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Back in the 1970's, most mechanical bulls were manufactured by the El Toro Company. They were used mostly by cowboys to work on their riding skills. Since rodeo cowboys were used to getting thrown around and landing on the ground, no one worried too much about the speed of the machine, padding on the ground, etc. some folks started using them for amusement, and they were in a few bars, most notably Gilly's in Texas. With the movie "Urban owboy" came immense popularity and they were being used from Newport Beach to Atlantic City. The El Toro had two speeds: off and on. The bull started at full speed and stayed there. There were no air bags like today, maybe a little hay or a few mattresses or nothing all. There were a lot of injuries. The danger of the machine, the lack of a soft landing and intoxicated riders and operators were the culprits. Some companies were sued out of existence. Insurance was almost impossible to come by, and mechanical bulls all but left the entertainment scene. In the 90's several manufacturers came out with hydraulic powered machines that were totally variable in speed, both in the bucking and spinning motion. They added a better, rounded, padded body design. they also provided a continuous pressure air bag, like the air bags used by stuntmen in Hollywood. Insurance is now easily obtainable, though still not cheap, and most operators have never had a client injured. Operator training is now being more formally provided with some insurance companies requiring written training protocols for all operators. We are in fact working with our nsurance company to develop such guidelines.