Daredevils take on vicious wild bulls
- ‘Satan’ invades Rupununi rodeo
They came with names such as Satan, Thunder, and Lightning; some of them were never touched by human hands.
It took brave hearts – daredevils and men with extraordinary stamina – to ride these monsters of the Rupununi savannahs, reared on sprawling ranches only to be slaughtered for their meat.
They are accustomed to being rounded up by the vaqueros; but now, strange hands were touching them and they would have none of it – well until the few seconds it would take them to get the annoying humans from off their backs.
And indeed, within seconds, they sent them off their backs to lick the dust, literally. The wild bull riding competition kicked off the annual Rupununi rodeo and it seemed everyone came out to watch as men competed with beasts of no ordinary size and weight, or any tolerance for humans.
And so, soon after getting rid of their wannabe riders, some of them viciously charged at the fence, much to the fright of the hundreds who gathered to watch the showcase of men of dynamic prowess who risked all to ride the bulls.
The wild bulls were rounded up from all over the Rupununi to take part in the spectacular demonstration of man versus beast, and the crowd delighted in the performance.
More than 20 riders dared to ride the wild bulls, but in the end, Brazilian rider Allan Cadock, took home the top prize of $50,000. It didn’t matter how long he stayed on. It was the way he managed to commandeer the wild bull in its most vicious state.
Duane Thomas, a true bravado delighted the audience the most as he held on to one of the most vicious bulls. He stayed on even when the animal charged towards the fence and left a curve in the light steel fence. The animal then he charged towards another area, sending patrons scampering for cover.
All the while 29-year-old Thomas stayed on the bull. He received a rousing round of applause from the audience. It was the third year for him riding wild bulls at the rodeo, and even though it’s a dangerous stunt to attempt, Thomas would not exchange the thrill for the world.
Another huge attraction was 16-year-old schoolboy Hamilton Davis of the North Savannahs. From the moment everyone heard the name of the bull – Satan – everyone leaned forward for what was to come. And the rookie did not disappoint! He rode the bull for a solid eight seconds until he was thrown to the ground.
And so you don’t throw up your hand at what might seemed like a mere eight seconds; it could mean the difference between life and death if you’re trampled by one of these vicious bulls, some of them weighing over 500 pounds.
Some of the bulls were not satisfied with throwing their enemy to the ground, but charged after them. You had to be men of extraordinary bravery – not forgetting a stunning ability to run – to take part in this event.
Some of the cowgirls of the Rupununi were not to be left out. Two of them – Judith Isaacs and Sheryl Xavier – wanted to attempt the deadly stunt, but the judges decided that the bulls were too big for them to take on. The women were disappointed.
The wild bull riding is one of the key features of the Rupununi rodeo, which continues today.
President Bharrat Jagdeo declared the event open and commended the organisers for their dynamism, which has led to the growth of the event.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manniram Prashad, along with Public Service Minister Dr Jennifer Westford are among those at the Rupununi rodeo. Scores of Guyanese from the coastland, as well as Brazilians, and foreigners have travelled to experience this one of a kind event that has made its mark on the Guyana tourism calendar of events.