Bull Riding Presented by American Legion Post 32 Thrills Crowds

rodeo three (2)

Mutton Busting Kiddos

On Saturday, April 23rd, the American Legion Post-32 presented Bull Riding at the Graham County Fairgrounds. Mutton busting for the six year old and younger, steer riding for the thirteen year old and younger, and then bull riding for the adults.

It was a breezy afternoon, but the crowd was excited to be there. Wearing their best cowboy garb, the crowd was enthusiastic for their riders.  At the beginning of the event, local cowboys from Pima to Safford lined up in the corral as the announcer called out their names.

As soon as the introductions were over, the riding began with mutton busting.  If anyone ever doubted the toughness of the local cowboy kids, that night proved that the Gila Valley youngsters are made of a hardy mettle. Those mutton busting kiddos held onto their rides so tight that it looked like they could gallop into the next century.  Next up came the steer riders. Thirteen year olds and younger were given protective helmets and rode with the determination of fierce pride and high hopes.

Finally the big boys were introduced to the ring. The full grown rodeo bulls were readied in their chutes, and the cowboys climbed on in the desperate attempt to win the prize. Professional bucking bulls weigh approximately 1,600-1,6700 pounds. As every cowboy sails to the ground, they pray that the “cowboy protection agency,” is there to stop the animal from trampling them.

As the event drew to a close, there were several humorous points and some scary situations. Even though this was a friendly event hosted in a friendly town, bull riding is an extreme sport. There were a few cowboys that ended up walking out of the arena with a “hitch in their giddy up,” but luckily everyone went home safe.

The Bull Riders Prayer

As I live the Cowboy Way,

Protection is what I pray,

I don’t know my Fate,

Outside of the gate.

If my ride sees trouble,

Send Angels on the double,

For in you the Lord I rest,

Let my life pass your test.

By pure grace I am saved,

Lord, ride with me,

That’s the Cowboy Way,

And what bull riders pray.