Hero Dad Jumps Into Bullring at Just the Right Moment

Bull was charging toward Landis Hooks' teen son, the rider who'd been knocked unconscious
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2022 10:55 AM CST

Fathers might intend to protect their children no matter the danger, but that's easier said than done when there's an angry bull in the picture. Landis Hooks wasn't bothered. The father had watched his 18-year-old bull rider son get knocked unconscious by a bucking bull at the very start of his bull ride during a rodeo show in Belton, Texas, last month, per the Houston Chronicle. Then he watched as the bull turned to charge at Cody Hooks, who was lying motionless in the dirt. That's when Landis literally jumped into the ring. A video shared widely on social media shows Landis throw his body on top of his son's upon seeing that the bull couldn't be distracted by other bull riders. He cradled his son's head and hunkered down just before the bull arrived, lowering its horns upon impact.

Landis' side bore the brunt of the impact as the pair were pushed several feet. "Dad of the year!" wrote @KenKarterx, who shared the video on Twitter, where it's been viewed more than 1 million times since Feb. 16. Cody Hooks also shared the video on Instagram. "Not one to post falling off, but big thanks to my dad," he wrote. "Could've been a hella lot worse." He tells KXXV that he remembers little before the bull's horn "hit me right behind the ear in that little knockout spot." But he adds his father has actually done the same thing "a couple of times." "If his dad hadn't of been there, there's no telling what could have happened," says Jay Taggart, a board member for the Bell County Expo Center, where the event took place. It's unclear what injuries Landis suffered, but both men are expected to make full recoveries. (Read more bull riding stories.)

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