Bull Riding for Charity

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Photo courtesy of Crown Royal.
Steve Woolsey makes money for charity every time he stays on a bull.
Injuries are a part of the cowboy life. If you stay in it long enough you will get hurt. It's a simple fact, cowboy Steve Woolsey says. On the back of a bull, everything is reaction, living in the moment. "It's an awesome sport, and if you haven't done it it's hard to explain what it actually feels like. There's nothing else like it," Woolsey said.

If you've ever seen bull riding, staying on the bull is a feat measured in seconds. Well, now when four cowboys - Woolsey, Wesley Silcox, Cody Whitney and Tilden Hooper, all sponsored by Crown Royal -- stay on their bulls for eight seconds, not only are they qualifying for ranking but they are also earning money for charity. Crown Royal has pledged to donate $200 to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund for every eight seconds each cowboy stays on his bull.

The fund is set up to help out cowboys who have been injured while rodeoing. At the professional level, cowboys are making their living by getting into the ring and winning, but what happens when they can't ride? In rodeoing, it's not a question of if a cowboy will be injured, it's a matter of when. "I've had broken bones, broken legs, broken face, broken collarbone. When it happens you're sitting there trying to figure out how you're going to make money. That's where the fund comes in," Silcox said. "We don't have any other income when we aren't riding."

Bull riding can be a dangerous life, but both Silcox and Wooley say they plan on staying in it as long as they can. "There's freedom. I get to what I want when I want," Woolsey says. They're part of a dying profession, the cowboys who get out there and make a living in the saddle.

Riding a bull well is like no other feeling in the world, Silcox said, but riding and knowing when it's over that he's helped put a little money by for someone in his profession makes it even better. Woolsey agreed. "You try not to think about anything when you're on a bull, but it makes me feel good know that every time I stay on, I can help out the guys that are injured and having a rough time," Woolsey said.

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