Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bulls to Buck at the Garden

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bulls to Buck at the Garden

Article excerpt

WHAT: Professional Bull Riders Madison Square Garden Invitational.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan; Ticketmaster or thegarden.com.

HOW MUCH: $15 to $205.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: pbr.com.

A little bit of country rides into the city this weekend as the Professional Bull Riders tour comes to Madison Square Garden.

The group of 40 riders from all over the world will test their mettle against some of the roughest bulls in the world. One of those riders, Douglas Duncan, a Houston native, said it's a great job.

"It's been in my blood for as long as I can remember," he said.

For the uninitiated, bull riders mount their bulls and then ride for no more than eight seconds. They are scored based on the toughness of the bull and the length and positioning of their ride, Duncan said.

The bulls are not trying so much to get the rider off their back as they are bucking to free themselves from a so-called flank rope that is around their hind quarters.

"Some bulls understand the game and just enjoy bucking," Duncan said. Some bulls are pretty smart, waiting until a rider is leaning to one side before lurching to the other to knock them off balance.

Duncan said he always knew he would be a bull rider. His father rode bulls and his grandfather had a ranch. He started riding on sheep when he was about 3 or 4 years old.

"I've always been around the lifestyle of a cowboy," he said. "I remember when my grandpa would take little calves and pin them down so I could get on them when I was little."

Duncan said that being a bull rider is just like being any other athlete. He trains to strengthen his abdominal and back muscles, which help him hold on longer.

"You want to have control over your whole body - you want to have balance," he said. "It's kind of like being a gymnast."

He said he's had his share of broken bones and bruises over the years, but no major injuries.

"If you play the game long enough, you're going to get hurt - there ain't no way around it," he said. …

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