The animals were in charge at the Lawrence Rodeo on Saturday, as some of rodeo's leading riders fought to stay on top.
None of the 11 contenders in the open bull-riding contest was able to complete the required eight seconds, as a packed crowd of 1000 spectators heard the sound of chaps hitting dirt time and again.
In other events, southern competitors were well represented among a strong northern influx of talent, not least by Waitahuna farmer and steer-wrestler Micheal Nicholl.
Nicholl leads the charge in the national standings this season, and is hoping it might be his time after 15 years in the sport.
Having worked his way through other events, including bull riding and saddle bronc, the 36-year-old family man found his "thickset" frame lent itself to the rigours of steer wrestling.
Competitors in the event are timed while dismounting from horseback and catching a young steer on the fly, before wrestling it to its side.
A mistimed dismount on Saturday cost Nicholl valuable time, placing him fourth on the day, but it was enough to retain his pole position in the standings.
"It wasn't the prettiest today, but we got it done" he said.
"We need to do some homework on that and hopefully improve on ... today's performance".
He said to succeed, technique was as important as brute strength.
"Size and strength help for sure, but it's as much about technique. A lot of the best competitors are smaller guys with great technique and skill".
He was not counting his chickens in the national run-in, but remained optimistic.
"I've had to sacrifice a fair bit of outside and family time to up my game this year, so I'd be pretty happy if it paid off".
Lawrence Rodeo president Murray Hellewell said he and his committee had been delighted with the spectator turnout and smooth running of this year's event.
"It's been a very successful day today ... There have been no incidents and everyone's had a great time".
He praised the stock for its contribution to a high-calibre show.
"Once again the bulls haven't been ridden. That just goes to show the quality of their breeding and how good they are at their job".