THE owner of a bull injured at the Warwick Rodeo on Saturday has staunchly defended the actions taken by rodeo organisers in response to the incident.
Veteran bucking stock contractor Frank Biddle came out swinging yesterday after animal activists lodged a complaint with the RSPCA over treatment of the bull Buckle Up, which was euthanised after a hind leg injury.
Mr Biddle, who hand-raises rodeo bulls on his property near Leslie Dam - yesterday set the record straight on the identity of the bull, which was wrongly named in other media as the Gill Brothers' Destination Unknown.
"Buckle Up was one of my top young bulls; we'd been working him a lot here at home and he's a huge loss," a distraught Mr Biddle told the Daily news yesterday.
"I've been bucking bulls for 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.
"The bull spun around that quick and he hit one of the chute posts.
"I was there in the chutes and I saw it all happen with my own two eyes.
"It's not something you could ever expect."
Footage aired at the weekend shows Buckle Up falling heavily soon after leaving the chute and being unable to stand properly, with an apparently broken leg or hip.
Volunteers rushed to assist in moving Buckle Up out, but what the footage does not make clear is that he had to be removed from the arena opposite the chutes, where temporary yarding was quickly installed.
With Buckle Up unable to be safely restrained at that point he was transported to the saleyards where he was euthanised a short time later.
Mr Biddle defended to the hilt the actions taken, which included running a mob of other bulls into the arena in the hope that Buckle Up would go with them.
"The committee men did everything perfectly," Mr Biddle said.
"He (Buckle Up) was heading straight across the arena and a decision was made to get him out on the other side from the chutes.
"It was the right decision at the time - he was running that way with the other bulls.
"There is no way the vet that was there could have got anywhere near him (to sedate him), he was that wild.
"Yes, if he'd gone out the back of the chutes the normal way there's a crush there but that's not how it happened."
Mr Biddle said the five-year-old Buckle Up was worth about $3000 as a bull on the pro rodeo circuit.
"He was in perfect condition going into the weekend," Mr Biddle said.
"We're just devastated to lose him but there was nothing more that could've been done at the time."