A bull fighter is in hospital, recovering from serious injuries after he was stomped and tossed by a bull at the Stony Plain rodeo grounds Friday night.

It happened in front of the announcer booth when a bull rider was thrown during an event on Friday.

Three bull fighters and a rodeo clown rushed into the ring to distract the bull so the cowboy could get away.

The bull charged and hit one of the fighters, a young man in his 20s, sending him through the air.

"It was very scary," said Bev Giles, promotions manager for Kinsmen Rodeo.

"The one bull fighter came head-to-head with the bull, tossed him up, knocking him unconscious and then trampled him considerably."

The man received a broken pelvis and several cuts, including one on his throat.

STARS were called in to airlift the man to hospital in Edmonton.

He was stable, responsive and speaking when picked up by STARS.

The incident left the crowd, organizers and even stock handlers shocked.

They say such an incident is a rare occurrence, one they haven't seen happen before in the rodeo's 16-year history.

"We've had fractured ankles and concussions but never that we had to call in STARS. This was a first, very unfortunate event," Giles said.

Organizers say there was nothing that could have been done to prevent what happened.

"It's not as common as you would think," said event chairman Mike McCullough.

"It was just a fraction of a second where [the bull fighter] lost his footing, and that was the difference between being able to step around the bull and the bull hitting him head on."

The bull fighter is expected to make a full recovery.

The Stony Plain Kinsmen Farmers' Day and Rodeo Exhibition runs all day Saturday and Sunday.

With files from Amanda Anderson