Bullfighter bounces back from injury to protect cowboys

2013-01-23T12:00:00Z Bullfighter bounces back from injury to protect cowboysJournal staff Rapid City Journal
January 23, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

On Sept. 5, 2009, bullfighter Loyd Ketchum fractured his T-12 vertebra and suffered a spinal cord contusion when he was thrown in the air by a bull. A rod was inserted into his back and vertebrae fused together.

Doctors told him it would take six months to recover, but four months later, he was fighting bulls at the 2010 Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo.

“Every day is a good day” Ketchum said. “Sometimes we hit a stumbling block in life for a reason; I just look at it as another challenge.”

Growing up in a small rural town in eastern Montana, Ketchum's mother was a barrel racer. While traveling with her, he developed a love for horses and rodeo. In high school and college, he participated in every event except bareback riding. He began his bullfighting career after college, working amateur rodeos as a funny man and bullfighter.

In 1987, Ketchum got his PRCA card and started bullfighting with the professionals. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wrangler Bullfighting became one of the most popular rodeo events. He participated in the bullfights and worked as cowboy protection. One of Ketchum’s greatest achievements was winning the Wrangler bullfights at the NFR in 1991.

During the 1990s, he established himself as one of the best bullfighters in the PRCA, which has generated enough work to keep him busy year round. Ketchum’s slogan is “bullfighting with class and finesse.”

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