In Taking Her Chance (one Night with A Cowboy) Chance is a retired bull rider. I’ll be honest, I find bull riding hard to watch. I can get past the idea that the animals are not hurt, but watching the men get tossed around like rag dolls is disturbing to say the least. And yet, the sport fascinates me. I mean, who really wants to climb up on the back of 2,000 pounds of angry, bucking animal and lash one hand to it just to see if you can stay on for 8 seconds? Well, obviously a whole bunch of people do.
Bull related sports reach as far back as ancient Crete where bull leaping was an important part of the Minoan culture. Leapers used the bull’s horns to execute a back flip onto the bull’s back before they dismounted. I first came across this when I read Mary Renault’s The King Must Die.
Fast forward to 16th century Mexico and the development of charreada contests, similar to modern day rodeos, on Mexican ranches. Part of the contests included bull riding contests where the animals were literally ridden to death. This evolved into a contest where the bull was ridden until it ceased bucking. Eventually, as the Wild West Shows gained in popularity in the late 1800′s, steer riding made its way into the repertoire and friendly rodeos between neighbors began occurring.
In 1936 the Cowboy’s Turtle Association was formed in response to rider frustration with poor judges and low prize money. In 1945 they became the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) and then in 1975 changed its name to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). With over 7,000 members, over $38.7 million in prize money was paid out in 2011. In 1992 20 bull riders broke away from the PRCA and formed Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) seeking to highlight bull riding outside of the traditional rodeo lineup of events. With over 1200 members around the world, the PBR hosts over 300 events annually, culminating in the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, NV.
On the PBR (Chance was a retired PBR rider) each ride is scored according to rules outlined on their site:
“The basics: A qualified ride is 8 seconds. The clock starts when the bull’s shoulder or flank breaks the plane of the gate. It ends when the rider‘s hand comes out of the rope, the rider touches the ground, or the rider’s free arm touches the bull (a “slap”). A successful ride will earn a score of 0-100 points. Scores of 90 points or above are considered outstanding.
The method: Four judges rate each rider and each bull on a scale from 1-25. Those points are added together and divided in half to reach a rider score and a bull score of between 0-50. Those numbers are then combined to reach a final ride score between 0-100.
The bull: The bull always receives a score, even if the rider is bucked off. His score is based on his degree of difficulty. Judges look for drop in the front end, kick in the back, spin, and direction changes (as contrasted with spin, this means changes to movement forward or backward, or left to right).
The rider: A rider only receives a score if he lasts the required 8 seconds. Judges look for control – the ability of the rider to successfully counter the moves of the bull. Spurring is not required, but tends to demonstrate control, and will add points to the rider’s score.”
Re-ride: If the bull’s performance is sub-par (negatively affecting the ride score) or if a foul occurs during the ride (the rider is rubbed against the chute, the bull stumbles, the flank strap detaches, etc.) judges can offer the rider a chance to take a re-ride. They will signal a re-ride opportunity by throwing a red flag into the arena.
While bull riding has been an all-male sport, women are beginning to make an attempt to enter the field of play. A woman recently earned the first check (prize money) ever in a PRCA roughstock event. This sets her on the road to qualifying for her PRCA card.
I love the idea of writing a woman bull rider…why yes, my fingers are itching to plot that book. Would you all be interested in reading about a female bull rider? Are there any other untraditional roles you like to see women written in? Leave a comment for your chance to win an ecopy of Taking Her Chance.
Taking Her Chance (One Night With A Cowboy)
Elizabeth Torrence spent the last nine years establishing her career and then building her advertising business from the ground up. The problem is to do that she had to walk away from the one man who could have been the one.
Chance Rogers, a star bull rider on the pro circuit had met the girl he wanted to marry back when he was scampering to rodeos between classes at the University of Texas. After only one date she refused to see him again. One failed marriage later, he is finally ready to try again. So he turns to a dating service to help him get back in to the swing of things.
When Chance walks into the room at the Golden Mustang Dude Ranch, Beth is determined that history will not repeat itself. Not hers and not her mother’s. But will she take her Chance or lose him again?
With a little grunt from him, they landed on the bed and rolled so that his body pinned her beneath him. He broke the kiss and smiled down at her. “Now I’ve got you right where I want you.”
She giggled and pressed a kiss to his jaw, followed by another, and another. Craving the feel of his skin against hers, she began tugging his shirt out of his pants. “Shirt. Off.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He lifted up and knelt, straddling her hips. In short order his shirt disappeared, revealing a toned and sexy chest that cried out for her attention. Beth couldn’t help but lick her lips in anticipation of kissing every inch of his skin.
Before she could put into action her very lusty thoughts, he had the hem of her shirt in his hands, tugging it off. His eyes lit up when he spied her black lace bra. Warm masculine hands gently cupped her breasts on top of the lace and he flicked his thumbs over the distended nipples. Her breath caught in her throat, pleasure shooting from her puckered nubs to her pussy.
“I take it you have matching panties under that nothing of a skirt?” His voice sounded strained, almost a growl.
“Mmmm. I know one way you can find out.” Did she just purr at him? Something about this man made her feel ultra-sexy.
“So do I.” He slid off and stood her up at the side of the bed. With the flick of a wrist her skirt gapped open and slid down her legs. She stood before him in nothing but black lace and a pair of red cowgirl boots. “Dear Lord, give me strength,” he mumbled before suckling one lace-covered breast. Switching to the other side, he cupped her ass and kneaded. All the while, Beth fought the urge to shove him back and cover his torso with kisses. In the end she lost the battle.
With a little cry of frustration, she pushed him back on the bed and clambered over him. With his hips pinned securely under her, she ran her fingers over the flat, disk-like nipples that peeked out from under a light dusting of hair. “Sorry, I couldn’t wait my turn.” She waggled her eyebrows and bent over to trace the path her fingers took with her tongue.
“By all means.” He groaned and gripped her hips as she teased his nipples. His big hands slid around and gripped her ass, grinding her against his trapped erection. She moaned and swirled her hips. Moving down his torso, she found the impediment of his belt buckle. Dipping her tongue into his belly button, she worked the buckle loose and then opened his jeans.
Oh glory be! The man went commando. Eager now to fully unwrap her present, she yanked his pants down his legs and discovered that he still had his boots on. Double damn. For the moment she would work around it. Turning back to his exposed cock she licked her lips in anticipation. He was beautifully made—long enough to give her pause and thick enough that her fingers just missed connecting. And best of all, he was hers, at least for tonight.