If you were to ask a PBR (Professional Bull Riders) fan to name the most famous bull the answer might be Bushwacker, Bodacious, Bones or Sweet Pro’s Bruiser.
Ask a person unfamiliar with the sport of bull riding about a famous bull, and he would likely name the most famous bull in the world – “Charging Bull”, born from the Stock Market crash of 1987.
The creator, Arturo Di Modica, wanted to create an iconic symbol of inspiration he had witnessed after moving from Sicily to New York – strength, determination, power, confidence, and optimism – a sculpture of a massive powerful bull.
The now-iconic bronze bull tips the scales at 7,000 pounds. He stands as a reminder for how New Yorkers never give up and always get back up after getting knocked down, working harder and pushing forward even if the road gets bumpy.
It took Di Modica two years to take from inspiration, clay, and metal models to the full bronze statue that was delivered guerilla-style – no permission or permits – under a Christmas tree in New York City in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
As legend has it, the next day when the artist went to get lunch, the unauthorized statue was hauled away.
But, it was too late, Charging Bull had made the cover of The New York Post and New Yorkers were already in love with it.
One of those people was Arthur Piccolo, chairman of the Bowling Green Association who arranged for the bull to be housed a few blocks west of the Stock Exchange in the North Bowling Green Plaza, where it has been for 30 years since.
Millions of visitors have visited the statue and had their picture taken with this magnificent sculpture over the years. It has become a must-see landmark — as synonymous with New York City as the Empire State Building and Times Square.
The Buck Off at The Garden is not only a Major and the first event of the PBR 2020 Unleash The Beast season. This year it has something more prestigious than the points available along with bragging rights of winning the season opener.
Even though the 79-year-old sculptor created the iconic bull statue, he has never witnessed the power of the world’s best bull athletes or the cowboys who might be outgunned and overpowered attempting to ride them. As a PBR website article observed, it’s hard to determine who the artist is more excited to meet, the cowboys or the animal athletes.
The artist had a dream. He didn’t allow anything to stop him from achieving his dream, even if it meant running away from home and grabbing a steam train to Florence from Sicily to start on his dream of becoming a sculptor.
That dream is something that may resonate with the cowboys of the PBR. He went for it and did not compromise one bit on his dream. Or make excuses and most definitely had no regrets.
This Sunday in the most famous arena in the world around the same spot where Smoking Joe Frazier broke Ali’s jaw, Marilyn Monroe sang happy birthday to JFK and Jimmy Superfly Snuka leaped off the top of a steel cage, the MSG winner will hoist above his head a mini-Charging Bull that was created by a true cowboy who did it his way.