Some of the bulls in the rodeo test out their strength against each other. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -
Bull riding came to the beach in Bay St. Louis Friday night with the first Bulls on the Beach rodeo in Mississippi.
There isn't any running with these bulls, though.
Although extremely fun and very entertaining, bull riding is a dangerous sport, even for professionals.
Ethan Ray of Trion, GA, has been injured a lot during his 13 years of bull riding. At one point, he broke his leg three times within six months.
Despite his many injuries, though, he still sees it as his calling.
“You only get to live once and there’s somebody for everything in this world," said Ray. "And when they started doing bull riding, somebody had to be bull riders. So, I’m a bull rider.”
According to Ray, it can be profitable as well.
“The object is just staying on eight seconds,” Ray explained. “And if you do that, you get paid. And if you don’t, you don’t make anything. So, if you can stay on for eight seconds, you can make a pretty good living at it.”
The cowboys came from all over the country to ride bulls.
“I grew up around them, just wanting to ride bulls," said Jesy Tillman of Carrolton, Ga. "Being tough, trying to play cowboy all my life."
According to Carrolton, the key to success is a simple one.
“Just nod your head and hold on for dear life,” he said.
Jerry Byrd, a former rodeo clown, is co-owner of Bulls on the Beach LLC.
“We wanted to touch more people and kind of give it that beachy scene," said Byrd. "And it’s something unique, something that nobody’s ever done before."
That was exactly what attracted Amanda Tallent and her children.
“Well, we’ve never been to a rodeo, usually they’re in the country," said Tallent. "And now it’s in our city and we’ve come to support the rodeo on the beach.”
The owner of Buoys Bar, Roger Caplinger knew it would be a hit.
“We’re kind of an eclectic crowd around here. And the people, you know the people down here -- the Bay rats -- they like something different," said Caplinger. "And all the people up in the country like a good rodeo. So, hey, I figured it ought to work.”
The rodeo is scheduled again for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Buoys Bar. Admission is $18 per person and organizers say it will go on, rain or shine.