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Rodeo bull hops fence at Oregon arena, injures 3 before being captured

Jun 9, 2024, 2:38 PM

SISTERS, Ore. (AP) — A rodeo bull hopped a fence surrounding an Oregon arena and ran through a concession area into a parking lot, injuring at least three people before wranglers caught up with it, officials said.

The crowd at the 84th Sisters Rodeo in the city of Sisters was singing along with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” on Saturday night, most with their cellphone flashlights on, as the bull ran around the arena before what was to be the final bull ride of the night, when the bull hopped the fence, according to a video shot by a fan.

Other videos posted online showed the bull running through a concession area, knocking over a garbage can and sending people scrambling. The bull lifted one person off the ground, spun them end over end, and bounced them off its horns before the person hit the ground.

The Sisters Rodeo Association issued a statement Sunday saying three people were injured “as a direct result of the bull, two of whom were transported to a local hospital,” KTVZ-TV reported. Rodeo livestock professionals secured the bull next to livestock holding pens and placed it in a pen, the association said.

Deschutes County sheriff’s Sergeant Joshua Spano said several ambulances were called to the scene. Deputies transported one patient with non-life-threatening injuries to a hospital, and a deputy also sustained minor injuries when responding to the bull’s escape, Lt. Jayson Janes told KTVZ on Sunday.

Danielle Smithers was among the rodeo fans with her cellphone flashlight on as the bull named Party Bus was moving around the ring with two riders on horseback as the crowd sang and swayed to the music.

“And about 30 seconds into it I stopped and I looked at it and I thought to myself, ‘this is just too beautiful not to have a video,’” Smithers said. She shut off her flashlight and “started recording the bull, just following him, making his loop and as he started coming around his second loop in my video, he goes right over” the fence, she said.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association said Saturday’s incident is a reminder that “while rodeo is a highly-entertaining sport, on very rare occasions it can also pose some risk.”

“PRCA sends our thoughts and well wishes to those who were injured or otherwise impacted by this frightening and very rare incident,” the association said.

Officials with the Sisters Rodeo couldn’t be reached to ask if an investigation is planned.

The rodeo’s final performance on Sunday went on as scheduled.

Sisters is about 23 miles (39 kilometers) northwest of Bend, Oregon.

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Rodeo bull hops fence at Oregon arena, injures 3 before being captured