A 23-year-old bullfighter was airlifted to an Edmonton hospital Saturday afternoon after being knocked out and then stepped on by a bull during a rodeo event at the Big Valley Jamboree.

The man suffered a broken jaw but was alert when transported to the University of Alberta hospital, according to Chuck Erman, operations manager for the festival. 

The incident happened during the jamboree's "Bulls for Breakfast" event.

Erman says the man attempted to distract the bull after it had bucked off a rider when he was knocked over and trampled. 

“The bullfighter did his job and protected the bull rider."

In rodeo, bullfighters work to give a fallen cowboys time to scramble to safety by drawing the bull away from them.