COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Bull riders risk injury every time they climb on a heavily-muscled, rank 1,500-pound animal. It’s a given. It’s always been part of the deal. What’s different in 21 century rodeo is that some of the scariest adventures don’t just end in the arena. YouTube and Facebook videos bring home – literally – the full measure of risk bull riders accept on a daily basis.
When there is a harrowing ride such as Aaron Pass endured Feb. 21 at the West Monroe (La.) ProRodeo, it can take on a life of its own on the Internet (http://tinyurl.com/lj7ylnw), with 1,796 shares and untold thousands of views. Despite what shows up on the video, there was a happy ending. Pass, 24, ended up with nothing worse than a strained hamstring, bruises and an elevated heart rate. He rode the next night.
Before Pass hit the ground at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center, his right spur got hung up in the flank rope and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Joe Kidd nearly sat on top of him. Unfortunately for the Kaufman, Texas, cowboy, things got much worse from that point.
The bull dragged a helpless Pass around the dirt, flipping him up in the air and stepping on and over him several times.
“At first I was just at the point to where I was trying not to lay flat on the ground,” Pass said. “You don’t ever want to be flat on the ground when they step on you. That’s when the most damage is done. I was trying to stay on my hands and knees and he was making it tough because he kept hooking me and flipping me in the air.”
As the nightmare continued, Pass tried to get the attention of bullfighters or anyone to help him.
“I started hollering for them to cut the rope,” Pass said. “I thought it (his spur) was maybe stuck in my bull rope or something. I heard someone holler back that they didn’t have a knife and when I heard that I kind of lost hope. I was really just wore out and I was dragging behind. I had no energy left.”
The terrifying ride lasted for nearly one minute before Pass appeared to be cut loose.
“It was nothing too bad,” Pass said. “That’s definitely the first time anything like that has happened to me, and hopefully that’s the last time it ever happens. After watching the video, I can’t believe my legs didn’t break or my arms or hands. For the most part, everything is just swollen.”
Courtesy of PRCA