Bull riding at the Chenango County Fair

When the fair comes to town it brings with it countless stories. One of those stories involves a rodeo.

Romulo Campos was one of the few bull riders to last the entire duration: 8 seconds.

That is the ultimate goal for the sport. The rider has to stay atop a 1,600-pound bull as it rages around a small ring. Most the riders at the Chenango County Fair’s Throw Down Rodeo lasted a little more than half that.

Once your 8 seconds are up, all you have to do is fall off the bull, avoid the spastic kicks and horn thrusts, get on your feet and climb over the nearest fence as quickly as you can.

I met Campos only a few moments after he climbed over the rodeo fence, behind him a man in a bright red shirt ran by and an enormous bull roared past after him. The grandstand crowd cheered.

Romulo dusted off his cowboy leathers and jeans, he casually glanced over his shoulder.

As he removed a bright yellow helmet with a metal face mask and a regulation-required reinforced body vest, I asked him if what he did was hard.

“No, I love it, so no,” he said with a proud smile.

He waved his hand in the air at the ridiculous notion of having been asked.

He slapped on his cowboy hat, then with a reluctant shrug and grin, he admitted, “Sometimes.”

Romulo told me he’s been riding bulls for 20 years, and was introduced to the sport by his family when he was 5-years old and living in Brazil. In his two decades of experience he’s traveled all over North America, and on occasion, to world-wide competitions. He’s won several state competitions and was winner of the Double M Rodeo in Baston Spa, New York, for three consecutive years.

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