3 spectators injured when bull jumps into stands at Oregon rodeo


SISTERS, Ore. — Three people were injured, with one victim hospitalized, on Saturday night after a bull jumped into the stands at a rodeo in Oregon.

The incident occurred at about 9:45 p.m. PDT at the Sisters Rodeo in Sisters, located about 150 miles southeast of Portland, KOIN-TV reported.

During the bull-roping event at the rodeo, the crowd was singing along to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” as the bull circled the arena. Suddenly, the animal leaped six feet over the fence and into the stands before running through the rodeo grounds, according to KTVZ.

“Get to higher ground, open the gates,” the public address announcer warned spectators, according to a video obtained by the television station.

Video clips on social media showed the animal jump effortlessly into the rodeo stands, stunning a crowd of 5,500 spectators in the sold-out arena, The Oregonian reported.

Danielle Smithers, a spectator who was attempting to record a crowd flashlight display on video, unintentionally captured the fence jump, according to KOIN.

“I capture him completely going over the gate and disappearing,” Smithers told the television station. “Then there’s this huge pause in the zone he came out of. It seems like people go right back to waving their lights, almost like they’re not really sure what to do.”

Another video taken moments later purportedly showed the bull running through the rodeo grounds and flipping a spectator, who was later hospitalized.

“The bull ragdolled the individual thrusting her head over heels into the air twice,” a spectator told Central Oregon Daily News.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Joshua Spano told KTVZ that several ambulances were called to the scene and that “they caught the bull pretty quick.”

On Sunday, Lt. Jayson Janes told the television station that deputies transported one patient with non-life-threatening injuries to an area hospital and that a deputy also sustained minor injuries while responding to the bull’s location.

In a statement, the Sisters Rodeo Association said that three people were injured “as a direct result of the bull” and that two people were taken to an area hospital.

The association said the rodeo announcer “immediately activated the emergency response plan,” KTVZ reported.

“Rodeo livestock professionals quickly responded to safely contain the bull,” the assocation’s statement said. “It was secured next to the livestock holding pens by our rodeo pickup men and immediately placed into a pen.”

Sisters Rodeo spokesperson Brian Witt told KOIN that an incident like Saturday night’s was “extremely rare.”

“You might hear about one a year, in the industry like this,” Witt told the television station. “But that was a very first.”

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