As bull riding hits the big time, pro riders fight through pain for big payouts (2023)

Silvano Alves has been in the bucking chute longer than usual. The bull is twisting against the bars of its enclosure, making a stable starting position all but impossible. Sitting atop the ornery animal, the three-time world champ is running out of seconds before he receives an automatic no-score for failing to leave the gate. Refusing a loss by default, he gives the nod for the chute to open. A latch pops, and Percolator, all 2,000lb of him, slings them both into Madison Square Garden’s 18,200-seat arena.

Looking more like a dust storm than a bucking bull, Percolator kicks high and hard to the left. Off balance and unable to counter him, the Brazilian’s body swings wide.

The 28-year-old pitches to the ground, landing square on the base of his skull, his body in the fetal position. Still bucking, Percolator’s left hoof comes down hard on Alves’ helmet, peeling it free from his head. The colossal hoots of the spectators melt into a windy intake of breath. The bull lowers his horns and butts the rider’s still torso once, then again, before freight-training over him.

For a long moment, Alves lies face down in the dirt. The colosseum is quiet.

But that was yesterday. It’s now Saturday night, day two of three at the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series at Madison Square Garden, and Alves says he’s feeling fine. There’s a purple bruise below his right temple, about the size of a toddler’s handprint.

“It was a really bad day. The bull hit my head, and my head aches, and I am asleep in the arena a little bit,” says the Brazilian. “But tonight I am waiting, and the doctor check me before event, and he say, it’s all right, you pass the test, you can ride. It’s OK.”

The PBR medical staff says he’s free of symptoms from the previous night’s knockout. He’s cleared to ride.

For Alves and the 35 other international pros competing tonight, it’s a breakout year for bull riding. The 10-month season is hyped like never before. In the middle, on a podium four feet off the ground, the reigning PBR world champion JB Mauney appears in a spotlight. He looks 10 feet tall and bulletproof. The 29-year-old lifts the crown of his black stetson, and gestures slowly from one side of the stadium to the other. Fireworks boom. The crowd is incandescent.

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It hasn’t always been this way. Talent and entertainment behemoth WME/IMG bought PBR for a reported $100m in April, a few months before purchasing the Miss Universe Organization from Donald Trump. For the agency that represents Novak Djokovic and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, this is just the beginning of a bid to turn bull riding into a household sport.

As bull riding hits the big time, pro riders fight through pain for big payouts (1)

PBR is setting itself up to go mainstream, with riders getting prepped to model fashion lines and move merchandise. In an effort to lengthen the stats on a savagely simple sport, WME/IMG hopes to install sensors on bull and rider later this year, to judge turning speed and stomping impact.

While the forces at play are astronomical, the rules are compact: a rider must keep his mount for eight seconds, within which four judges award points for the rider’s skill and the bull’s fight. The harder the bull bucks and rolls, the higher the points the rider earns if he maintains his seat. During that time, the rider must keep one arm on the bull rope fastened around the animal’s chest and never strike the bull’s body with his free hand.

While PBR counts 33 million fans across the country, the sport is still alien to many.

But PBR has never before had a spokesperson like Mauney. He’s an American champion in a league that has been dominated over the last few years by Brazilian athletes. With blue eyes and a cheshire cat grin, the North Carolina farm boy has conjured name recognition not seen in bull riding since Lane Frost. The 26-year-old died of his injuries in 1989 after being bucked off a bull known as Takin’ Care of Business. Frost, the subject of multiple subsequent country songs, was immortalized by Luke Perry in the 1994 biopic 8 Seconds.

Mauney appeared on Colbert this past week. He opened the Nasdaq. Mauney’s theme song, Bad to the Bone, will play every time he appears on the CBS livestream this weekend. The Madison Square Garden crowd – a mix of Western transplants, curious hipsters, Brazilian expats, and female “buckle bunnies” – all go nuts for him.

As the sport enters the mainstream, some of the rougher edges are being rounded off. In 2013, PBR ruled that any rider born after 1994 would be required to wear some kind of helmet. About half of older riders still elect to wear cowboy hats in lieu of protective head gear.

This year will be the first that PBR enforces its own concussion rule: a rider who shows symptoms of a brain injury will not be allowed to get on another bull that same night. While PBR conducts a three-part test that concussed riders must pass before returning to competition, many riders are back on bulls the following night or weekend. Under increased scrutiny for head injuries, the NFL, by contrast, reports that players who suffered brain injuries last season spent an average of 16 days off the field.

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Unlike an MMA athlete or football player, elite bull fighters compete several times each weekend.

As bull riding hits the big time, pro riders fight through pain for big payouts (2)

“Like a fighter has six weeks out to a month knowin’ what he’s gonna’ do to prepare for that one fight. Well, I gotta get in four fights this weekend, three fights next weekend,” says rider Douglas Duncan, who’s competed in the pro circuit for six years. He tries to maintain a gymnast form, practicing yoga and avoiding carbs. “And with us breaking stuff all the time, you gotta figure out how to do cardio with that.”

PBR riders also don’t have guaranteed contracts, unlike NHL or NFL players. If they don’t ride, they don’t have a shot at winning any money. A $400 appearance fee is all they receive if they fail to successfully ride a bull on a given weekend.

Riding anywhere from 90-130 bulls over PBR’s 26-stop season, a professional bull rider can easily expect three or four major surgeries in his career, according to PBR’s Dr Tandy Freeman. Even if a rider avoids getting hung up in the rope, stomped under the bull’s hooves, crushed against a bucking chute, or gored with a horn, there’s no way to dismount gracefully, even on a winning ride.

Knee ligament tears are one of the most common injuries, with many of the top riders competing sans ACL, MCL or PCL. Because surgery would see them without a paycheck for half the year, the medical staff often helps to tape and brace knees that are so torn up they no longer support a rider’s slender frame.

PBR athletic trainer Rich Blyn says it’s a challenge to educate riders about the hazards of chronic injuries.

“To ride a bull the ACL is – I don’t want to say it’s not important,” says Blyn, his lower lip full of chew. “They still have to be able to get away from the bull, but we have found over the years that with tape, with bracing, or the combination of the two, they can compete and sort of put off that surgery.”

He says he always explains to riders the dangers of waiting to enter surgery or rehab – that they could end up a 30-year-old man with the arthritic, grinding joints of an 80-year-old.

“They don’t care,” says Blyn. “They just want to be able to get on another bull tomorrow.”

Mauney, who’s visibly frustrated at winning just $533.33 after three bulls, hulks out of the locker rooms with a pronounced limp. He’s lost both his ACL and MCL. He says it doesn’t hurt – it just makes him a bit wobbly on his feet.

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He lives by the words his father, a former bull rider, taught him as a kid: You play the game, you take the pain. If both legs aren’t broken, a cowboy always stands up and walks out of that arena.

The first bull he mounted, at 13, left him with no illusions: “Hit me in the face, my hand hung up, drug me around, stomped on me, and I guess I was too dumb enough to know this shit was gonna hurt.”

As bull riding hits the big time, pro riders fight through pain for big payouts (3)

Wearing the helmet his mom mandated, he competed in youth rodeo till he turned 18. At one of his first bull rides as an adult, he got trampled. Following his father’s example, he picked himself up and walked off.

The following day, when his lacerated liver swelled up to the size of a volleyball, his mom made him go to the hospital. Just a few months after surgery, and a few months before his doctor said he could, he debuted at PBR in Lexington, Kentucky.

Over the years, he’s broken his leg, broken ribs, fractured his hip, broken a hand, shattered his jaw, and bruised both his kidney and spleen. Too many concussions to mention. All pretty standard. A few years ago, in response to a losing streak, he stopped wearing a helmet. In a cowboy hat, he says, he can better track the bull.

When he broke his riding arm in 2012, Mauney asked his brother-in-law and fellow PBR rider Shane Proctor to help him learn how to ride with his non-dominant arm. Proctor, who’s lost two friends to the sport and has the bulls’ brands tattooed on each wrist, agreed. He tied Mauney onto bulls so he could continue to ride in a cast.

The reward for Mauney’s persistence is almost $7m in 10 years on the PBR circuit, the most any professional bull rider has ever made.

It’s the massive purse for the big winners that now draws the top bull riders out of competing leagues, like the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Some PBR riders, needing the money, ride in other competitive leagues on their rest days or during the two months off in the summer.

Before Mauney took to the circuit full time, he worked cutting grass and riding barrel horses. He even worked at a ball bearing plant for five or six months: “Soon as I got back to riding, I said, I’m gon’ make sure I make bull riding my living ... cause, I’m dang sure not gon’ do this the rest of my life.”

Mauney describes PBR as a high-stakes roulette. Have a good ride, and you could pick up $40,000. Get bucked off or injured and you make almost nothing.

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Halfway through the event, the weekend’s $200,000 purse is making a few riders a bit desperate. All they want is to pick a good bull in the next stage – a round-winning bull. One that has a lot of fight in it.

JW Harris, who won $4,000 the night before on a bull named Fire Bender is the favorite going into Saturday night’s round. He steps into the chute wearing a white stetson and mounts a bull called Mishap.

Harris nods open the gate, and with one massive kick, the bull is 20 feet out from the chutes. Mishap immediately turns a sharp right, and before the announcer has stopped introducing the ride, Harris slips off the bull’s left flank. Harris’s hat flies through the air and he falls free of the rope and under the bull’s jackhammering hooves. Mishap turns again and rams Harris with his horns. Harris rolls clear, pushes himself to his feet, and slumps against the rails. He’s bleeding from his neck.

The medics who walk him out say he’s fine. Bloody nose. Nothing to worry about.

The following day, Harris hasn’t put on his chaps. The medical teams says he opted out of an x-ray the previous night and might have broken ribs. He’s chosen not to ride, and like many riders with suspected serious injuries, will wait until he gets home to Texas tomorrow before seeing a doctor.

Harris, 29, walks like a man aged 50 years overnight. A four-time PRCA World Champion, he transferred to PBR in 2013, saying he was too old to be riding bulls for free.

There are bags under his eyes today, and he’s hoarse from catching a horn to the throat. He suffered a similarly bad wreck the previous weekend, in Rosemont, Illinois, where fellow rider Bonner Bolton fractured his C2 vertebrae.

“Everything from about my chest up hurts,” says Harris. “My elbow was really the determining factor because it’s my riding arm and I can’t straighten it.”

Before the start of the final rounds on Sunday, riders Cody Nance, from Tennessee, and Mike Lee, from Texas, pray for a visiting family with a disabled child. Lee has a three-inch scar on the right side of his head from brain surgery when he was 20. He returned to riding three months earlier than doctors advised.

While some riders study their bulls before they ride, Nance says he focuses on physical training. He does yoga and P90x and says he tries to be a good father and a good Christian: “I try not to expect anything because it’s all fulfilled anyway. These bulls got a mind of their own.”

As bull riding hits the big time, pro riders fight through pain for big payouts (4)
(Video) His dad risked it all for his son. 🥺❤️

In the last rounds of competition, Brazilian Paulo Ferreira Lima, achieves a perfect fourth bull ride, taking a total payout of $129,500. Silvano Alves is bucked off his third and final bull, leaving with just $400. Lee is also bucked off his last bull, prompting him to head-butt the bucking chute twice in his helmet. He then goes down on one knee and says a prayer. He takes home $1,550 for his wife and three kids.

Mauney’s performance improves on the last night, successfully riding Shaft, the same bull that bucked him off Friday night. Everything hurts, he says, but “I don’t like gettin’ beat.” He walks away with $3,600.

The riders, wrapped in ice packs, sign a few autographs as the gates dissolve around them. They check off their names on a clipboard to prove they met their public and quickly pack up their stuff. Their work allowed for the highest rated TV programming that weekend outside of the NFL. While a couple of the guys talk about grabbing a beer, most of the them are either with their families or ready to get home to them. With suitcases in hand and clean stetsons on, they walk carefully out onto the snowy streets and down into the subway.


Are bulls in pain during bull riding? ›

There is evidence that bucking bulls may suffer physical damage from the events they are forced to participate in.

Who was killed by Bodacious the bull? ›

Hedeman did what riders are supposed to do: he leaned high over the bull's shoulders and flung his arm back as a counterbalance. But just as he came forward, Bodacious threw his head back—smashing it square into Hedeman's face.

What percent of bull riders get hurt? ›

Bull Riding Accident Statistics

According to a study conducted at the University of Calgary, bull riding is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Nearly 20 out of every 100,000 rodeo contestants will experience a catastrophic injury.

How are professional bull riders paid? ›

How are Bull Riders Paid? Unlike normal jobs with a guaranteed yearly salary, bull riders make money based on their skill level, the type of events they compete in, and the number of events they compete in. Usually, bull riders travel with their rodeo company, competing in events around the country for prize money.

Are the bulls in bull riding treated well? ›

As such a critical part of the sport, bulls are treated with as much care as any other elite athlete, with strict guidelines and regulations put in place to ensure their wellbeing, and dedicated stock contractors making sure their lives are as healthy and comfortable as possible.

Is Bull Fighting Painful? ›

In each stage of the event the bull experiences intense fear and physical pain. They are also subjected to exhaustion, dehydration and eventually a slow and painful death.

How many bull riders did Bodacious hurt? ›

Perhaps no bucking bull in rodeo history was as feared as Bodacious, a 1,900-pound cross-bred Charbray that burst upon the scene in 1992. In four years, Bo was virtually unrideable. All muscle, the bull with the distinctive yellow coloring bucked off 127 of his 135 riders.

How old was Bodacious when he died? ›

Bodacious was a 12-year-old, 1,800-pound bull that cowboys found nearly impossible to ride. Only six cowboys managed to last the required eight seconds on the back of Bodacious.

How much is the bull Bodacious worth? ›

"He's been real polite staying in the pen." Sumner bought Bodacious for $700 years ago and sold him to Sammy Andrews for $7,500 in 1992. Today, Sumner estimates the bull to be worth more than $30,000.

What is the most common injury in bull riding? ›

The knee and shoulder were the most commonly injured joints. Conclusion: Injuries to the head, neck, and face may deserve more attention by both researchers and those interested in preventing injury to bull riders.

Who is the best bull rider in history? ›

Who has won the most bull riding championships? Don Gay currently holds the record for the cowboy with the most Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Bull Riding World Champion titles. During his career, Don Gay won eight bull riding world titles.

Why are bulls so aggressive in bull riding? ›

They have an inherent fear of unfamiliar objects, situations, smells, sudden movements, and noises, and are scared in situations where they are solitary or isolated [2 PDF]. A bull appears aggressive because the event plays on their fears. Bucking is often a bulls' instinctive response to fear, discomfort, and pain*.

Who is the richest bull rider? ›

It is pretty safe to say Pacheco stands among the greatest bull riders in history. Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney – the richest bull rider in history with more than $7 million in career earnings – remembers this kid from Brazil refusing to back down from him during his 2015 title season.

Do bull riders bring their own bulls? ›

A sufficient number of bulls, each judged to be of good strength, health, agility, and age, are selected to perform. The rider and bull are matched randomly before the competition, although starting in 2008, some ranked riders are allowed to choose their own bulls from a bull draft for selected rounds in PBR events.

How much do rodeo clowns get paid? ›

The salaries of Rodeo Clowns in the US range from $16,640 to $74,880 , with a median salary of $36,865 . The middle 60% of Rodeo Clowns makes between $36,865 and $48,384, with the top 80% making $74,880.

What happens to PBR bulls when they retire? ›

Once they retire from competition, they become sires of the bucking bull breed and make more bucking babies. Not only is PBR a fantastic production, but it really keeps the safety of riders and bulls at the top.

What happens to bulls after bull fight? ›

A bullfight almost always ends with the matador killing off the bull with his sword; rarely, if the bull has behaved particularly well during the fight, the bull is "pardoned" and his life is spared. After the bull is killed, his body is dragged out of the ring and processed at a slaughterhouse.

What do they do with bulls after bull riding? ›

Once bulls are retired from bucking, they are sent back to the ranch to live out their days. Depending on the bull, some contractors will use him as a breed bull for the upcoming season. Retirement can come at any age. As long as the bull still bucks and still wants to perform at rodeos, he will.

Do they eat the meat after a bull fight? ›

After the matador kills the bull, it is sent to a slaughterhouse. Its meat is then sold for human consumption, according to various sources, including Martin DeSuisse, founder of the nonprofit Aficionados International, which seeks to educate the English-speaking public about the Spanish bullfight.

Do cows feel pain when hit? ›

Cows experience pain during parturition, dehorning, lameness and when injured or sick. Among humans, different people have different pain tolerance, and the same may be true for dairy cows.

Do they stab bulls before bull riding? ›

Each bull first faces the picadors (men on horses), who jab him with a lance. It's thrust into his back and neck muscles, then twisted and driven deeper to ensure significant blood loss.

What bull has never been ridden? ›

Red Rock is one of rodeo's most famous bulls because in the 309 outs during his PRCA career between 1983 and 1987, he was never ridden a single time.

What rodeo event makes the most money? ›

Known as the richest and most prestigious rodeo in the world, the Wrangler NFR attracts the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding to compete for a share of the increased purse and the coveted PRCA Gold Buckle.

Did Bodacious ever get ridden? ›

Bodacious was known for his explosive exit out of the chute. He started out with such force it was not uncommon to see his belly from the top of the back of the chute. He was first ridden in 1993, and it took two years before another bull rider stayed on for eight seconds.

What bull killed Lane? ›

Did Lane Frost die on the field? Frost succumbed to injuries in the 1989 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo when the iconic Takin' Care of Business bull struck him after he finished the ride.

What bull rider was paralyzed? ›

Jerome “Danger” Davis' life as a bull rider was forever changed in less than 8 seconds. Tragedy struck on March 14, 1998. During a routine contest, Davis was bucked from a bull named “Knock 'em out John” and suffered a broken neck. The injury left him paralyzed from the chest down.

How much does a bucking bull cost? ›

How much is a bucking bull worth? A young animal with DNA-verfied parentage can be worth as much as $100,000 if he has superstar bloodlines. A proven bucking bull can be worth as much as $500,000. You can get started in the industry by buying a quality DNA-verified cow and bull for several thousand apiece.

Has there ever been a 100 point bull ride? ›

Wade Leslie is said to be the only bull rider ever to score a perfect 100 and that was in 1991.

What is the rarest bull? ›

Vaynol cattle
Conservation statusCritical
Country of originWales
UseBeef; Leather
5 more rows

What is the most expensive bull ever bought? ›

Last year, Millah Murrah set the record for the individual cost of a bull, after a stud bull was sold for $280,000. Ross Thompson, stud principal and owner of Millah Murrah Angus, said he was overwhelmed by the sale.

How often do bull riders break bones? ›

"In bull riding, for instance, we see a new injury every 15 bull rides, on average," Freeman says. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association oversees close to 600 rodeos a year, and there are many more events for amateurs, students and even seniors. The sport has come a long way from its original roots.

Is bull riding hard on your body? ›

As a function of injury incidence per hour spent participating, riding a bull is 1.5 times more dangerous than boxing, and far more dangerous than hockey or football. The results indicate 1.4 injuries for every hour spent riding a bull. Rodeo life has never been easy for the cowboys.

Is bull riding safer than football? ›

A bull rider is 10 times more likely to be seriously injured than a football player. One reason is obvious: 2,000-pound bulls have zero interest in injury prevention. Being stepped on by a bull can kill a man, and has.

Who is the number 1 bull rider in the USA? ›

2023 Unleash The Beast Standings
PlaceRiderBull Atmpt/Ridden
1Rafael Jose de Brito84 / 27
2Jose Vitor Leme71 / 44
3Kaique Pacheco98 / 46
4Wingson Henrique da Silva73 / 23
57 more rows

Who is the highest paid rodeo cowboy? ›

Who is the richest rodeo cowboy in the world? The richest rodeo cowboy in the world is Trevor Brazile. Brazile has earned a whopping $6,934,998 from his success in rodeo competitions. The amount he's earned is nearly double that of the next-closest competitor.

Has anyone rode all 10 bulls at NFR? ›

Jim Sharp makes NFR history by becoming the first bull rider to ride all 10 bulls. He sets the NFR record for the aggregate (771 points on 10 head), en route to his first world title.

What makes bulls angry? ›

In fact, bulls are actually colour-blind to the colour red! It is actually the aggressive whipping of the Muleta by the Matador which irritates the bull. This causes the bull's 'Fight or Flight' response to become activated.

Why are Mexican fighting bulls so mean? ›

For bullfighting events, bulls are bred for aggression on Spanish ranches, "where they are tested for bravery and ferocity," according to The Spanish fighting bull is a breed known particularly for being a brawler.

Are bucking bulls friendly? ›

After the bucking ends, they are really quite friendly animals. They're laborers. They've been bred to do this work.”

Who owns Bodacious the bull? ›

A 1,900-pound behemoth referred to by announcer Bob Tallman as “the yellow whale,” Bodacious is owned by Texas stock contractor Sammy Andrews, who bought him in 1992.

How much do bull owners get paid for PBR? ›

At a major event like this, bulls can earn $2,400 [£1,800] each time they provide PBR cowboys a ride – or an 'out', as it's known in rodeo cowboy circles.

What do PBR bullfighters get paid? ›

Those working 60 to 100 events a year earn an average annual salary of ​$50,000​. For purposes of comparison, reports that rodeo clowns earned an average annual salary of ​$63,826​ as January 2022, with salaries generally ranging between ​$54,897​ and ​$74,837​ per year.

Can a female be a bull rider? ›

BELL COUNTY, Texas — The Women's Bull Riding Organization, or WBRO, was created by women for women to give them the chance to compete nationally at a professional level. Texas native Catalina Langlitz is the 2021 WBRO World Champion.

How are bulls treated before a bull riding? ›

“The bull's genitals are not touched (or) tied, and there is no electroshock. Some people are misled about how we treat these animals. Just as a thoroughbred race horse is raised to run, these bulls are raised to buck. The one thing that the bulls are trained with are a flank strap.

What breed are most bucking bulls? ›

A bucking bull is a bull used in American rodeo bull riding competition. They are usually a Brahman crossed with another breed, weighing 1,500 pounds or more, selected for their tendency to "leap, plunge and spin" when a human is on its back.

What is the highest paid clown salary? ›

Clown Salary
25th Percentile Clown Salary$49,655US
50th Percentile Clown Salary$63,723US
75th Percentile Clown Salary$78,388US
90th Percentile Clown Salary$91,739US
1 more row

What do NFR bullfighters get paid? ›

This amount includes guaranteed prize money of $1.2 million for all NFR qualifiers and $9,700,098 in competition prize money. Based on the updated purse in 2022, the increase will see round winners take home $28,914 per round and average winners earn $74,150.

Are there any female rodeo clowns? ›

Dixie was inducted to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1982; the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas, named her Pioneer Woman of the Year in 2004. She is the only woman Rodeo Clown in professional rodeo that clowned for 12 years.

Why are bulls so angry during bull riding? ›

They have an inherent fear of unfamiliar objects, situations, smells, sudden movements, and noises, and are scared in situations where they are solitary or isolated [2 PDF]. A bull appears aggressive because the event plays on their fears. Bucking is often a bulls' instinctive response to fear, discomfort, and pain*.

Do you eat the bull after a bull fight? ›

A bullfight almost always ends with the matador killing off the bull with his sword; rarely, if the bull has behaved particularly well during the fight, the bull is "pardoned" and his life is spared. After the bull is killed, his body is dragged out of the ring and processed at a slaughterhouse.

Do bulls get their balls tied? ›

Contrary to popular belief, the flank strap is not tied around the bull's testicles. This rope is to encourage the bull to use his hind legs more in a bucking motion, as this is a true test of a rider's skill in maintaining the ride.

Why are bulls aggressive but not cows? ›

The bull's bellicosity basically boils down to three root causes: a bull's natural disposition as a result of the animal's social structure, generations of bulls bred for aggression, and isolation from a herd. Cattle are herd animals.

Why do bulls run at you? ›

The major causes of bull attacks are mistaken identity or improper behavior that has been learned. A bull will perform a broadside threat prior to attack. He will stand sideways so the person or other bull can see how big and powerful he is.

Are bulls tortured before a bullfight? ›

Bullfighting is a traditional Latin American spectacle in which bulls bred to fight are tortured by armed men on horseback, then killed by a matador. Starved, beaten, isolated, and drugged before the “fight,” the bull is so debilitated that he cannot defend himself.

Do bulls get killed in bull fighting? ›

The bull is not killed in the ring and, at the end of the corrida, leading oxen are let into the arena, and two campinos on foot herd the bull among them back to its pen. The bull is usually killed out of sight of the audience by a professional butcher.


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