Bull injures 4 at Edmonton rodeo

Four people were injured when an out of control bull leaped into a crowd at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Four people were injured when an out of control bull leaped into a crowd gathered at Rexall Place in Edmonton Friday night.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Finals Rodeo said the bull had finished its event and was exiting the arena when it suddenly jumped the fence and charged the crowd.

Three people in the front row were treated for minor injuries on the scene. A fourth person was taken to hospital for treatment. Alberta Health Services said her name and condition are not being released at the request of her family.

CFR commissioner John Windwick called it a "one in a million scenario."

"These are wild animals, there's no question, but we do everything that we can to ensure the safety of our guests and the cowboys and the stock, and it is a prime priority for us," he said.

"It is rare that this type of stuff happens … it is extremely rare."

'I'm glad I caught him'

Windwick said the incident could have been much worse if not for the work of two "pickup men" who quickly lassoed the bull and dragged it back from the stands.

According to witnesses, Gary Rempel and Jason Resch roped the bull, preventing further injuries. ((Andrea Huncar/CBC))
Gary Rempel, who has worked as a pickup man for 30 years, said it was the first time he has ever seen a bull jump into a crowd.

"You can never tell what a bull is going to do … who knows what goes on in their minds? This one decided he was going to jump, he had it in his mind, and that's what he did. You cannot predict what they're going to do," Rempel said.

"I'm glad I caught him — that's all I can say."

Pickup man Jason Resch said they were just doing their job.

"It turns to us when something does happen like that and that's why we're there, so we just try and handle the situation as best we can and help the fans, help the livestock, and get the situation handled."

Windwick said he's not concerned the incident will tarnish the image of the rodeo.

"I don't think it hurts the image at all. I think the story … is that this incident happened, it was handled as best as it could, and we had two of the top pickup men in that arena that couldn't have handled it any better … . I'm very positive at the outcome," he said.

"I don't think there's any extra warning. I think what people need to know is this is a safe environment, this was unpredictable, it happens, but we take every precaution. And my family will be there tonight."

The bull will not be back in the competition for the remainder of this rodeo.