HARDBALL'S RUN FOR FREEDOM
So much for the cowboy fun and games. The Houston Livestock & Rodeo Show turned into a real-life drama Sunday — as most of the country fixated on the Oscars.
A bull named Hardball broke free, got through two gates and made it all the way into the parking lot at the rodeo, leaving two workers with minor injuries. A gate malfunctioned during the closing process, allowing the bull to initially break free, according to the reporting of KHOU Houston, which first broke the story. There were people in the public parking lot when Hardball made its run.
Police officers managed to guide the bull from the public lot into an employee parking lot where three wrangler cowboys roped the animal and the bull was eventually subdued. (This after a police officer's Taser shot didn't stop the bull, according to ABC 13). The average weight of a rodeo bull is around 1,500 pounds, though the size of this particular bull is unknown.
What is certain is that the Houston rodeo has another first: Its first bucking bull in a parking lot. This happened on the same day that the Jonas Brothers played the rodeo and brought thousands of tween girls into downtown with them.
"In my 37 years here, we've never had an animal get through two gates and outside a building," Leroy Shafer, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo CEO, told KHOU. "We are reviewing security precautions and procedures to ensure that this will never happen again."
See ABC 13's coverage of the escape and a small clip of the bull roundup: