Examining the Ways the Sport of Bullfighting Has Evolved
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV )
The sport of bullfighting has been around since the early 1900s.
In recent years, the sport has evolved...
The modern bullfighters or "rodeo clowns" taking the sport more seriously than ever before.
A typical bull ride could last 60 seconds and when something goes wrong in that heart pounding minute, that's when a rodeo clown goes to work.
Vice President of the 6-district High School Rode Bryant Nelson notes, "It's like standing on a street corner waiting for a car wreck and you step in right before and help them out."
Some children grow up wanting to be cops, others teachers.
And then there is a slim number who decide they want to spend their life doing the dangerous task of fighting bulls.
Nelson adds, "I grew up around it, I had friends who did it and when we were 11 or 12 we decided we wanted to be bullfighters."
Bullfighter Scott Smith notes, “If you do it long enough you get nervous but it just goes with the deal, you just get in there and do your job."
While rodeo clowns once wore faces full of make-up and performed comedic routines, the sport is becoming more modern.
Nelson explains, "young up and comers try to look athletic, they wear jerseys and shorts."
Smith adds, "I'll wear a bullet proof vest made out of Kevlar and my pads are hockey pads to protect your legs and hips."
Although the term rodeo clown may suggest a humorous encounter with the bull, once in the arena the job of a bullfighter is no laughing matter."
Nelson adds, "I've had some scary moments. I broke my back one time in ‘89, I've had some knee operations..."
Smith continues by explaining injuries of his own, stating, "2 years ago I got kicked in the face in Utah and knocked out, ran over."
But despite the danger involved, bullfighters know the importance of their job.
Nelson explains, "Bull riders really appreciate good bullfighters but if they have a good bull fighter they are confident because they know you are going to be right there with them."
A sport that is in no way clownin' around.