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).
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.
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.
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!