Jamie Cato, 19, is a bull fighter, but you won’t see him with a matador's a red cape in his hand.
The bull gets a better deal, too.
“If the rider is thrown, it’s the bull fighter’s job to get the bull’s attention,” Catos said after last weekend’s Efland Ruritan Club Rodeo. “If the bull is about to hit the rider, it’s the bull fighter’s job to take the hit.”
The Ruritan Club grew out of the closing of the Efland Elementary School in the late 1970s when residents of the rural Orange County community rallied to buy the property. The aged building was demolished but club members hope to someday build a community center.
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The rodeo, now in its 20th year, attracts thousands over two nights and helps raise money for the club’s community programs.
Cato had a busy night Friday, when no rider was able to successfully stay on a bull.
In the ring, his only protecion is a hard plastic vest he wears under his shirt.
“I haven’t broken anything but I’ve been pretty bruised up,” says Cato, of Whitsett, N.C. “It’s something you’ve got to love. You’ve got to love animals. You’ve got to love an adrenaline rush.”