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Bulls and riders are matched randomly, prior to competition. A rider begins by mounting the bull and gripping the rope. When ready, a gate is opened and the bull is released. The rider must stay on the bull for at least eight seconds, while only touching the bull with one hand. Throughout the ride bulls kick spin and twist in an effort to throw the rider off. Most competitions feature a format involving multiple rounds spanning two or three nights. Riders may only ride once a night. Each ride is scored from 0 to 100 points, with the rider and bull each awarded 0 to 50 points. The combined point total forms the final score for the ride.


Bull Riding is a rodeo sport where a rider mounts a bull and attempts to stay mounted. The rider with the longest time on the bull is the winner. Bull riding began in the late 19th century as part of a competition to see who was the best ranch hand. Today it is a popular competition throughout much of the United States. In professional tournaments riders aim to stay on a bucking bull for at least eight seconds. Each ride is judged and awarded points based on a number of technical aspects.


Bull riding is said to have begun in 1869 when two groups of cowboys met in Colorado to settle a dispute over which group was best a general ranch tasks. In 1936 the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) was created to serve as an organizing body for all competitive rodeos in the United States. In 1994 bull riders created a splinter organization called the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). The PBR World Finals, the largest and most prestigious bull riding event, is held annually in Las Vegas. Today, thanks to television, bull riding has expanded in popularity, and is now practiced across North America.