Texas Outdoors: Bullfighters play dangerous game of protection

You have to be a little bit crazy to fight a bull with nothing but your quickness and agility to protect you.

When you think of bullfighting, you may think of matadors in Mexico and Spain. But there’s a different kind of bullfighting going on at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, where the bullfighters are armed with nothing but their quickness and agility.

Weston Rutkowski is one of a handful of extreme athletes who are bringing back the sport of freestyle bullfighting.

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“It’s myself and a Spanish fighting bull for 60 seconds. And it’s judged just like bull riding, how well the animals fight and how well I handle him,” he said.

And Rutkowski apparently handles them very well.

“I’ve won the worlds the last two years in a row,” he noted.

The sport got its start from rodeo clowns, those crazy guys who try to protect bull riders once they were thrown. But now it’s a competition all its own.

“Our deal is you have to make it 40 seconds guaranteed, just like a bull rider has to make it eight seconds to get a score,” he explained. “I have to fight my animal for 40 seconds to get a score, and you have a maximum of 60 seconds.”

It’s incredibly dangerous. Rutkowski can remember one fight where the bull got the better of him.

“That’s when he stepped all over my head. He tore my hamstring, so I had a torn hamstring and 15 staples in my head,” he described.

Despite losing that battle, Rutkowski still won the competition.

And you can see him try to win again at this year’s San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.