Ride mechanical bull at county fair

Not everyone is cut out to ride a real bull, but many can hold their own on one that runs on electricity.

The public, children and adults alike, will have the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull at this year’s Madison County Fair. The attraction will run from about 2 p.m. until closing each day of the fair, July 6-12. The fairgrounds are located off of Elm Street and Garfield Avenue in London.

“We’ve been trying for two years to find someone with a mechanical bull,” said Les Walters, a member of the Madison County Senior Fair Board. “A lot of them were already booked or don’t want to travel because of the fuel prices.”

The fair board finally found Alisha and Jared Porter, owners of Think U Can Ride out of Peebles in southern Ohio. The Porters and their bull have been traveling to fairs, festivals and private parties for two years.

“It goes over very well,” said Alisha of the attraction.

For $5, fairgoers will get three rides on the bull. Jared keeps things tame for the first ride, speeds things up a little for the second, then asks riders just how much he should crank it up for the last go-round.

“The bull bounces back and forth, side to side, and does a belly roll,” he said. “It’s a pretty simple machine. There are three knobs—one that controls the speed of the spin, one for the speed of the buck, and one for going left or right.”

Before anyone climbs on the bull, the Porters give them a few pointers:

• “When the bull’s head goes down, you lean back. When the bull’s head goes up, you go forward,” Alisha said.

• Squeeze with your legs.

• Don’t try to hold on with two hands. Put one hand in the air for balance.

The ride is safe for people of all ages, even small children. The Porters never allow children to be bucked off. Adults who fall land on a cushiony 18×18-foot air mat that is 2 feet thick.

“We just wanted to try something new. We’re really excited about this,” Walters said.

As a side project, the Senior Fair Board is thinking about setting out jars at the fair labeled with certain fair personalities’ names. The person whose jar has the most money at the end of the fair would have to ride the bull.

“The money would go into an account that we would like to start for a building fund for the fairgrounds,” said Fair Secretary Brenda Roseberry.

For more information about any part of the 2008 Madison County Fair, call 740-852-1654.

General gate admission is $6 for adults, $2 for senior citizens, and $2 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. On July 8-9, kids under 12 get in free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; special ride bracelet prices will be in affect those days from noon to 5.

Season tickets purchased on or before July 5 are $20 and admit the ticket holder and all children 12 and under.

Grandstand seating for the July 9 and July 11 truck pulls is an additional $3 for anyone 6 or older. Pit passes for the truck pulls are $10.

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