Bull Fighters and Rodeo Clowns Unsung Rodeo Heroes - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Bull Fighters and Rodeo Clowns Unsung Rodeo Heroes

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HELENA - Bull riding is no joke. Riding an angry 1700 pound animal for eight seconds is dangerous enough. But the real danger for the rider, is on second number nine.

"We do our job, where he don't get hooked, it might be one of us," said bull fighter Jamie Cox. "So there's bulls out there that are known to be more hookier than others."

Bull fighters and rodeo clowns act as an insurance policy for a bull rider. Once he's off the bull, it's their job to make sure he stays in tact.

"Our job is to kind of get in there before the wreck starts," said Cox. "That way you pick the bull up and get him out of there, he gets up. And there's some times some of these bulls they don't care about me or the other bullfighter. They're going to zero us out and just hook that bullfighter and camp on him."

"I have a really good seat to some really bad stuff," said rodeo clown Rockin' Robbie Hodges. "It gets hairy sometimes but usually it happens so fast you're just trained to react, and then you go 'Whoa that was bad!'

And unfortunately, sometimes things don't go as planned. It's something bull fighters live with daily.

"I took a hooking for a guy, and this bull had no horns," said Cox. "But I had to get lifelighted. My jaw was wired shut in three places. And then another time through my vest a Mexican fighting bull hit me and broke all my ribs through my vest. And then my jaw was wired shut for about 11 weeks and I still fought bulls with my jaw wired shut."

"My scariest experience probably would have to be getting a back feet into a barrel when a bull is bucking and they stick both feet down in there," said Hodges. "That's pretty scary. I've been rolled across arenas, and get horns whacked across the head. I get knocked out a couple of times a year which is not really a big deal."

Bull riders know the importance of a good eight seconds. And thanks to bull fighters and rodeo clowns, they also can feel safe on second number nine.
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