The idea of being bucked off a bull in front of hundreds of people, flying through the air and possibly landing underneath the animal’s enormous hooves didn’t seem to bother Dan Fuhrer.
“I try not to think about it,” said the Stratton resident. “There’s risk in everything you do—this is just a little higher, I guess.”
Saturday afternoon was the auto mechanic’s first attempt at bullriding. It was one of the events at the Emo Fair’s rodeo.
Not only was this Fuhrer’s first time bullriding, but he also had an especially difficult bull to ride.
“I’ve heard nothing but bad things,” he mused before his turn, watching his bull standing inside his pen. “There’s a bounty on his head—the last 13 cowboys fell off him.”
You might say Fuhrer’s a thrill-seeker: he’s also tried skydiving, but considered that tame in comparison to bullriding. “I’ve never done anything extreme like this,” he said, pulling on the protective leather vest minutes before his ride.
“It’s hard and it’s more dangerous,” he added. “You might as well do something hard—if it’s easy, there’s no challenge.”
So Fuhrer, who had never practised before, said he wasn’t nervous.
“I was more nervous last night, watching those guys, than now,” he commented, referring to Friday night’s demonstration rodeo. “But that’ll change pretty soon.”
His brother, John, has pretty much the same idea.
“It’s a rush,” he enthused just before he took the saddle. “It’s like when I was standing up in the plane, looking to jump when I was skydiving.
“And I broke my leg doing that,” he laughed.
Between the two brothers, Dan was the first one to ride. He leaned back on the bull, still in the pen, with one arm lying out behind him for balance.
Then the time came: the fence was pulled open, the bull was provoked and the two of them came bucking out. Fuhrer managed to stay on the bull only for about four seconds before he was thrown off. Immediately, he scampered to the side of the ring to avoid the bull’s hooves.
“It’s a rush, oh, is it ever a rush!” he exclaimed as he pulled himself over the fence, covered in dust. “You don’t have time to think about it, man. You’re supposed to look at the bull’s shoulder, I didn’t look at the bull’s shoulder—I was half passed-out!”
He was still spitting out sand when his brother’s turn came up.
Dan Fuhrer’s experience was similar. He took the same position on the bull, leaning back with his arm extended behind him, but he too was bucked off after only about four seconds as well.
Still, he’d had enough time to enjoy the thrill of bullriding.
“Wow, what a rush,” said the logger, climbing over the fence. “I gotta do that again.
“You don’t have time to think, you don’t have time to look—you just hang on.”