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Nashvegas meets Professional Bull Riding

Rachael Grenfell-Dexter

I’m not really sure what got me standing there on that toasty Sunday afternoon, but I was all for it. “So do you want to watch cowboys ride bulls?” asked my adorable roommate. “Why not?” I replied.

As part of their World Series tour, Professional Bull Riders made a stop in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Since the finals are hosted in Las Vegas in October, I guess the right thing to do was to stop in ‘Nashvegas’ for a show. Still, it felt a little weird watching bulls catapult riders into the air on the same ground where I had watched the NHL Predators flick a hockey puck and Adam Levine seranade us with “She will be loved”. It didn’t take too long to get a hang of the rules. In no time I was counting down with the crowd. My own, cringingly simplified, and abridged set of rules written down for reference were:

1. Both bulls and dudes riding get points which are combined for a total overall score out of 100;

2. Dudes get points by holding on for at least 8 seconds (which is super long…actually) and being stylish and synchronized with the bull;

3. Bulls get points by being extra twisty and bucky;

4. If they are not challenging enough, i.e. they don’t have a very high score, the rider gets a “re-ride” (but, only if he wants);

This was more than enough to get by. Still, in my humble opinion, all the points should go to Flint Ramussen who was the rodeo clown. Between riders he thoroughly entertained us with his talents, everything from moonwalking to nearly getting trampled by a furious bull.

Cheers erupted when an unridden bull was finally mastered by a rider. Its no small feat to stay on bulls the likes of Bushwacker, Tarantino and Asteroid. An added plus is just being able to say their names; one bull–no kidding–is called I’m a Gangsta. There is also another bull called I’m a Gangsta Too. Pretty punny, if you ask me.

Several refills of popcorn later the show was over and mostly Brazilian riders ranked at the top. I had a small twinge of pride since I love Brazil so much. I may have memorized the national anthem while I was living with my Brazilian friends during the 2008 World Cup. Needless to say, I’m up for more of these rodeos!

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