Dom Joly: Why cows fear me down Mexico way

Weird World of Sport: The crowd went nuts, why wouldn't they? They were about to see a gringo get killed

Related Topics

This week I'm in Calgary, Canada. Sadly, I just missed the famous Calgary Stampede by three days. I'm actually not quite sure what it is but I'm fairly confident that it's nothing like the "running of ze bulls" in Pamplona. The Canadians are a little more concerned with "'elf 'n' safety" than our Spanish compadres.

I happened to be in Pamplona once while ze bulls were being "run". I seem to remember briefly considering taking part. Then I realised that the reason I was considering it was because I was very drunk.

I must have been in that weird frontier-land of drunkenness where being chased by sharp-horned bulls down slippery medieval streets seemed like quite a good idea – but not quite good enough to actually go through with it. In the end I sat precariously on a wall watching several people wish that they'd made the same decision as me.

Back here in Calgary, it tends to be a bit more "cow action" with everybody dressed up as cowboys sitting around on hay bales shouting "yee-ha" a lot.

They do however have an amazing rodeo. This is definitely one of the most rewarding spectator sports in the world. I've seen them in various venues around the globe and they all come down to the same thing – annoy the hell out of whatever your most ferocious animal might be and then plonk the local youth on it to see how long they can stay out of hospital.

They should do this down my way, in Cirencester – "The Cotswold Rodeo"– you could come and see polo players ride off against the local Asbos. They could ride a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. I must mention it to the council next time I'm disputing a parking ticket.

I did once take part in a rodeo. It was in Mexico and, I'm ashamed to say that alcohol was to blame again. We were filming, there was tequila about and I got too excited. One thing led to another and I found myself dressed up in full Mexican cowboy gear, on a horse with an angry cow about to be released.

In Mexico they don't mess about – they ride their horse hard after said cow, attempt to grab its tail and, using the momentum of the horse, flip it over. Even describing this sounds crazy but I watched several cowboys do it very efficiently. Then I turned up in the ring. The crowd went mental – why wouldn't they? They were about to see a gringo get killed, what could be better?

I'm actually not that bad on a horse but that's when I'm cantering about fields, not in a Mexican kill zone. I found it difficult enough even keeping my huge, silly hat on. The crowd were howling with laughter. I got the signal that the mad cow was on his way and "Baaaamm", the gate flew open and he shot past me.

I spurred my horse and we were off. Adrenaline kicked in and I was flying. I could hear the roar of the crowd. The cameras were rolling – surely this would knock Ross Kemp off his hardman perch?

I caught up with Señorita Buttercup – some primeval instinct took over and I leant down with one hand to try to grab the tail. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do once I had it but there wasn't a huge amount of time to think. Suddenly, there was a weird squidgy feeling that I couldn't really explain and the cow suddenly bolted to the right and out of my reach. I pulled my horse up to a stop. My honour was saved. I had done my best. The crowd were roaring their appreciation and I raised my hand to acknowledge them.

It was at this moment that I noticed faeces all down my arm. It seemed that I had somehow missed the tail and ended up elbow deep in the cow's arse. No wonder it turned away. I saluted the crowd with my bullshit-covered arm and slunk off to the cerveza tent. Thankfully, the footage was never shown and Ross Kemp remains king of the pirates.

Back in Calgary and we were invited to a "hoedown" where I was offered the opportunity to ride a "semi-crazy" horse (under close supervision of course.) I turned down the offer and pointed our RV towards them thar' hills, we'd got some camping to do. I could see that my kids were a little disappointed in me. If only they knew...

Forget the Open, it's Frisbee golf for me

Desperate for something to do in our desolate campsite, I have discovered the world of Frisbee golf. It's bloody fantastic. Why have I never played this sport before? I'm setting up a course the moment I get home.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Clean energy should be our mission to the moon

Martin Rees
Angela Merkel and David Cameron say goodbye in the Bundeskanzleramt after their meeting in Berlin, Germany, 29 May 2015  

The complacency of Europhiles could lose them the referendum

Steve Richards
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral