Friday, December 26, 2008

Bored Toros, Excited Toros, Happy Toros, Sleepy Toros

So I went to my first Nicaraguan Rodeo a couple weeks ago. It runs through the last few weeks of December in a wooden stadium built just for the event (although I believe the materials are not just for the event, they look pretty well used).

Bidder's Box at the Rodeo

You can sit above on an elevated platform that circles the ring and pay just over a dollar, or pay just under a dollar and stand to one side of the ring, or inside the ring.

Yep, that's right. Almost everyone inside the ring (and it's a lot of people) are fare paying public. Nope, I guess they aren't worried about insurance costs.

Negotiations and Instructions

A rider, who is a member of the public and decides he wants to ride a bull for about $5 (depending on the bull) has just negotiated his exact pay with the owner, the man in the red shirt. He gets a little friendly advice before dropping down onto the bull.

It was then I found out while they're willing to ride this bull.

Run, No Seriously!

Other bulls are a little feistier and no one is willing to ride for the price offered.

Each event (there are about three per day), is about three hours long with 5 minutes of 'riding' and 10 minutes of negotiation for each bull.

The bulls all have a rope tied across their torso. I'm not entirely sure what it does but was told it constricts blood flow. When it's released, apparently that makes them a little bit upset... or something, I'm not really sure why the buck a little more after that. But I don't know anyone else who really knows either.

I left before the evening event, which is apparently a bit more raucous (beer bottles flying in a poorly lit arena and much more pickpocketing), but it was still worth every dollar I paid!

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