Weipa’s Annual Bull Ride

Joey and I attended the Bull Ride last night. I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. A part of me feels it is a little bit mean to the animals, but I do quite enjoy the whole spectacle, especially when the bulls get a bit cheeky and play games and won’t leave the ring.

In a small community such as Weipa, events like this spark such excitement in most people. Whether it be because they know someone riding, they look forward to a good drinking session, they simply see it as a chance to buy donuts, or in my case the people watching.

Donuts are a staple fundraising for different groups around town at the local events and everyone talks about them. Coming from someone who lived close to a shopping centre that had 2 donut king shops, where you can get free donuts if you buy a coffee, it seems a strange thing to be excited about. And an even stranger thing to just go to an event and pay your $15 entry fee so you can buy donuts. I overheard someone at work saying they were just going to pop down to buy donuts!

As the weekend drew closer, talk at the schools I worked at revolved around who was going to the bull ride and surprisingly to me the children as young as 5 years old at day care were talking about who was riding……. What the hell???
This is so foreign to me, one girl in year 4 said she was riding for the first time this year. When I enquired how she got into it, she simply said “My dad asked if I wanted to ride”. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the children’s riding events. But we did see the whip cracking contest.

But we saw plenty of action in the juniors and novice events. One rider got his hand caught and couldn’t get free. The real heroes on the night are the rodeo clown or the safety response teams as they were referred to here in Weipa. These guys are next level crazy – I’d love to hear how they decided to make this job their career choice!

It seemed like this riders hand was stuck for such a longtime, I can’t imagine how long it felt for him! The facial expressions of everyone, the bull included add to the drama.

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The man was eventually freed and walked away with a slight limp and most probably a few battle wounds that were not visable to us spectators.

As I said before this whole concept is pretty foreign to me and I ask again, how do people end up doing this?

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