Bull goes after the gate man at Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Bull Bash

There was plenty of action and excitement at the Bull Bash at the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Rodeo Arena on Saturday afternoon.

bull riding 1

Professional bull riders tried their skills against some of the roughest, toughest, wildest bulls around. But the most dangerous job of the day turned out to be that of gate man Tim Robison.

Many of the bulls unseated their riders and then apparently did not want to leave the arena. Two mounted men served as herders, or sometimes ropers, to help push or pull the bulls out of the arena.

bull herders

Tim Robinson waits at the gate
Mr. Robison was posed to open the gate for the bull to leave, and then quickly close it behind the beast. As the bull passed, Mr. Robison stood behind the gate to protect himself from the bull.

One of the bulls had another idea. Instead of going through the open gate, it opted to go after Mr. Robison, going around the gate to reach him, and then launching him into the air.

Tim Robinson in the airOn the ground, Mr. Robison tried to squeeze under the fence, while the rodeo clown and the mounted bull herders tried to keep the bull away from him. Cowboys rushed to the fallen man’s aide. Robinson on the groundRodeo fans  Kyle and Leland Schoonmaker  rushed out of the stands and climbed over the barrier to help get Mr. Robison to safety in the area between the rodeo arena and the north stands.


fans and rodeo staff help 2
fans and rodeo staff help 3

EMTs arrived to check Mr. Robison’s injuries and had him seated in a golf cart, as the bull riding events continued.

bulll breaks through

Just when the golf cart was about to reenter the arena in order to carry Mr. Robison out, another bull made his own play for attention. This bull, which had already thrown his rider, and left the arena once, decided he wanted another turn in front of the crowd. He charged the gate and broke through it, splintering the boards and giving a new definition to the words “bull bash.”

broken gate

The EMTs and Mr. Robison had to wait until that bull was also chased, roped and otherwise convinced to leave the arena before they could proceed into the arena in the golf cart.

emts cart

As the rodeo fans applauded, Mr. Robison waved and gave them a “thumbs up.”

The bull riding action will continue on Monday, with the second day of the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Bull Bash at 2 p.m. at the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Rodeo Arena on U.S. Highway 441 N.

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