The headlines of stories this week about the Cracker Day rodeo at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand were about a woman who was trampled and gored by a bull, but what we found more interesting was a statement by a spectator.
John Weideman-Beal told WESH Ch. 2 that before the bull was released from the chute he saw something odd: “I saw one of the handlers reach down in there, and I don’t know if they cattle-prodded it or what, and it went from a little ornery to bucking, kicking and shewing, and I said, ‘That is one crazy bull. Somebody is going to get hurt.’”
It’s common for rodeo organizers to talk about “mean bulls” and the bucking “instinct” of bulls. It’s less common for a member of the public to spot the bucking straps, electro-shock prods or the tail-twisting that provoke animals into displaying wild behavior.