What does it take to be a professional bull fighter?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s the second night for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, and there are a lot of people that make a rodeo possible.

If you’ve been to a rodeo, you’ve seen the bullfighters. They are the ones running or even charging toward the bulls once a rider falls off.

From a distance they might look like rodeo clowns, but they’re not. They’re professional bull fighters, who put themselves in dangerous situations to protect the bull riders.

Before every rodeo, Andy and Chuck start their day with a production meeting, and then head to the sports medicine trailer to get prepped for their event.

“Especially out in this mud, it’s going to be deep, it’s not gonna be that fun, but it’s gonna be a lot less fun running around with a rolled ankle,” Chuck Swisher, Professional Bull Fighter, said.

After getting taped up, its time to put on their “warrior paint.”

“I don’t put it over my eyes personally because if I sweat, I don’t want it going down into my eyes,” Andy Burelle, Professional Bull Fighter said.

“She kind of did a Mike Tyson look, and I changed it up a bit,” Swisher said.

Andy and Chuck have been bull fighting for many years, but say they prefer bull fighting over bull riding.

“It’s a lot easier to get away then to hang on, I think,” Swisher said.

“When you are riding a bull you actually have to stay on. It’s pretty easy to get run over and caught by one,” Burelle said.

And the list of injuries between the two of them is pretty remarkable.

“I have two plates in my face, a metal screen in my eye, I have had all my front teeth knocked out, I don’t have a PCL,” Burelle said.

And that’s just a few of Burelle’s injuries. Swisher has his own battles wounds too.

“I broke some bones in my neck when I was 17. I was paralyzed for 10 or 15 minutes. I was pretty scared there,” Swisher said.

But even with some of those serious injuries, they try to calm their minds moments before the event, lace up their cleats, and prepare for their unpredictable battle between man and cattle.

“If I got my mind completely clear my reaction time is a lot faster,” Burelle said.

Because once the bucking bull is let out of the gate, it’s showtime.

Their main goal to protect the bull rider at all costs.

“Sometimes that means putting ourselves and body in harm’s way. We will get flipped and hooked, gored and stuff, but that’s what we live for and that’s what our job is,” Swisher said.

Burelle said in those vital minutes when the bull rider hits the ground, it’s all about touching the bull.

“The best guarantee for me to get his attention instead of just being in his line of sight is actually getting my hands on his head and have him feel me and he really is going to come to me,” Burelle said.

These cowboys said it’s a dream job that could be ripped away from them in mere seconds.

“They are animals, there is no time outs, there is no pause button, you can’t tell them, ‘hey uncle, stop.’ They can take you out at any time, so it’s not a career you can say, ‘I will do this for this many more years.’ You just never know,” Burelle said.

Burelle and Swisher call themselves a team because they work together to protect the bull riders. Like most extreme sports, it’s all about experience. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

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