8 SECONDS OF CRAZY: Bull Riding At Madison Square Garden

Bull Riding PBR Madison Square Garden

Photo: Dashiell Bennett/Business Insider

Last weekend, we got a front row seat to the Professional Bull Riders season-opening event, the Madison Square Garden Invitational.Our impression? Bull-riding is TERRIFYING.

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You may already think that guys who strap themselves on to angry one-ton animals with horns and try to ride them around are a little bit nut, but until you’re up close — and see just how big and unpredictable they really are — you can’t fully appreciate just how difficult and scary bull riding is.

It takes real guts to climb on to one of those things and even greater athleticism to stay on.

Even when you last the full 8 seconds, you’re still a riding bull and have to find a way to get off. The ride ain’t over until the bull says it’s over.

That’s why some fans prefer to root for the animals. The best bucking bulls can become legends.

Pregame pyrotechnics fire up the crowd

Top riders get a rockstar introduction

Time to put away the props and start the riding

Ross Coleman started things off coming out of the gate

Both the rider and the bull are given a score by the judges. The better the bull fights, the higher his number.

Not everyone chooses to wear a helmet, but the protective vest is a must

Ryan Dirteater (great name, btw) prepares for his ride

Josh Koschel was not the only rider to go airborne

A bull turns the tables on a roper trying to bring him in

McKennon Wimberly hangs on tight

The clown's barrel goes thankfully unused

Mike Lee takes on a bull named Sleeper

Riders and crew wait their turn in the chutes

J.B. Mauney survived 8 seconds ... but got tossed anyway

The magic number

But 8 seconds isn't everything. Even a short ride on a tough bull can help rack up the points.

Anchor Man (the bull) gets some serious air (and takes Skeeter Kingsolver with him.)

The confetti is reserved for the rare 90-point ride

Ben Jones caps his big ride with a celebratory dance for the crowd.

Tossed and turned....

Flint, the PBR entertainer, keeps fans busy in between rides

Wranglers everywhere (They are a big sponsor.)

Fully Loaded (that's his name) is fully loaded. What are you looking at?

LJ Jenkins takes Fully Loaded for a spin (or is it the other way around?)

Judges placed around the arena send their scores in electronically, where they're tabulated and posted immediately.

This round up horse helps keeps the bulls in line.

Jordan Hupp watches the replay of his ride from the safety of the chute

Elton Cide had a hell of ride ...

... but every ride ends the same

Oh, so close!

Cody Campbell walks away unscathed. That's all that matters.

Cody Campbell gets a post ride pep talk.

A victorious bull head back into the chute

The season continues ...

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