Bull on the Loose

Bull tosses chute panel and heads onto soccer field

— A bull with a penchant for smelling flowers on a sunny day escaped from the Stampede Rodeo Arena and ended up on nearby soccer fields Saturday.

No one was injured when the unnamed bull popped open a roping gate at the far end of the arena and rushed through the World-Famous Suicide Race paddock area into East Side Park.

“We bucked him,” bullfighter Blaine Covington said. “They were going to get him out of the arena. He got down by the roping chutes. Someone waved their arms (to chase him off) behind the panel, the bull hooked the panel and it came right up and off its hinges. That bull went right out the roping box there.”

The bull found itself on three small fields used for young children’s soccer games.

“Parents started pointing,” said soccer official Jodi Coggins, who was bent over to place the ball for a U8 game. She looked over and the bull was romping on an adjacent U10 field.

“He didn’t want to go back,” she said. “Six cowboys did a good job.”

The U10 match was canceled, she said.

“One of the teams had red jerseys,” she said with a laugh.

The gate through which the bull escaped was not latched, said Gold Buckle Rodeo Co. stock contractor Kelley Bowcutt. Such escapes are rare, but he’s seen a few in his 20 years.

“It was kind of a bad deal,” he said. “(Once the gate was opened) then the scramble was one. I hate when that happens. You hope it never happens. It was kind of a scary deal.

“I’m glad he wasn’t real mean. He’s a pretty even-tempered bull.”

Pickup man Roy Garland attempted to slow the bull, but the bull managed to get around his horse, Covington said.

“He did not like being cornered,” Covington said.

“It did not take very long to get him,” Bowcutt said. “It was amazingly fast for that kind of incident, it went good. Nobody got hurt.”

“There were people with their camera phones taking pictures,” Coggins said. “We didn’t stop play for more than

“We were joking we should name the bull soccer ball,” said rodeo secretary Roni Holder-Diefenbach.

Pictures were posted on Facebook and a video on YouTube.

KHQ television mentioned the incident in its news.

Covington said the last time he’d seen a bull escape the arena was Doctor’s Release, before the current renovations. That bull went through the royalty entry gate and into the north end of the stands before breaking through a rail onto a LifeLine Ambulance. The bull would be caught as it tried to head to town.

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