According to a hospital employee, the woman who was injured in a bull-riding event at the Berlin Fair last Friday, known only as Tina according to one of her friends, was released and her injuries were not serious. See the video here.
But that is not what people who saw the "Ring of Fire" contest thought when she was knocked briefly unconscious and bloodied by a charging bull. Some of the people who competed in the event thought, as she lay on the dirt outside the white ring, that she might have died.
She was treated at the scene by Emergency Medical Technicians and quickly transported to Hubbard Elementary School, where she was picked up by LifeStar helicopter and transported to Hartford Hospital.
The night of the incident, Berlin Lions Club Public Safety Director Rob Martin told Channel 3 News that the Berlin Lions did not know this "Ring of Fire" was going to be part of the Bull Riding program and that it is definitely shut down for the rest of the weekend.
Berlin Fair President Mark Neumann, who was in the "Ring Of Fire" and knocked to the ground was contacted and asked to comment on the incident but did not respond to the request.
According to several sources, the announcer for the Xtreme Bull Riding Team, asked people to participate in the "Ring Of Fire." When the Bull Riders were introduced earlier a group of docile bulls walked around the ring, did not approach the riders, and walked right back into their cage.
The people who decided to take part in the event thought it would be those docile and slow bulls that they would be in the ring with. The contestants were asked to sign a waiver form saying that the Xtreme Team didn't have any liability if someone got hurt. The two women who played the game were given vests, like the ones the riders wear.
The contestants were given no advice or any idea what exactly would happen when they entered the ring. All they were told was that the last person in the ring would win a cash prize.
Right before the gate was opened, the announcer said, "This is the meanest bull in the herd," and the music "Wipeout" was played. A bull then came charging out of the chute and knocked down five of the seven people in the ring. The five fell to the ground, some on hands and knees and others got up and ran out of the ring. The bull then came back and bucked a male with a neon shirt up in the air and knocked Tina to the ground. She lay on the dirt bleeding with her eyes wide open. The announcer then called for a medic and added even though she was hurt, she had won the prize.
Onlookers could not believe what they saw.
"The first time through the bull knocked most of them down and then went back and got the rest," said Fred Orde of Berlin. "It was scary to watch, like something out of the movie. The lady was bleeding pretty badly. It looked like she got the horns right into he chest under her chin."
Another resident, Jean Garrison, said she was still a bit in shock.
"I'm sitting here still trying to figure out if this really happened," Garrison said. "It was like a bowling bowl. The bull knocked everybody down and then used its body to knock some others down. At the end the bull picked up a man and threw him in the air and then hit the woman almost head-on. It was scary.
When the Berlin Fair added bull riding to its entertainment list last year, it quickly became a very popular attraction.
It was not the first time that EMS were called to the bull ring on Friday as several riders were hurt during their riding sessions earlier in the day.