When the time came to help an injured friend, the rodeo community came up big.
Last weekend’s benefit for Heath “Hooter” Boswell of Bridgeport was a great success according to organizer Kim Stepp with Big L Rodeo Co. Boswell, a bullfighter, had his face stepped on by a bull Sept. 7 at the Wise County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo in Decatur. The impact crushed everything from Boswell’s lower eye sockets down.
Boswell has undergone surgery to repair his face, and more will be needed in the future. He and his wife, Lisa, have no medical insurance, so the benefit was held to raise money for medical expenses.
The total money raised is still being calculated, but Stepp said the auction alone raised more than $17,000.
Rodeo events such as team roping and bull riding were also held at the Bridgeport Rodeo Arena and drew some of the sport’s biggest bullfighting stars.
“I think the amount of talent in that arena this weekend, it’s not comparable to anything this town has seen or will see ever again,” Stepp said.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the event was an appearance by Hooter himself.
“Hooter came and stayed for part of it,” Stepp said. “He and his family had a good time. People got to visit with him.”
The event was filled with moving tributes.
“The bullfighters and all the bull riders he’s protected all these years signed a Bible and presented it to Hooter,” Stepp said.
Boswell also received some special items from 7-year-old Makinzy Durham and her 5-year-old brother, Tanner. Both were at the rodeo that night and saw the accident. The siblings presented the injured bullfighter with a guardian angel pin for his hat and a get well card.
The church service put on by the Denton County Cowboy Church Sunday morning even had a huge impact on those in attendance.
“A lot of people gave their lives to God,” Stepp said.
She said the service was filmed, and she hopes to post the video on the Prayers & Updates for Hooter Boswell Facebook page.
Monetary donations are still being accepted at First Financial Bank in Bridgeport.