A bull escaped during the Redding Rodeo on Friday night and six people were injured before the animal was captured near the Sundial Bridge, Redding police said.
The bull was caught near the bridge and immediately put into a trailer, the Redding Rodeo Association said in a news release late Friday night.
An Enterprise High School student was one of the people who were injured by the bull’s horns and talked to the Record Searchlight about his harrowing experience.
Details were still emerging Saturday morning about what happened. Rodeo officials issued the statement late Friday but didn’t say much else Saturday morning.
“We do not have anything more this morning,” Rodeo Association spokesman Erick Mattson said by email.
Rodeo officials said Friday night the bull jumped the arena fence during the final section of the bull riding event.
“The bull ran out of the rodeo grounds and towards the contestant parking area,” the news release said.
Enterprise High 15-year-old sophomore student Jordan Greco said he was one of the people injured by the bull as it charged near the stadium’s VIP section. Pictures shared by Greco showed his left leg wrapped in bandages from his knee to his thigh.
He later went to the emergency room and underwent further tests on his leg. Greco believes he was “fortunate” to not suffer worse injuries.
Redding police Cpl. Aaron Hollemon said Saturday that approximately six people were injured, all with minor, non-life threatening injuries.
“The people that were injured were bystanders in the stands as well as people at the Sundial Bridge, so both locations,” Hollemon said. “I know at least one person was injured in the area of the Sundial Bridge. I don’t know if the other five were in the stands. I don’t know exactly what the breakdown was.”
The person injured at the bridge was a woman who was taken by ambulance to the hospital with minor injuries.
“My understanding is four people were seen by emergency medical personnel and they left before we could contact them,” Hollemon said.
Hollemon said police were referring other questions to the rodeo association.
Enterprise students were eyewitnesses
Greco said he’s a member of Enterprise’s FFA program who was helping to check rodeo tickets and assisted other guests who were seated on the rodeo flats.
Greco was waiting in line to use the restroom after his shift was over when the bull leaped over the enclosure and toward the arena’s back entrance.
Greco was “clipped” by one of the the raging beast’s horns as rodeo-goers tried to avoid its path.
“I looked at the woman who took over my shift and next thing I know I see this huge bull running towards us,” Greco said.
Greco was working his shift with his classmate, 16-year-old sophomore Enterprise FFA student Braedon Jones. Jones said he was 15 yards from Greco as he watched his friend get hit.
“I’m stressed,” Jones said. “We were working perfectly fine before that happened. (Greco) had to call me because he was close and I didn’t realize he got hit. I saw the bull run through.”
Greco and Jones both play on the defensive line for Enterprise’s football team. Greco described what it was like being hit by a bull compared to the pounding he gives and receives on the field.
“Getting hit by a bull was an experience,” Greco said. “To be honest I didn’t feel it at the time because my adrenaline was pumping and I had to make split-second decisions.”
A spectator video posted on Facebook shows a rider staying on the bull before he’s eventually bucked off. A rodeo cowboy followed the bull and tries to lasso it before the bull leaps over the fence.
An emergency response plan was activated by the rodeo announcer and “rodeo livestock professionals quickly responded to safely contain the bull,” the statement said.
The Rodeo Association’s statement said first responders, rodeo staff and local law enforcement provided first aid.
“The Justin Sports Medicine Team, Mercy Ambulance, rodeo staff and local law enforcement responded immediately with first aid and care,” the new release says.
The final Saturday night rodeo will continue as planned, the association said.
“We wish the best to all those affected. The safety of our fans is our highest priority and we appreciate their support,” the association said.
Prior bull incident in Red Bluff
Another incident involving an escaped bull occurred June 20, 2008, at the Red Bluff rodeo.
In that case, a raging bull trampled seven spectators, including an infant, at the Red Bluff Round-Up, the Tehama Sheriff’s Department said in a report.
The bull in Red Bluff jumped an 8-foot fence while cowboys were trying to lead it through a series of chutes, according to a Record Searchlight article.
After landing, the bull raced across the box, trampling several spectators before stopping at a steel railing that separated it from another set of box seats.
Mike Chapman is an award-winning reporter and photographer for the Record Searchlight in Redding, Calif. His newspaper career spans Yreka and Eureka in Northern California and Bellingham, Wash. Support local journalism by subscribing today.