PENDLETON - The Pendleton Round-Up had to scramble when it learned its long-time bullfighter, Loyd Ketchum, injured his lower back over the Labor Day weekend at the Ellensburg, Wash. rodeo's X-treme Bulls event. Round-Up has named Eric Layton to serve in that role for the U.S. Bank/Pendleton PBR Classic Sept. 14 and 15, while Donnie Griggs of Hermiston will face danger and entertain the crowds during the Round-Up Sept. 16-19.
Pendleton Round-Up Competitive Events Director Dennis Hunt said Ketchum underwent successful surgery in Seattle following being thrown 10 feet by a bull while saving the bull rider from harm. He will remain in the hospital for six days and then head home to Montana to recuperate.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Loyd and his family, and we wish him a speedy recovery," Hunt said.
Layton is a young bullfighter from Red Bluff, Calif. He's worked a number of large rodeos throughout the United States and Canada and is considered an up-and-coming star in the bullfighting profession.
"We've heard a lot of good things about Eric and look forward to seeing him in action at this year's PBR," Hunt said.
The Round-Up director said Griggs' face will be familiar to bullfighting fans.
"Donnie has fought bulls at our PBR event for the past four years and has proven himself an outstanding bullfighter," he said. "He filled in for Joe Baumgartner two years ago when Joe was injured during PBR and did a great job. I have no doubt the bullriders will be in good hands with these two outstanding bullfighters."