Video: Bull hops fence, injures 3 people at Oregon rodeo


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At least three people were injured after a bull jumped a fence during the Sisters Rodeo in Oregon Saturday night.

The incident unfolded around 9:45 p.m., toward the end of the event in the city of Sisters. The rodeo bull reportedly hopped a fence surrounding the sold-out 5,500 spectator arena and ran through a concession area into a parking lot.

One video posted to Instagram shows a woman being flipped in the air and trampled by the bull. She’s currently in the hospital. Officials said that two other people sustained minor injuries.

Spectator Danielle Smithers, who was initially trying to record a flashlight display in the crowd, unintentionally captured the bull jumping the fence.

“I capture him completely going over the gate and disappearing,” she recalled. “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.”

Three people were injured when a bull jumped the fence during the Sisters Rodeo, June 8, 2024 (Courtesy: Danielle Smithers)
Three people were injured when a bull jumped the fence during the Sisters Rodeo, June 8, 2024 (Courtesy: Danielle Smithers)

Within minutes, the rodeo pickup men successfully recaptured the bull.

“We were able to open the right gates so that the bull could get out of the spectator area, and then it was retained immediately right after that,” Sisters Rodeo spokesman Brian Witt told Nexstar’s KOIN, explaining that the rodeo has strict emergency protocols in place.

Witt added that, while this emphasizes how dangerous of a sport rodeo is, these types of incidents are “extremely rare.”

“You might hear about one a year, in the industry like this,” he said. “But that was a very first.”

Despite her experience, Smithers said she would “definitely go back” to the Sisters Rodeo if given the opportunity.

“I know this is one of those circumstances where you step into a situation like that, whether it be an amusement park or a rodeo or a zoo, for that matter. You’re always accepting the risk.”

However, she suggested the rodeo implement one small change for the safety of future events.

“Having some form of siren or something that they state at the beginning of the event saying, ‘Hey, if you hear this tone, please stop whatever it is you’re doing,'” she offered. “We had been listening to the announcer all night. So I think at that point, if you’re in your own conversation with somebody, you’re not paying attention to what they’re saying.”

Nonetheless, Smithers described rodeo personnel as “very responsive” when the incident unfolded. Witt also echoed this sentiment.

“We really have to thank and appreciate our first responder team, our rodeo professionals out in the arena, our volunteers,” he acknowledged. “Everybody just did a fantastic job in a very difficult situation to really manage both the crowd and the safety of all of the people here on the rodeo grounds.”

Three people were injured when a bull jumped the fence during the Sisters Rodeo and ran through the fairgrounds, June 8, 2024 (Courtesy: Jon Abbott)
Three people were injured when a bull jumped the fence during the Sisters Rodeo and ran through the fairgrounds, June 8, 2024 (Courtesy: Jon Abbott)

Earlier in the day, US Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer was at the Sisters Rodeo but left before the bull escaped. In a statement to KOIN, Chavez-DeRemer said, “I was not at the rodeo when the bull escaped, but I’m grateful for the quick response from event staff, law enforcement, and medical personnel who helped treat injuries. Shawn and I are praying for a speedy recovery for those who were hospitalized.”

The Sisters Rodeo Association released this statement following the incident:

On Saturday, June 8, 2024, during the final section of the bull riding event at the Sisters Rodeo, a bull jumped a fence. The rodeo announcer immediately activated the emergency response plan. The bull ran out through the rodeo grounds and back to the livestock holding pens. Rodeo livestock professionals quickly responded to safely contain the bull. It was secured next to the livestock holding pens by our rodeo pickup men and immediately placed into a pen.

The Rodeo Sports Medicine Team, Sisters-Camp Sherman RFPD, and Cloverdale RFPD, rodeo staff and local law enforcement responded immediately with first aid and care. First responders confirmed that three persons were injured as a direct result of the bull; two of whom were transported to a local hospital.

We wish the best to all affected. The safety of our fans is our highest priority and we appreciate their support.

The Sisters Rodeo will continue with its final performance beginning Sunday afternoon.





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