Inside the Life-or-Death World of Competitive Bull Riding

Inside the Life-or-Death World of Competitive Bull Riding

They do call bull riding the most
dangerous sport on earth. But, bull riding can prepare you
for so many things in life. Courage, respect, discipline. My dad was a bull rider. And I rode bulls. And now to see my son do it, it makes me really proud. So you kind of got that
internal battle of shoot, my kid’s only 16 years old
and I’m letting him risk his life. Because every time it’s
life or death. I want to prove to myself that I can be the best. That would be a
rite of passage really, is just becoming competitive
and moving up through the bull riding ranks into the pros. I always feel at home when
I come back to the arena. The family property
where I grew up. I grew up riding bulls
up on the hill. We had a practice arena up there. My dad owns the property now, and my grandpa built this
place so that the kids would have somewhere to
come back and practice, and have an opportunity
to ride bulls. I’m Bo Vocu,
and I’m 16 years old. And, I’m a bull rider. My Indian name is
Little Warrior. It comes from my great,
great grandpa. I’m Northern Cheyenne
and Oglala Sioux. They’re the Great Plains Indians. When you hear the Battle
of the Little Bighorn where they killed Custer,
that’s the two tribes I’m from. I’m proud to come from a
family of bull riders, because it’a just like
carrying a legacy. I’ll get on Fuzzy first. Fuzzy? Yeah. This weekend, we’d like to see him
be the tour champion in the Junior Bull Riding. He’s number one in the Juniors, but a win in the Open, he can move
up to number one in the Open. And, for a 16 year-old
to be doing that, it’s amazing. I’m pretty much ready. Running some bulls. It’d be big if I won this rodeo, because it’d move me up
in the standings. I’d be leading the INFR. It’s something you grew up watching,
you see people win it, and you just think,
I want to be him one day, I want to win that. That would be a rite
of passage really, is moving up through the bull
riding ranks into the pros. This one’s just going
around the loop twice. Them Navajos do that. Load up! Load up! Were you sleeping? My dad always says, the person who
rides the most, wins the most. You got to be ready. Every time. So that’s pretty much what
I’ve based it off of is the person who rides the most,
wins the most. Get your mind right now. This weekend, when we get to our
event in Oklahoma, the bulls will be a little buckier. But, he’ll be tuned in from
practicing tonight, so we’re excited to get down there. Yeah, today is just getting tuned up before we have to go
down to Oklahoma, and get on some buckier bulls. – You’re ready?
– Yeah. Very ready. A lot of gas now. Let’s go! Ride now, Bo! Ride, Bo! Ride, Bo, ride! Ride, Bo! Hustle! Hustle! Hustle! Staying healthy is
always a challenge. Last year, I broke my hip. Then I went to the INFR
and I re-broke it. But, you just got to keep going. I believe Bo Tyler’s going to be… a world champion. He’s got the drive,
and he’s athletic, and he has learned from–
listened to good instructors and people helping him. I think he’s going to be world
champion many times. I’m proud of him. I want to prove to myself that
I can be the best. It’s preparing myself for
that next step. ‘Cause as soon as I turn 18,
it’ll be, Build Ford Tough, which is the top bull
riders in the world. So, preparing myself to get there, ’cause I want to be the best,
nothing else. We’re going on about
20 something events, and here he is
still in the top four, you know. And he’s been number 1. And tonight, he can be
number one again. After a win tonight, he can
move up to number one. Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to the 2017 Ioway Legends INFR Tour Rodeo! The Indian Rodeo
is a little different. You’ll see a lot of the people here
travel with their families. We all look out for
each other’s children and we all support each other. So everybody here knows everybody. And we each hit the same rodeos. It ties back to our Native
American culture. We were very nomadic. We’d move, we’d follow the buffalo. We’d have a big hunt
or a big battle. And then we’d celebrate
and then we’d move on. It’s scary for– Now being a parent,
a bull can end your life… instantly. Every time, it’s life or death. But as a bull rider, that’s the furthest
thing from your mind. And it has to be, because you
got to go into any battle, whether it’s any sport
or anything, positive. And you know it’s there. You always know it’s there, but– but it’s, it’s–
you put it away. My name is Scott Hill. I’m a basic EMT
for Extreme Sports Medics. I’ve been with them for
about six, seven years. I’ve seen broken tib fib,
broken legs, broken arms. I’ve watched people get
knocked out on them. Watched– they get gored, stepped on. I consider bull riding to be one of the most
dangerous sports in the world. You’re going to get hurt. It’s not a question of,
if you’re going to get hurt, it’s when you’re going to get hurt. I say a quick prayer
before I get on, just to watch over me
and keep me safe, but this is the most
dangerous sport on earth. I mean, it’s always going to be
there that, you might die this one. But, you just got to put that in the
back of your mind, like, you’re not gonna. You’re just going to… you’re going to ride this bull
and just get out of there. You just don’t think about it. When you get on a bull, it’s… it’s life or death every time. You could go out there
and make the best ride you ever did, or else it could be your last. I mean… you don’t want to think about it
but, if a bull runs in and you’re already doubting yourself
on what he’s going to do then, that bull has already
beat you in your head. Hey, jump for jump, Bo Tyler.
You just do what you do. Just like practice. You’re going to be like
at black bull. Just like at home, you hear me? No big moves. He comes around, you’re strong
enough, you can get back away. Just keep your feet in him. Stay squared up. When you get on top
of that bull, it’s a– it’s like having a mental
checklist in your head about what you have to do in the
chute, just in the chute alone. Make sure your rope’s
where you want it to be. Make sure everything’s strapped up. If you wear a helmet, you want
everything to be right on there, ‘cause you could mess up
your face pretty easy. Just making sure everything’s ready. Like, you know it’s ready, so you don’t have to worry about
anything else, except for what the
bull’s going to do and how you’re going to
match his moves. Load up! Go! Have some fun! Have some fun! How you feeling? A little sore. Ain’t too bad, though. I should be all right
for next weekend. All right. That’s good. That’s always the best part. What did I do wrong on him? Not much, he just…
he was pretty bucky. Really bailed out there. You just had to get around
there a little more. Yeah. When he takes that jump out
there and hits hard, you got to really reach back
to that front end, but he was all that, you know? Those are the kind of bulls
you’ll be getting on when you… when you move up into the PBR’s
[Professional Bull Riders] and stuff, so… Yeah. You’ll be ready for them. Well… I didn’t quite do what I
came here to do but, just happy I was
able to spend this opportunity with my family, and… travel to all these
different places. That’s what it’s all about. I think anytime Bo Tyler walks out
of the arena healthy and whole… it’s a good day. And I know at the… at the end of the road,
he’s going to accomplish a lot. If– rodeo is your dream, go after it. It’s out there. And if you want it bad enough,
you’re the… you’re the one that can accomplish your dreams. And, after I’m gone, I hope my kids, my grandkids
keep having rodeos, and pass it on.

100 thoughts on “Inside the Life-or-Death World of Competitive Bull Riding

  1. When you wanna be a bull rider but your a city boy from greensboro, nc and has no friends or relatives that live this life style.😓😡

  2. Dude if my dad talked to me like that when I was trying to get in the mode I would be highly pissed off at him I understand his dad use to ride but still

  3. So what are you people? Indian or Native American? I don't see any snake charmers so i dont know y they keep saying Indian.

  4. Keep up the great work.. love your attitude on it all… You will go far .. love your Heritage! Cow boy up..

  5. Sorry but just plain bad parenting. The kid broke his hip twice he's only 16. The poor fucker is gonna be decrepit by the time he's 40…

  6. @4:55, that's a native that grew up around natives, enough to gt at the accent. But has spent a LONG time around good 'ol white boys. I can hear it in the way he talks. And for all you trolls out there, I grew up in white society and spent my 20's in Alaska where I was adopted by an Indian tribe. So eat a dick.


  8. Anyone who ever said that football, boxing, or anything else is the most dangerous sport in the world, obviously never got on a bull

  9. Mexican bull riding is better then American bull riding bc in Mexico they don’t use no gear they only use there legs and in America they use gear and this is my opinion I think Mexico bull riding is better then America bull riding not trying to be racist

  10. It's not just a question of when you're going to get hurt, but how badly you're going to get hurt. The biggest pain in the ass about getting badly hurt is that you aren't able to make money to help put food on the plate for the family. Recovering from a bull riding injury isn't like recovering from a NFL injury. The NFL guys are still collecting their pay check. Bull riders don't get paid nothing (unless they are a star w/ major endorsements), which can sometimes cause them to get back into competition way before they are fully healed.

  11. The ignorant comments are stopping me from even watching this. 5th generation Texan, I grew up around this. It’s not torture, get over it.

  12. I think it's fantastic to see you guys do what y'all do. The natives in Canada far's I can see are lazy and ungreatful.

    They've got no motivation or drive. No vission of where they wanna be in even just a year later, never mind 5 years from now.

    I think it'd do them well to show them from other successful natives that there IS a better life. That there IS a future. Cause honestly, the suicide rate is WAY to high in our reserves.

  13. at least some people have pride in their families history and still carry this legacy on at least when we compete we sing our national anthem and then pray you won't see us kneeling

  14. My 16yr old boy has broken his hip twice in a year. I think he should keep doing what he is doing. This seems like a good future. I am proud of him, and I'm sure he will be fine when he retires at 19yrs old and lives the rest of his life hooked on pain killers. He surely will make it to 25… assuming he doesn't get stomped on the head by a 2K Lb animal at 18… Its not crazy b/c he wears a cool hat, right guys?

  15. Bull riding isnt that hard. It's like riding on top of the couch. Only reason it's dangerous is when the bulls know they can crack your by throwing their head back. Bodacious killed and hurt more than any other bull.

  16. Weird, I just stumbled across this… I'm Northern Cheyenne and it's good to see us represented. Super cool. #NorthernCheyenneNation #Tsétsêhéstâhese

  17. I am Native American to lam White clay my Indian name is the speaking Eagles girl🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅

  18. a whole lot of "I want to be the best" mumbo jumbo and yet isnt moving up. just seems like the language used doesnt seem for intelligent folks.

  19. the level of peta supporting lack of knowledge having never seen a bull in real life people commenting has reached unbelievable levels

  20. These bull riders deserve all the respect. I'm giving them all my respect as a US Marine. They risk their lives to make a living. They don't have contracts for healthcare or anything liberals demand. You even have vegans who are bull riders. Again. Bull riders deserve more respect for risking it all to make a living. Anti-bull riding Protesters need to see how these riders live. Many are Native American yet liberals are still willing to take away their way of life.

  21. People keep saying they don’t get hurt and that’s a damn lie also some bulls are drugged before the Match others hurt in the process they’re forced to do that sis that isn’t natural imagine u were forced to have someone that weighs a third of u on ur back and half to jump around and throw them off in order to get it over with and then eat them ahaha yes I’m vegan Incase u were asking a nd this is saddening I’m not saying ALL but most

  22. Bulls are actually trained to buck ita not a painful proccess these animals are athletes and are treated as such they dont even start competition until 3 yrs then they get huge for a year at that

  23. This is the one sport I genuinely don't feel I can have an opinion on. I don't know enough about it despite working with large animals for the majority of my life.
    I don't know bovine body language well enough but i can't help but think some of these riders are missing a few screws xD

  24. Before hint legs is rope that goes around belly and is attached underneath to the bull's or horse's genitals. In the moment of opening cage's gates one of "operators" that usually seats on fence behind, stretching rope causing enormous paint and frustration what makes animal's strikes it's hint legs up desperately trying to loose painful loop. Nice.

  25. I hate how much he keeps throwing out the indian he has in him. I respect his culture, but he should be talking about new things rather then the same stuff.

  26. you really have to wonder though whats going on behind the scenes. This is rodeo, if you think all the animals are being treated well and enjoy what they are doing you are a fool. Bull riding is dangerous, his son could die in this sport. I don't think thats something to be proud of.

  27. You keep that head up young man. Keep going. I know its hard but you need to keep your eyes on the bulls head. It will tell you. Witch way to get your next step. And do your self a favor. Start ridding your horse with out a saddle. That way you use more balance and lege movement. Thadeous. Ganthner. 1978. World. 11th in the world of bull ridding. 12 th in the world team roping.

  28. no helmet no cups on the bulls horns where you can really die it originated from Mexico you guys are not ready to die don't wear protection

  29. And before the comments start yes I have done it I got messed up by a bull from my ankle to my knee bleeding they put morado on me it's fucken crazy but still you guys tried built Ford tuff my ass 🤣😂

  30. Ya know I know a lot of people in rodeos, I'm good just watching them get thrashed and stomped on you got some balls or raging stupidity to get on a bull. And no the bulls are not treated badly thrashing around for 10 seconds will not hurt them in any way

  31. Half of you on here running your mouth about the lively hood of these cattle are just pure damn ignorant….stock contractors CANT make money if the bulls don’t perform….bulls can’t perform if they aren’t in the best shape possible, a stock contractor neglecting they’re bulls would be like you buying a brand new Ferrari and driving it off the lot into a fucking wall. Owning these animals is absolutely not cheap, feeding them is expensive, vet care is expensive, hauling them is expensive, taking them all over the country and entering them in abbi events is expensive, not to mention a lot of them get muscle therapy, they get swam as well….none of that shit is cheap, not to mention your doing that for multiple bulls, oh and you wanna talk about mentally draining….yeah we don’t have sick days or the option to be late, there is no such thing as 9-5, the animals get fed and watered before we even eat our own breakfast, same goes with lunch and dinner. 6 inches of snow on the ground or 10 inches of rain, your ass is out there on time taking care of them animals. Yalls own damn house pets or even kids dont get that much care and attention. 95% of you could never make it in that line of work day in and day out, period.

  32. Why do people call this animal abuse, these bulls are treated better than any competitive sport animals!

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