, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“The Bull Rider’s mind is like no other.  He thinks moment to moment, and lives life on the edge. He makes his living by strapping himself on one of the meanest strongest animals on the planet.  And he strives for only one thing…that may seem so simple:  8 seconds of control.  8 seconds and years of preparation, have brought him to the count.  8 seconds will make him either a champion, or just another bull rider.  It’s time for the Swift Current Cody Snyder Invitational PBR!” – (opening intro to last year’s PBR)

I’ve never been much into the Rodeo scene – though I’m definitely a fan of well-worn Wranglers.  It’s not that I don’t like to watch them, it’s just my ADD kicks in and I get lost easily, trying to figure out who roped what, what barrel what rider rounded, etc. etc.  That’s why I like bull riding.  Because even I can concentrate for 8 seconds.

When you think of 8 seconds, it seems like a tiny drop in the lifetime bucket, but for the poor cowboys riding atop of the snorting, thrashing bull that’s trying with all its might to jettison them off, I bet those 8 seconds seem more like a lifetime.

What’s claimed to be “The Toughest Sport on Earth” (a claim I don’t refute) while seeming madness to those of us who haven’t ridden anything more demanding than a bicycle, not only is this event one that draws big crowds – it also draws big prize money for the lucky guy who stays on for the requisite 8 seconds and does so with exceptional form (though I don’t think the judges are looking at his Wranglers!).

Never seen a PBR? Wranglers aside you’re in for a night of thrills and spills!  Here’s a taste of last year’s event, which you can see is part extreme sport and part rock concert:

How to Get There:  The event is being held in Swift Current at the I-Plex, the home of the Swift Current Broncos (I wonder if the ice will make it more difficult for the bulls to buck their riders off…hmmmm?).  If you’re coming in on the #1 Hwy, turn off onto Hwy #4 and head into town (not towards the Mall but South).  Or follow this map.

What to Bring:  If your heart’s not strong, a pacemaker might be in order.  And if you don’t like loud noises, earplugs might be in order as well, as they’ll be playing the music loud!  Other than that you just need to bring your ticket which you can purchase online at http://www.tickets.scbroncos.com/ordertickets.asp?p=106 Cost for Tickets are only $15.00 (that’s a pretty good deal for the level of Wranglers…ahem, I mean, talent, you’ll be seeing.

Gotta Go?  I gotta give the I-Plex their due on this one.  Unlike most arenas where there seems to be 3 stalls for women, and 20 for men, I’ve never actually had to line up at the bathrooms here – there’s plenty for everybody!  Clean, spacious, and even a change table for the little wrangler in your midst. (Are you sensing an obsession?)

Good to Know:  If you order your tickets online, they won’t be mailed to you, you’ll have to pick them up at the ticket office at the front of the I-Plex.  You can also head down the I-Plex if you’re in town early to buy them.  Office hours are from 8am to 5pm Mon-Fri – and if you want to check on how many tickets are left you can do it on their website, by hovering over the seating area you want, and it will tell you how many tickets are left in that area, or you can give them a call at 306-773-1509.

As to whether this is a kid friendly or not event – I’d say it depends on the kid and the parent.  Sure the death defying action is thrilling and would be mesmerizing to a kid – BUT, it’s also literally one of the most extreme sports around and there is always the possibility that legs and arms will end up bending in some non-natural ways and that Red will be the colour instead of Green in Saskatchewan that night.

Your call.

 – Gail