POCATELLO, Idaho — A Utah teen who was stomped by a bull at the Idaho High School Rodeo Association State Finals over the weekend is recovering well, family members said.
Brock Hansen, 17, of Hyrum, Utah was hired to be a “cowboy protector” for the competition in Pocatello, Idaho, the Idaho State Journal reported. Cowboy protectors are tasked with grabbing bulls by the head and directing them to run away from fallen cowboys.
Hansen — who is among the nation’s top freestyle bullfighters in his age group and hopes to go pro — lost his footing on loose dirt Saturday while grappling with a bull named “Microbrew.” He could not roll away before the bull stomped with full force on his back.
The blow broke the wing of a vertebrae in Hansen’s lower back. Hansen’s strong back muscles held his spine in place, however, and doctors expect he will make a full recovery.
“This hit he took, God was looking over him,” his father, Ron Hansen said. “You don’t take hits like that and walk away from them.”
When Brock Hansen regained consciousness after the hit, he immediately asked if the other cowboy was OK, his father said.
Brock Hansen’s family members said he will probably be back in the rodeo arena within six months.
Freestyle bullfighting involves cowboys facing off against bulls and circling in close proximity, with points awarded based on the number of passes and how close the cowboys get to to the bulls. The teen is following in his father’s footsteps: Ron Hansen was a professional rodeo cowboy for 18 years with the Wrangler Bullfighting series.
“People always say, ‘Are you scared of him being hurt?’ No, I’m not because it’s part of what he does. He is good at his job,” Ron Hansen said. “… Every (bull rider) knows Brock and they know if he’s in that arena they haven’t got to worry because he’s got their back. That’s a big deal to a bull rider.”