In the beginning, rodeo competition was a natural extension of the daily challenges on the ranch, roping calves and breaking broncs into saddle horses.

Bull riding competition, intentionally climbing on the back of a 2,000-pound bull, is a competition where risk is evident and severe injury is always possible for fearless cowboys as they try to sit astride an animal that weighs a ton and usually has dangerous horns.

Fans love this one of rodeo’s most popular competitions. It’s a dangerous, predictable, exciting event that demands intense physical prowess, supreme mental toughness, and courage.

Like bareback and saddle bronc, the bull rider may use one hand to stay aboard during the eight-second ride. If he touches the bull or himself with his free hand, he receives a zero score. However, unlike the other rough-stock participants, bull riders are not required to mark out their animals.

While spurring a bull can increase the cowboy’s score, they are usually judged solely by their ability to stay aboard the twisting, bucking muscle mass. To do that, cowboys grasp a flat braided rope wrapped around the bull’s chest just behind the front legs and over its withers.

The tail end of the bull rope is threaded through a loop on the other end and is tightened around the bull. The cowboy then wraps the tail around his hand, sometimes through his fingers, to further secure the grip. Then, as he nods, the chute gate swings open, and he and the bull enter the arena.

At this point, every bull behaves differently. Some dart to the left, right, then rear back, some spin or continuously circle in one spot, some add jump or kick to their spins, some jump and kick in a straight line or move to a side while bucking.

Overall, bullriding is the ultimate test of courage. Riders mount colossal bulls intending to stay on for a mere eight seconds. The sheer power and unpredictability of these bulls make this event a heart-bouncing show that showcases riders’ fearlessness.


Below is the list of the top 15 participants in this competition with their NFR rankings and 2023 season earnings:

  1. Stetson Wright (1) – $620,256.39
  2. Ky Hamilton (5) – $254,164.59
  3. Josh Frost (7) – $236,886.92
  4. Trey Holston (12) – $198,044.16
  5. Tristen Hutchings (14) – $181,192.18
  6. Creek Young (28) – $156,286.35
  7. Hayes Weight (30) – $154,694.97
  8. T Parker (33) – $152,792.48
  9. Trey Kimzey (35) – $150,714.71
  10. Sage Kimzey (40) – $145,020.68
  11. Jordan Hansen (43) – $144,222.51
  12. Jared Parsonage (50) – $139,551.62
  13. Cody Teel (55) – $135,671.02
  14. Jeff Askey (58) – $135,243.62
  15. Cullen Telfer (68) – $128,244.93
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