Reporting Juliet Papa
NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS) - And stepping into the arena on Friday was the very best riders in the world — and that’s no bull!
And as CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reports, these guys take a serious lickin’ — and make a ton of money doing it.
What some call the toughest sport on earth hit Times Square. The top bull riders let loose.
Right in the middle of Broadway, the top 10 riders in the world gave the crowd a show many had never seen before.
“I thought the NFL was tough and they are, but these guys, woah!” one person said.
“It’s really scary being close to the bulls to be honest with you,” another said.
But there’s no fear for these competitors, whose goal is to stay on the bull for 8 seconds.
“It’s the biggest rush you could ever have. It’s better than jumping out of airplanes, racing cars,” rider Shane Proctor said.
With the bulls weighing up to 1,800 pounds, along with the rush, comes a lot of risk.
“I’ve lacerated my liver, collapsed my lung this year, broken bones, torn muscles, about anything you can think of,” rider J.B. Mauney said.
Mauney is ranked second in the world and started riding sheep when he was 3. He’s now in his early 20s and the pay-off has been pretty good.
“Bull riding is definitely dangerous. One in 15 rides you get a new jury of some sort,” Proctor said.
“This is my fifth year in the PBR, and I’ve made $2.5 million just riding bulls,” Mauney said. “It’s what I love doing. There’s a lot of people who wake up in the morning and hate going to their job. I wake up and look forward to going.”
He said most bull riders can only take this kind of punishment into their 30s, and many end up becoming ranchers who start raising the bulls instead of riding them.
The word finals are next week in Las Vegas and the grand prize is $1 million. The riders will be back in New York at Madison Square Garden in January.
Friday’s event will air on CBS 2 on Sunday at 3 p.m.