Father of the year: Dad jumps into Belton rodeo ring to protect son from raging bull

“All I could think about was just covering him up”
Published: Feb. 27, 2022 at 5:51 PM CST
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas father is being celebrated after he jumped into the ring at a Belton rodeo earlier this month to save his son from a raging bull.

Landis Hooks jumped in the ring after seeing his 18-year-old son, Cody, thrown from the bull quickly after leaving the gate at the PRCA rodeo. His son was left unconscious because of the fall.

“All I could think about was just covering him up because he couldn’t cover himself up,” said Mr. Hooks.

The entire ordeal was caught on video in front of hundreds of fans at the Bell County Expo Center. The video shows the dad jumping into action to cover Cody with his body.

“I’d much rather do that than get in a cage and go cage fighting, I can promise you that,” said Hooks.

Hooks, of Louisiana, is no stranger to bulls: he used to ride them, too.

“It’s not just ‘go jump on a bull’, it’s every day training, a lot of people don’t see the behind the scenes stuff, they watch it on TV, they see guys being 90 all the time, but they don’t see the hard work they put into it,” said Mr. Hooks.

His son posted his gratitude on social media.

“Not one to post falling off, but big thanks to my dad @hooks.landis and the bullfighters last night in Belton, Tx, could’ve been a hella lot worse.”

The video has gone viral since its release, with many commenters calling him a hero, with some arguing Landis should be nominated for “Father of the Year.”

“I didn’t think it would go viral,” said Mr. Hooks. “I think it’s kind of cool though how it just kind of sheds light on the rodeo lifestyle.”

Mr. Hooks doesn’t think he’s a hero, and says he’d do it all again in a heartbeat, even if the bull had done more serous damage.

“I’ve seen that done in a cow pasture before, that just comes in a long line of hardcore cowboys where I come from,” said Mr. Hooks. “I can promise you there’s a lot more ranker cowboys than me, and that’s just how we were brought up in the rodeo ring.”

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