smith after hearing about the 18-year-old who got bucked during Wednesday’s amateur night on Dec. 30.

We’d heard a range of stories about the incident from locals, including the teen died from his injuries.

Surprised the media had taken such an interest in this particular incident, Smith, who was angry at the media’s accounts of what happened, said what people heard happened to the teen depended upon which news report people saw.

Smith said one TV station reported the teen was kicked in the head after getting bucked, while another proclaimed the bull “stomped on his head,” and yet another pronounced him dead.

Although the young man was air lifted to the hospital for “precautionary reasons,” Smith said “He cut his head. He had a laceration on his head,” requiring “a couple staples,” and a cracked collar bone. Smith said the teen is fine and was at home resting.

Smith said he felt sorry for the helicopter and emergency room bills he’ll be saddled with paying for years to come, for injuries considered quite minor in the rodeo circuit.
After all, he was bull riding. And, in bull riding, bucking happens.