O’NEALS – A local retired bullfighter and full-time cowboy is home recovering from injuries he received trying to help stabilize a dangerous situation in a familiar arena.
Jackson’s wife Christine “Blondie” Suglian explains what happened, and what went wrong.
On January 18, veteran bullfighter Tim Jackson was in Tollhouse to see Jackpot bull riding, including a young bullfighter he was mentoring at the time. Suglian explains that Jackson is a multi-year western regional champion for the International Professional Rodeo Association.
“Towards the end of the day, a young bull rider got hung up on a bull, and then, the two bullfighters in turn got into trouble,” Suglian says. “Tim stepped in to try to turn the bull away so that the other bullfighters could get to the hurt bull rider.”
Suglian adds that when Jackson stepped in, using a move he had used multiple times over the years, the action went horribly wrong.
“The bull flipped him into the air, he came down and was out cold,” Suglian says. “Then the bull proceeded to trample him.”
When it was over, Jackson was carried out of the arena. They were hoping for “just a concussion and broken ribs,” but Jackson was in a lot of pain. Clovis Community CT scans revealed a lacerated liver and other complications of the accident, and Jackson was sent to the critical care unit of CRMC. The next day, he went into surgery for a damaged pancreas and spleen.
“All in all,” says Suglian, “Tim received a concussion, fractured sternum, several fractured ribs, a lacerated liver and they took half his pancreas and his whole spleen”
Following a two week stay in the hospital, Jackson is home now and on what his wife calls a very long road to recovery. He won’t be back to work for quite a while at either of the two ranches he cowboys for. His energy is understandably low as he struggles to recover sufficiently from his injuries to return to the work he loves. To make matters worse, the couple had signed up for insurance that is not scheduled to kick in until March 1, with a $5,000 deductible. Jackson is looking at a recovery of three to four months, depending on the whims of his pancreas.
Pain is nothing new to Jackson, who has lived in O’Neals for the last ten years, and he’ll stay in the fight to heal for as long as it takes.
“Tim was previously a bullfighter for over 20 years, and helped and saved more cowboys in the sport of rodeo,” Suglian recounts of the Prather native who she says was Western Regional Champion Bullfighter in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 1999.
“Tim is a great guy and will help just about anyone as he cowboys for two local ranches in area when help in needed. We have lived in O’Neals for 10 years but Tim grew up in the Prather area all his life.
For more information, visit: Go Fund Me for Tim Jackson