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November 12, 2012 at 7:35 PM

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Northwest Wanderings: A lot of bull at this school


ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Kody Courtright takes a turn aboard the spring-loaded bull-riding device as instructor Myron Duarte rocks it back and forth at Duarte's school in Jefferson, Ore.



Bull school is not for the bulls. They're not lesson-oriented. They mostly think, "Get off my back."

Bull school is for young riders with hopes of becoming professionals someday.

It's taught by Myron Duarte, formerly ranked No. 1 in the nation, with more buckles and trophies than he can track.



Seven youngsters are getting the fine points of the sport in Jefferson, Ore., from equipment to chute procedures to how to get off the bull.

"It's a dangerous sport," says Duarte, who has broken ribs, arms, shoulders, knees, ankles and his jaw in a two-decade career.

He demonstrates "back straight, chin down, elbow bent and push on your rope."





ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

William Brown, his hand caught in a rope, is dragged after being thrown from a bull. Cody Wildt, left, was able to catch up and free Brown's hand.



Twelve hundred pounds of Bad Bob is packed into the first chute.

The bull's owners at Branton's Arena say "he's more of a pet who just acts all tough and mean." Bad Bob casts a wary eye at the next eight-second passenger.

Duarte says, "If a bull throws a fit, know what to do. Go slow and steady in the chute. It won't upset the bull."



Bad Bob has not gotten the message.

The gate opens. He bolts, snorts, bucks and sends his student rider airborne.

He has his own lesson to impart: This is the school of hard knocks.





ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Twelve-hundred-pound Bad Bob casts a wary eye towards his next rider during Myron Duarte's bull riding school in Jefferson, Ore.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

ALAN BERNER AND GENEVIEVE ALVAREZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES



For more photos, visit the gallery.



Check out other recent NW Wanderings posts:

Headed to the mane attraction

Chain-saw artist sets cedar horses free

Trunk show for a threadbare season

Running with the Rocket Dog pack

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