© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Brett Sollosy’s work life is comprised of angry bulls and split-second decisions.
The 20-year-old Martensville bullfighter showed it’s a job he takes seriously on Saturday afternoon during the Red River Riding and Roping KCRA Rodeo.
It was 4:44:45 p.m. and starting to rain when bull rider Taylor Keshane came out of the chute aboard a bull named 1 922 Patch. The bull immediately charged to the right with Keshane in control.
What 1 922 Patch did next illustrates everything that’s dangerous for Sollosy and Keshane.
The bull threw his back end into the air, and when he landed, pulled up his front end. Keshane began to slide off the bull to the left. It was now 4:44:47 p.m., two seconds into the ride.
With Keshane out of position, the bull then threw its back end up again and the animal turned his head to the left.
Keshane slid forward, hanging over the bull’s head with his thigh by one horn and his upper body behind the other.
The cowboy’s right leg slid over the bull, leaving him hanging off one side of the bull with both legs on the animal’s left side hanging near the ground.
The bull lifted his front end again, throwing Keshane off, who landed on his feet and then fell to his knees.
But 1 922 Patch wasn’t done yet. He jumped in the air, twisting his long horns towards the defenseless cowboy.
It was 4:44:49 p.m.
Sollosy had been perhaps 10-15 feet behind them as Keshane began to get bucked off.
As the bull turned his head toward Keshane, Sollosy was inches from the action.
The bull’s first instinct was still to get the cowboy. Keshane rolled out of the animal’s way, buying himself a precious second.
It was 4:44:50 p.m.
Having missed the cowboy, 1 922 Patch charged at Sollosy and made contact. The moment captured above is at 4:44:51 p.m.
Sollosy was thrown high into the air but landed on his feet and ran to the right.
The bull threw his hind end high into the air and charged left.
It was over at 4:44:52 p.m., just seven seconds after the ride began.
For Sollosy, it was just another day on a job he’s been doing for four years.
“I would just rather be there for the shot before he takes it,” Sollosy said on Sunday afternoon. “I was there at the right time because he didn’t get nothing.”
The bullfighter wears a protective vest for his midsection and some tape on his ankles but that’s it.
So, did it hurt?
“No, I kind of landed on my knee a little bit sideways and that kind of hurt for a second but that was it,” he says, noting that he’s had a lot worse.
He’s not sure what his goal is in rodeo, although he works every weekend right now. He’s in Swift Current next.
Rodeo chairperson LeeAnn Mette is grateful for his work.
“Bullfighters save bull riders,” she says. “We couldn’t do this sport without them.”
On Sunday afternoon, Sollosy was back at work, both in the ring during events and helping to get stock ready for the next rough stock riders. Keshane chose not to compete and wasn’t in attendance.
Sollosy says he never heard a word from Keshane after his close call but the bullfighter isn’t offended.
“He didn’t say nothing but I know he wanted to.”
For a 20-shot action sequence to see Taylor Keshane ride, the bull turn on him and Brett Sollosy step in, click here: