Bull Riding: Rodeo's Most Dangerous 8 Seconds


185 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 1-55059-179-7
DDC 791.8'4





Reviewed by Matt Hartman

Matt Hartman is a freelance editor and cataloguer, running Hartman Cataloguing, Editing and Indexing Services.


According to Floyd Cowan, a rodeo journalist from Williams Lake, British
Columbia, eight seconds is a long time to ride a bull. More often, a
rider is given a mark of “no time,” thrown off almost immediately as
he and his mount burst out of the chute. Though accusations of animal
cruelty still follow the sport through much of its Western Canadian
competitive circuit, rodeo’s popularity is on the rise in places like
Williams Lake and Luxton, B.C., Calgary, Alberta, and the western United

Cowan uses a common methodology: he interviews his subjects, allowing
them to express in their own words observations about their life “down
the road.” Professional rodeo cowboys, he says, “have to get to 100
or so rodeos a year in order to win enough money to support themselves
and to win sufficient points to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo or
for the World Championships.” Like most good interviewers, Cowan keeps
his own observations to a minimum, concentrating instead on the cowboys
and their fans. Excellent photos, some in color, accompany the text, as
does a four-page glossary of rodeo terminology. For the aficionado.


Cowan, Floyd., “Bull Riding: Rodeo's Most Dangerous 8 Seconds,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/8271.