Video Shows Terrifying Moment After Massive Bull Escapes Florida Rodeo Pen and Jumps Into Crowd
Terror at the rodeo as a bull runs amok.
A large bull caused chaos at a Florida State Fairgrounds rodeo after breaking through his pen and running into the crowds. The entire incident was caught on video by one of the audience members, who was at his first rodeo. "I couldn't believe this was happening," he said. This is how the bull escaped, and what happened afterward.
The bull in question had just been moved into a chute, where bulls are kept before being released into the rodeo. This particular animal decided he didn't want to just wait, so broke through the side of the pen and ran straight into the stands where the audience were watching. Unsurprisingly, complete chaos ensued, with the audience screaming in terror as the bull ran amok. A rodeo employee can be heard repeatedly begging people to "stay calm!" over a loudspeaker as handlers scrambled to catch the beast. Keep reading to see the video.
Christopher Thornton caught the whole incident on his phone, and says he couldn't believe it was really happening. "Everyone was rushing, the parents were grabbing their kids. People were jumping over the chairs," Thornton recalled. "The first thing in my head said to record it. I couldn't believe this was happening at my first rodeo!"
The crisis was averted when a handler on horseback managed to skillfully rope the bull and lead him back into the safety of the arena. "Everyone just started clapping," Thornton says. "Honestly, if he wasn't able to catch the bull, more chaos would've definitely happened… This was my first time attending a rodeo and it won't be my last. Hats off to that cowboy, his amazing horse, and his throw."
Bull riding is an incredibly dangerous sport, with many riders suffering serious injuries every year. "Occasionally I do my best at begging them to not compete," says Dale Butterwick, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre in Alberta, Canada, and president of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. "But the cowboy culture is certainly to ignore things."
There is growing criticism of bull riding in general, with animal rights activists claiming the sport is cruel towards animals. Professional bull riding associations passionately deny the bulls are mistreated. "We have 60 rules that cover the care and handling of the animals," says Cindy Schonholtz, director of industry outreach for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).