1 00:00:10,900 --> 00:00:52,295 G'day, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I have an amazing episode for you, guys. Today, I chat with bull rider Ruth Vogelsang, hopefully I've said that surname correctly. Ruth Vogelsang. So, I saw her the other day on ABC News, there was a story about her and her taking up the sport of bull riding in Australia and also competing over in the U.S. So, I thought as we had spoken recently about bronc riding, buck jumping and bull riding in Australia and Australian history, it would be amazing to get Ruth on the podcast and learn about how she ended up doing this incredibly insane sport, at least in my eyes, it seems just absolutely crazy. 2 00:00:52,750 --> 00:00:56,283 Anyway, without any further ado, I give you bull rider Ruth Vogelsang. 3 00:01:02,590 --> 00:01:30,666 Yeah, I've got into it just by seeing an article in the paper at work, sorry, an article in the paper at work, and yeah, I just thought I'd give it a crack, it was just a bull riding clinic and yeah. And, so I just wanted to give it a crack and kind of got the passion for it, yeah, rode two bulls in the clinic, had a great time, loved it and then went and competed in the rodeo the next weekend. 4 00:01:30,913 --> 00:01:37,610 Far out. So, alright. Starting from the start. Ruth you're from W.A. How did you end up in Kununurra? 5 00:01:39,130 --> 00:01:52,105 I'm actually from South Australia, but I've been working and travelling for the last ten years and, so just been, so after uni I went to Alice, then cruised around W.A, up the W.A. coast and then... yeah, made my way to Kununurra. 6 00:01:55,440 --> 00:01:57,000 And what are you doing there at the moment for work? 7 00:01:58,480 --> 00:01:59,662 I'm a medical scientist, so I work in a hospital. 8 00:02:01,180 --> 00:02:08,380 I was totally expecting you to be like 'oh I'm working on a ranch, you know, or just on a cattle station, just part time or something' I was like that's how she ended up doing the bull riding. 9 00:02:08,381 --> 00:02:36,460 Yeah, I know, a lot of people think that and that's fine, but that's also what I love about it as well. It's so different from my job and and well it couldn't be more different really, but it also takes me back to my roots as well, I come from the country and so, you know, I love being around cattle and livestock. So, yeah it's just great to have the opportunity to get back into that kind of scene again. 10 00:02:37,060 --> 00:02:46,350 So, what was it like when you first did it and was it something that you'd wanted to do for a very long time, bull riding or was it just that opportunity came up and you were like 'you know what? Screw it, I'm going to do it'? 11 00:02:48,050 --> 00:03:10,699 Yeah, pretty much, actually. So, I'd done Spain, like a couple of years beforehand and when I was over there I was like 'man I'd love to just ride one, you know?' And, yeah, when I came back that opportunity kind of presented itself, but in like a really safe environment. So, like at a clinic, like, you know, not just going to a station and jumping off one in the paddock kind of thing. 12 00:03:10,874 --> 00:03:28,806 Man, I don't think I'd be I wouldn't be keen to jump home on wherever it was, but how do they make it safer at something like a clinic in terms of, I guess, building you up from just being, you know, your average medical student to being someone who can hold on to a bull hopefully nine seconds, right? What are the steps in between that? 13 00:03:30,830 --> 00:03:51,730 Also, like, particularly safety is well so, you know, they've got the gear there, like, you know, I just borrowed it off of, like, some other the fellows there that have done it before. So, you know, the vest and the helmet and, you know, how you put your hand in the rope and how you get on safely off kind of, you know, that's not really voluntary, it just happens. 14 00:03:52,910 --> 00:03:58,239 Are there tricks to it, though? Like, is there a way of getting off it safely if you see that you're about to be dismounted? 15 00:04:00,510 --> 00:04:19,411 Yeah. Well, the first thing is is to get your hand out of the rope. That's the number one, don't get caught up and dragged along, but then obviously you will try to land on your feet, you know, just flick your leg across as it's going up for a buck and that's generally the safest way, then you get enough air to be able to land on your feet. 16 00:04:21,410 --> 00:04:23,879 Does that happen very often or is that most of the time not as easy as that? 17 00:04:25,561 --> 00:04:38,089 That's only happened once twice and literally jumped through the air like a freaking champion after I've done it, but yeah, no, most of the time never happens like that. 18 00:04:38,750 --> 00:04:50,096 So, what was that first ride like? I assume it was at the clinic that you actually got to do a proper... I don't even know what you would call that specific moment where you get to actually try and hold them for nine seconds. Is it just quote a ride? 19 00:04:51,760 --> 00:05:27,221 Yes, so just bull ride and it was freaking amazing, I'd never had like a rush like it before. Especially because I didn't know what I was expecting as well. So, and I had no expectations, but just the adrenaline was huge, you couldn't wipe the smile off my face if you tried, couldn't slap it off my face. Just really enjoyed it and really enjoyed hanging out behind the chutes and helping all the other fellows put their ropes on and yeah, just really like working with cattle and working in the backyards. 20 00:05:28,370 --> 00:05:41,449 So, how do they end up getting these kinds of bulls, I guess, aggro enough to be able to do this, right? Because they're not just average bull that they've just pulled out of a stockyard, right? They're specifically bred and quite quite trained. I assume. 21 00:05:43,330 --> 00:05:59,699 In America they're all very well trained and bred for it, but in country Australian and specifically the tough end, not specific, I guess, it happens everywhere, but a lot of our ones here they are scrub bulls, so they are actually wild animals. 22 00:05:59,790 --> 00:06:10,629 Oh my God, really? So they're not even just off the ranch or off the cattle station, they've actually gone out of their way to find a feral one that's never had a person anywhere near it and then they like 'just jump on top, we'll see what happens'. 23 00:06:12,119 --> 00:06:24,400 They get mustered into the yards and out on whatever station they're from. They'll get a flank rope on them and see if they can actually buck and if they can and they'll be left righto, you're going to the rodeo. 24 00:06:26,170 --> 00:06:32,613 So, what happens is a bit of a let down if it can't buck properly, I take it, it just gets out there and you just like yeah, too easy! Nine seconds, boom! 25 00:06:34,560 --> 00:07:00,710 Yeah, pretty much. And, so the goal is eight actually, not but yeah. So, most of the time they're pretty good and like once you put a flank rope on them, like that will generally get them to buck, plus, you know, having a person on them, like they're a horse, it's not like they're saddle broken. So, you know, nothing really wild or...and even most horses, like, they don't want a person on them. So, the game is to get them off. 26 00:07:01,350 --> 00:07:06,570 And have you done both? Have you done buck jumping or bronc riding, is it now cold in Australia where you're on a horse or? 27 00:07:08,070 --> 00:07:14,489 No, I've never done that and I don't think I ever want to. Bull riding is enough for me, to me, saddle bronc is way more dangerous. 28 00:07:16,160 --> 00:07:29,640 Really? I was totally expecting it to be the other way, because the bulls, obviously, look a lot larger and like they would screw you up with their, you know, with their horns and everything, but it's way worse on a horse, is it? Because they can buck more powerfully or something or? 29 00:07:31,380 --> 00:08:02,850 Kind of, like it's each to their own, like a heap of bronc riders will never get on a bull and a heap of bull ride will never get on a bronc, we all got our preferences, I guess, but, yeah , I just think there's more things to get, personally for me, I just think there's more things to get caught up on, you know, caught up on a bull rope, whereas saddle bronc you can get caught up on the rope, on stirrups on the girth on the back strap, I don't know, there's just too much going on. 30 00:08:03,420 --> 00:08:13,279 And, so what can go wrong? So, what are the things that you kind of have to have in your mind when you first get put on the bull and it's about to be let out of the stock or, the cage right? 31 00:08:14,529 --> 00:09:27,201 More can go wrong than can go right. The, I guess, the initial one is in the chute. So, it's really important you've got a good chute procedure, where you're not hanging around, you're not disrupting the bull too much, like you get on there you...because the more time you're in there the more, you know, you don't want to stress the animal out, you don't want to hurt the bull, you don't want them to get angry or upset. The whole point is to get in there and get out. So, pretty much being efficient with how you do you do chute procedure by getting in. Making sure like, and a lot of the time as well like you've got to let the animal know that you're there, so you know, it's putting your feet or your hands on its back just so, you know, it knows that your body weight is coming, rather than just jumping straight on the poor thing, but yeah, so and then getting in, being as calm and smooth movements as possible, so you're not doing any jolting movements to upset the animal. And yeah, and then once you're out just as soon as come off to get out the bloody way. 32 00:09:28,720 --> 00:09:32,836 So, have you had any close calls where you've seen your life flash before your eyes? 33 00:09:33,206 --> 00:09:59,610 Yes. So, my first real close call was in Noonamah, up in Darwin, and I came off and I could still hear him really close, and I could hear him coming and I was already getting up anyway and I took off. So, yeah, I did sprints as a kid and, you know, when I was growing up, so I really needed those skills. 34 00:09:59,730 --> 00:10:13,750 So, is a lot of the training as well, obviously, not just holding onto the bull and trying to say that you can maintain that, but also obviously dismounting and then getting out of there as well or you just kind of, you just leave that to take care of itself when and if it happens? 35 00:10:14,010 --> 00:11:08,350 Nah, not, I don't really practice the dismount so much, but I do practice like, you know, rolling. So, the way you fall is very important. So, if you are falling just on one part of your body, that's one part of your body that's taking all of the impac, so you know, practicing your roll, so when you when you fall, roll, and then when you're on the ground, get the hell out of there, get up, get going and don't hang around because then you're not only putting yourself in danger, but you're putting the bull fighters in danger. So, they're there to protect the animal and the cowboy, in my case cowgirl, but if you're too slow to get up or if you're not making an effort to get out of there, you're then putting that bull fighter or in danger as well. 36 00:11:08,990 --> 00:11:11,749 Because he has to stay in there longer and try and distract the bull. 37 00:11:12,700 --> 00:11:34,330 Yeah. He's staying in there the whole time. So, and you know, there's generally two of them, so one one's job is to help take the bull to the exit chute, make sure once he's done his job he goes back out the back and goes and gets his feed of hay, and then the other one is to protect the rider. 38 00:11:35,260 --> 00:11:44,500 So what do they do? How often do the same bulls get ridden? Do they get multiple rides every time there's a show or rodeo or something or is it just the one time and that's it? 39 00:11:46,339 --> 00:11:47,549 Yeah, in a knot. They just get one go. 40 00:11:47,550 --> 00:11:50,630 Yeah, okay. In order to stop them from stressing out. 41 00:11:51,460 --> 00:12:09,540 Yes. Just because...especially in a rodeo, there's a lot going on, like it's a lot of you know stimulus for any animal, even for a horse that does barrel racing. You know, there's a lot going on, there is a P.A. system, there's a crowd, there's... You know, that there's a lot going on and, so they just go through once. 42 00:12:10,419 --> 00:12:20,619 So, do you know which bulls you're going to be on or is it totally random in terms of who selects them and when? And you can't really prepare for a specific animal or anything like that, it's just it's just bad or good luck. 43 00:12:22,030 --> 00:13:00,242 Yep pretty much. In Australia, it's... you have luck of the draw, you get what comes up the chute. So, you know, if you're number eight, you get the eight bull that rocks up into the laneway, but in the U.S. that was quite a few times where we got drawn. So, if I was a local, I would have known which bull I had, but obviously being from Australia I had no idea, and then if you ride opens here as well, often they will do a pre-draw. So, they'll give you a... like, yeah, they'll have an open bull already assigned to you, but I don't ride open, so... 44 00:13:02,200 --> 00:13:04,058 What's the difference exactly between the two? 45 00:13:05,210 --> 00:13:16,270 Well, open bulls like they're very well-trained bulls. They're the ones that, you know, and they're... and like they're the ranked bulls as well, so they've been trained buck, like, they're good bulls. . 46 00:13:20,665 --> 00:13:25,755 Good or bad, right? I feel like there's positive and negative language being used here where it's probably the inverse, right? 47 00:13:26,990 --> 00:13:35,900 Yeah. They're, you know, that they are great bucking bulls, but also they've got a bit more testosterone going on, you know. There may turn back and get you. 48 00:13:37,111 --> 00:13:52,009 Far out. So, what was it like when you got on the scene here in Australia too? Is there much gender conflict or competition that goes on too between the girls and the guys who do this kind of sport or because the guys have been doing it longer? What's it like? 49 00:13:54,240 --> 00:14:54,330 You know, especially when I first started, like it's very much and always has been quite the boys club. You know, there was never any girls doing it when like at every rodeo or every clinic, it was just me and, so I guess maybe I did get treated a bit differently. So, you know, I didn't always feel like I was very welcomed, but you know now that I've been around the scene for a little bit longer like a lot of the fellas know me and, you know, and like I work just as hard back behind the chutes as they do, like, so I feel like I've earned my place a bit more, and it's it's a lot about...yeah, respect back there as well. Like, if you're in there just for yourself like that's kind of... Their response that you get as well, whereas if if you are there and if you want to learn and if you want to help out and if you're, you know, doing the right thing back there, they'll respect you a lot. 50 00:14:55,370 --> 00:15:01,058 So, you really do have to just kind of show that you you mean to do well and you're going to work hard and then it's kind of like 'ok, you're one of us'. 51 00:15:02,990 --> 00:15:19,366 Yeah, exactly. Whereas in the U.S.there was a lot of female riders, they even have a woman's PBR. So ,you know, being a female rocking up back behind the chutes is not really a big deal at all to them, they're like 'oh yeah, cool'. 52 00:15:22,020 --> 00:15:30,439 Is Australia then just sort of 10 or so years behind in terms of a bull riding, right? They'll eventually get big enough that they'll have more women doing it and it becomes a normal thing? 53 00:15:31,860 --> 00:16:46,370 Yeah, I really hope so. I hope this is kind of the bit of a trend change where yeah, there are more females that can do it now because it's not such a boys club anymore. I mean, it's a tough sport. Every time you run you're going to hit the dirt and so if you're prepared to hit the dirt and if you're prepared to get back on again, that's respect enough that you're willing to give it a crack and do the best that you can, but also, at the same time, like one of the biggest challenges as well is when you're learning, you need to get on bulls that are at your level, because if you're getting on these ranked bulls when you're only learning, it's going to crush your confidence if not injure you. Well, in a lot of the parts of Australia there's not really that option. You don't have practice pens like you do in the U.S. You don't have a lot of different grades of bulls, you kind of just get what you're given. So, that is tough. 54 00:16:47,440 --> 00:17:00,360 And, so what's the ultimate goal? Are you hoping to move over to the U.S. and obviously dive into bull riding over there? Because it sounds like it's a better or more developed, I guess, thing over there compared to here. 55 00:17:02,150 --> 00:17:21,523 I've travelled a lot and I love travelling and I love spending time in a different country, but I always call Australia home, like I'll never move, but yeah, I'd love to go back over there again and compete with the girls or the guys, just because it was so much fun and I had such a great time, but yeah, I'd still come back. 56 00:17:25,660 --> 00:17:31,729 Is it still... And is it a full time career prospect for you? You leave medical science behind and be like 'screw this'. 57 00:17:33,560 --> 00:18:04,913 No bloody way. I love my job and, you know, bull riding, especially in Australia, it's certainly not a career choice, and I also like that the nature of the sport as well, you know, it's not if you get hurt, it's when and how badly. So, you know, I've had plenty of bruises and and I've been feeling like, you know, felt pretty battered, but it's yeah... 58 00:18:05,720 --> 00:18:14,011 I read in the article, right? You screwed up your shoulder and tore your, what was it? The crucial ligament or something in your shoulder and you have to get surgery on that. 59 00:18:14,180 --> 00:18:25,180 My AC joint yes, so the bone completely separated from the joint and the ligaments were torn and yes, it was pretty painful, and I was on a bloody horse, I wasn't even on a bull. 60 00:18:26,959 --> 00:18:28,467 Oh, really? So, you fell off a horse when that happened, did you? 61 00:18:28,850 --> 00:18:39,221 Yeah, I was riding along and yeah the horse fell and I went down with it and, so yeah, that was pretty shit, but nevermind. These things happen. 62 00:18:39,860 --> 00:18:46,222 Far out, so that's funny, though, that obviously one of the most significant injuries that you've received hasn't been on the back of a bull it',s been on just a horse when you were just chilling out. 63 00:18:46,980 --> 00:19:16,822 Exactly. So, yeah, I've been really lucky so far, touch wood, that I haven't had a huge injury on the bull just yet, but yeah, like I said it, is a dangerous sport. Things happen, I've seen plenty of people, you know with broken bones from from bull riding and worse, unfortunately, but you know, it's what it is. 64 00:19:16,910 --> 00:19:22,800 When do you call it a day? When will it be enough? Once you get to that, you know, 'this is just too easy'. 65 00:19:23,100 --> 00:19:41,750 I don't think it's ever going to be easy and it's certainly not an easy sport, that's for sure or easy on the body, but I'll give up when I don't enjoy it anymore or, you know, if this hurts too much. 66 00:19:42,204 --> 00:19:51,258 Far out, final question: what would you say to anyone listening right now, just thinking of, you know, potentially doing this one day? How would they get into riding, the sport of bull riding? 67 00:19:52,560 --> 00:20:31,329 I would recommend doing what I did and doing like going to a clinic or school like a safe learning environment to do it. A lot of fellows I know, especially like station guys, they've just gone the whole hog and gone into a rodeo and those poor buggers like they really have come in worse than what was probably intended. So, yeah go to a school or a clinic anywhere, a lot of places host them. Then that way you get a bit of instruction. I mean, you still getting that same rush. It's great fun, I highly recommend it. 68 00:20:32,570 --> 00:20:36,082 Far out! Well, Ruth thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it. 69 00:20:36,083 --> 00:20:37,960 No worries, Thanks for having me. 70 00:20:44,390 --> 00:20:58,073 Alright, guys! I hope you enjoyed this episode today with Ruth Vogelsang. Thank you so much again Ruth for coming on the podcast, it was a pleasure. It was an incredibly busy day for Ruth at work there, but I managed to get her for 20 minutes during her lunch break. 71 00:20:58,099 --> 00:21:10,335 Anyway, guys if you're interested in taking up bull riding in Australia, go find a clinic somewhere near you where you can get started, and let me know how you go, you know, it's a pretty crazy sport so definitely send me some photos. 72 00:21:11,660 --> 00:21:14,017 Anyway, guys. Thanks for joining me. I'll chat to you soon. Peace!