June 9, 2022
Hello! My name is Amelia, and I moved from Edmonton to Lethbridge in the spring of 2021. I have enjoyed exploring Lethbridge, especially the dog parks and natural spaces. I will often visit dog parks like Peenaquim Park and RiverStone Dog Park with my Chiweenie Mia.
Since moving here, I hadn’t attended an event held at the ENMAX Centre, so when I was asked to take photos for the Professional Bull Riders Canada Cup Series on August 27th, 2021, I jumped at the opportunity! After lockdowns and restrictions, it was nice to get out and enjoy an event with others in a large-scale environment. I had forgotten how fun it was to be in an arena with all the sights and smells of a bull riding event; popcorn popping, food cooking, people laughing and a flurry of cowboy hats!
We were standing right up to the fence and noticed a small cage in the middle of the arena. This barred area was about a metre tall, with a couple of steps down into the cage. Then we noticed the cameraman inside this cage and realized he would be in there throughout the event! I felt like I was pretty close to the action, but to be in there would be next-level submergence!
The event started off with a bang, literally! They had fireworks, fire, music, and while they introduced the Bull Riders, they spelt out PBR in the fire right in front of us! As the smoke cleared, the bull riding began, and since we were right outside the arena, we could see the action up close, bulls kicking, cowboy hats flying, and the crowd cheering. One of my favourite parts (aside from the bull riding itself, of course!) was watching the bullfighters. They did such a great job keeping the rider safe while keeping the audience engaged. That job would scare the living daylights out of me, but they did it all night!
I was also impressed with the cowboy and his horse, who would rope the bull to guide him into the back if he wasn’t cooperating. I don’t know how he and the horse stayed so calm with the bull kicking and spitting everywhere. I would have been like, “no way, get me out of here,” but they both did a great job wrangling the bull out of the arena. After the intermission, we were allowed in the back to take photos of the bull riding from right behind the chute. This also meant that we were right next to the bulls locked up in their pens, and those guys are huge and very intimidating, even from behind a fence. I can’t begin to think about riding one! Throughout the night, I also enjoyed learning what all the bull’s names were. Here are some examples Smash, Hot Tamale and Muzzle Blast.
As we watched the second half of the bull riding, we had the opportunity to see Callum Miller from Australia win! The bull riding itself looks very difficult, but I didn’t realize just how many behind the scene details are involved in overseeing and coordinating a PBR event. It’s not just a sport, but it is an event with many moving parts, interviews, televised portions, sending fireworks off at the right time etc. You have to be very organized to help run PBR, and I was very impressed with how all the moving parts fit together into a seamless event.
After the bull riding, we left the arena with everyone else; the popcorn machines had stopped, food consumed, and the cowboy hats and boots left the building, concluding an unforgettable night out at the ENMAX Centre!