A Rodeo Clown Is Recovering After Having His Face Crushed by a Bull in Decatur

Hooter Boswell
Hooter Boswell

Hooter Boswell has been a bullfighter -- a rodeo clown for the uninitiated -- for more than 20 years, the past 15 of them on the circuit with the Big L Rodeo Company out of Oklahoma. In all that time, he'd managed to keep his face intact. Then came this weekend's Wise County Sheriff's Posse Rodeo in Decatur, where Boswell stepped between a thrown rider and a 2,000-pound bull.

"When he knocked Hooter down, Hooter was on his back. And when the bull ran across him, he planted one of his back feet right, straight in the middle of his face," rodeo organizaer Russell Stephens told Fox 4. "I've been down here 15 years and that was the worst accident that I have seen."

Boswell, 41, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Big L has been posting updates on Boswell's condition on Facebook since the accident.

On Sunday morning, they reported that "the majority of the bones in his face are crushed and many, multiple surgeries lay ahead. By the afternoon, the nurse had eased his sedation, and he was responding to question by squeezing her hand and wiggling his toes. By Monday, he was asking for Rangers and Cowboys scores. He went in for surgery on Tuesday, but doctors were only able to repair the jaw before swelling forced them to abandon the procedure.

Later that day, he was awake and in good spirits.

Just got to see Hooter again. He is doing better than anyone could have imagined! He knows everyone and we are playing charades trying to communicate! He & Lisa are overwhelmed with the support and response from everyone! You can tell he has a chin tonight.

Boswell still has several surgeries and a long recovery in his future, the costs of which friends and family hope will be offset by the proceeds of a benefit scheduled for October in his hometown of Bridgeport, in Wise County.

Those who know him predict that Boswell's return to bullfighting is inevitable.

"It may not be this year. And it may not be next year," Big L's Dale Lyons told Fox 4, "but Hooter will be back."

Below, you'll find Fox 4's footage from the lead-up to Boswell's accident. They deemed the event itself "too graphic and disturbing" to show.

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