Cy Cole is dead silent as he grips the rope with his right hand covered with a red and blue glove.
Suddenly, the chute door swings open and a bull with Cy atop of it flies out, dipping and bucking trying to throw off the 10-year-old rider.
After 8 seconds that seemed to last an eternity, the horn blows signaling he made a successful ride and Cy rolls off the bull.
Immediately after the bull is led from the arena, Cy begins dancing.
At 10 years old Cy is a veteran bull rider.
This day he was competing in the 11 and under steer division at the Texas Christian Junior Bull Riding All Region Rodeo in Seguin.
He started riding bulls five years ago when they were at the Tejas Rodeo in Bulverde and Cy was riding sheep. A rodeo organizer “came up to me and said Cy just came over here and he wants us to put one of the calves in the chute.” his mother, Chantelle Girdy, recalled. “He was 5,” she added with a chuckle.
Since that day, Cy has not stopped riding.
“I have won 30 something times” said Cy, a fourth-grader at Schorlemmer Elementary School.
Cy said when he is in the chute “I try not to get too nervous and get ready and get out,” but he admits to being nervous at times.
Things are a little different for Cy’s mother watching from the stands.
“I get extremely nervous that’s when I start praying.”
And when the chute opens,“It goes straight to ‘ride Cy ride’.”
And then after it is over “it’s a relief, you can breathe.”
Riding bulls is not without its dangers. He has been injured a few times, including being thrown “like 30 feet in the air,” he said.
“With bull riding, it’s not if you’re going to get hurt, but when,” said Girdy. “I tell him if at any point you are too afraid or too nervous where you can’t ride, then don’t get on the bull.”
When asked why she lets her son participate in the sport, she said it is no more dangerous than football, soccer, or baseball, which he also plays.
“What do you do? Tell a kid he can’t fulfill his dream?” said Girdy. “The only thing I can do is support him and make sure he is as safe as can be.”
Cy doesn’t plan to stop riding any time soon. When asked, he paused, looked up with a big smile and said “When I am 50.”