I’d like to welcome, Lynx Maddox, one of rodeo’s top bull riders, to Sunday Snippets today.
Lynx: “I’d like to thank all of the Sunday Snippets readers for logging on for my interview.”
Connie: “For the readers who aren’t familiar with PRO rodeo cowboys who support community projects for worthy causes. Lynx, you were at the Fairgrounds this weekend to support and build awareness for projects to prevent domestic violence, isn’t this correct?”
Lynx: “Yes. Dan and were at the Snake River Stampede last week where a local band helped collect donations to support a newly built women’s shelter.”
Connie: “I know you are reluctant to brag. . .but virtually all former and current world champions have competed at the Stampede at one time or another. However, few are as generous with donating their purse winning as readily as you are.”
Lynx: “Now, I wouldn’t say that. Everyone does what he or she can to help contribute to these worthy causes. . .be it in dollars or in time. . .Weren’t we gonna discuss the sport of bull riding?”
Connie: ”Yes, Wildcat, we are. According to the ABBI guidelines for judging bull riding, based on five categories: buck, kick, spin, intensity, and degree of difficulty. All of which sound extremely uncomfortable for the rider. Would you mind explaining what this all means?”
Lynx: Dry chuckle. “‘Buck’ refers to the height achieved with the front feet and shoulders as a bull begins each jump of a trip. Technically correct bulls will complete this action by kicking their hind legs, however not all will kick, and that is a separate category from buck. Bulls that “get in the air” and get their front feet a foot or two off the ground as they peak and break over get the most credit in the buck category. Another consideration is the number of jumps they complete during the course of the trip. Still another factor can be how much ground they cover.”
Connie: “I know the ‘Kick’ refers to the extension and snap of the hind legs at the peak of each jump. But I don’t know the determining factors for scoring.”
Lynx: “Again, the score is determined by how high and how hard the bull kicks, how much vertical body angle he achieves as he kicks, and whether or not he kicks each and every jump. Additionally, bulls that kick at the peak of each jump instead of waiting until their front feet reach the ground deserve more credit in this important category.”
Connie: “So at any time, a bull rider can find himself falling under one of the massive animals?”
Lynx: “Well, I reckon so, but that is not the aim of the rider. . .”
Connie: “Sorry, but. . .”
Lynx: “Heard about what happened–”
Connie: “In Cheyenne, Wyoming? Yeah.”
Lynx: “The ‘Spin’.” Takes a sip of coffee. “Also referred to as the speed category, spin is the most difficult to assess if a bull is only ridden for a jump or two. In this situation, a judge must assume that the amount a bull was spinning (or the number of rounds) would have continued at the same rate for eight seconds. For this reason, it is important, in order to achieve high marks in the spin department, to “turn back” or begin to spin as early as possible so that more time is spent spinning than covering ground.”
Connie: “The ‘Spin’ is assessed the same way?”
Lynx: “Basically yes.”
Connie: “The final category is ‘Degree of Difficulty’. Difficulty equals painful, I take it?”
Lynx: “Naw. By the end of the ride most bull rider’s bodies are numb.”
Connie: Smothering a laugh. “Please continue.”
Lynx: “There are a number of factors that can occur in a bull’s trip that elevate the degree of difficulty, and it is important to note that the bull that does everything else right automatically has a high degree of difficulty for that simple reason. Therefore, just because a bull is honest and doesn’t use tricks to get a rider off, he shouldn’t be penalized in this category for doing things right. Having said that, there are those elements of a trip that some bulls employ that make them harder to ride than bulls that don’t. These things don’t necessarily make a bull better, and again it should be mentioned that the most desirable methods of increasing degree of difficulty are by doing the core elements (buck, kick, and spin) well. Furthermore, the bull that is using time and energy performing some of the trickier elements generally associated with degree of difficulty is usually losing ground in some other area. The most generally defined elements of this category are: drift or fade, accomplished by a bull covering ground as he spins; moving forward in the spin; belly roll; drop; direction change; and lack of timing.”
Connie: “Lynx, thank you so much for taking time from your packed schedule to explain the element of rodeo to those of us here at Sunday Snippets. You make bull riding sound like everyone’s nine-to-five job. But we all know that isn’t true. Rodeo is a very dangerous sport.”
Lynx: “I can’t deny that fact.”
Connie: “Where are you off to tomorrow?”
Lynx: “Tonight. After I wrap things up at the Fairgrounds, I’m driving up to Running Springs, Montana.” Rising to his feet, he tips his hand and exits the booth.
Connie: speaking over the canned music, ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas,”Thank you, Wildcat. Let’s all thank Lynx Maddox for stopping by today.”
Lynx is 99 Cents at Amazon.com (Kindle).
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