Bullfighter Wacey Munsell rescued a bull rider during the NWSS
Kansas cowboy Wacey Munsell is a third-generation bullfighter, so the job is in his blood. Along with multiple world champion freestyle bullfighting titles on his resume’, Munsell is in his 15th year of working the National Western Stock Show.
During the opening weekend of rodeo action at the 2020 NWSS, Munsell showed his experience and athletic ability when a vulnerable bull rider was on the arena floor and in trouble with a charging bull. After putting his own body in harm’s way to rescue the bull rider, Munsell was tripped to the ground and had a very close call with the bull’s back legs. Lincoln Rogers caught up with Munsell a few hours later to discuss what happened. (Note: Some answers edited for length and clarity)
Lincoln: Do you remember the details of what happened out there and what goes through your mind at a time like that?
Wacey: “I just kind of remember the gap closing really fast. It wasn’t going to be one of those gaps where you could walk through comfortably. The cowboy was still down. I know from looking at video of the ride that I tried to just kind of short hop it through there and was just going to let that bull hit me in the butt and pinch me out. That didn’t happen. So when I landed, I stepped on his leg and it tripped me. Just the momentum of the bull’s back end brought me down. Praise God he didn’t step on my head.”
Lincoln: What are your thoughts when you see a bull rider down and the bull coming at him?
Wacey: “Obviously, when he is down you don’t want to let him get run over or anything. It is our job to protect him and take the hits when they are necessary. That would have been a necessary situation. I would rather they cart me out of the arena instead of him.”
Lincoln: What makes you do this job?
Wacey: “I don’t know. I have a love for the game and I love what I do. It is something I always was enamored with. My dad fought bulls, my granddad fought bulls. I’ve always been traveling with my dad. That’s where all that love comes from. It has been a great 15 years professionally.”
Lincoln: How much satisfaction do you get from knowing that you helped a guy that was down not get hit by a bull?
Wacey: “When they say ‘thank you,’ that is all the satisfaction in the world. People can die here, as we learned here last year. We are all blessed to do this and it is only for a short time. We all have got to enjoy it whether we are beat up or not.” ❖