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Monika Steiner, Escholzmatt, Switzerland (my translation from German): I have been watching bull riding videos on YouTube now and then for some time. There, you often see that a bell has been attached to the bull with a string and it falls off as soon as the bull has thrown the rider off. I have tried to find out via Google what the purpose of this bell is. Unfortunately, I have not read anything about a bell anywhere here either. Can you explain it for me?

To be sure that my answer is right, I have passed your question on to a real expert: the Swiss bull rider Stefan Haltiner, who knows a lot more about bull riding than I do (I have only rode bareback myself). I have seen a lot of times that the bell is attached to the bull rope which the rider uses for holding himself in position on the bull. Therefore, the bell falls off together with the bull rope when the rider lets go of it when he gets off the bull. According to Stefan, the bell only serves as a weight to make the bull rope heavier so that it gets away from the bull as soon as possible when the rider is down. This is to prevent that the bull gets it around his legs and stumbles. The sound of the bell does not bother the bull in any way; that they use a bell for this purpose is just a tradition.


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