Jason Brockhoft probably would’ve enjoyed Santa Fe a lot more if he hadn’t wrecked his car and lost his chance at $200,000.
Brockhoft, a sandy-haired Californian, was a contestant in the reality TV show Bullrun, an amateur competition in which, as Brockhoft puts it, “average Joes with their hot rods go cross-country, and whoever gets there fastest wins $200,000.”
In classic reality TV fashion, one two-person team—they take turns driving—is eliminated in each episode. Former WWE wrestler Bill Goldberg is Bullrun’s host.
In December 2008, the show came to Santa Fe. Brockhoft and his partner, Chris Rogers, were racing Brockhoft’s Mitsubishi Evolution on a makeshift track behind the old state penitentiary.
According to Brockhoft, the producers walked him through the course beforehand but neglected to tell contestants that behind the finish line—a chain-link fence they were instructed to “bust through,” Brockhoft says—was a massive concrete block hidden under weeds.
“We hit that at speed—both air bags popped, totaled my car,” Brockhoft says. “I gave the producers what-for. I told them, ‘How dare you almost kill us for your stupid production? Is this funny to you?’” Rogers declined to comment on the incident.
On the YouTube video of the crash, Brockhoft leaves the set cursing—but that’s where accounts of the story diverge.
In Brockhoft’s version, Goldberg chased after him, grabbed him by the shirt and shoulder, and urged him to stay.
“A producer had to intervene between us because he had this look of ‘I’m gonna kill you’ on his face,” Brockhoft says. Angry and intimidated, Brockhoft hurried back to his hotel and filed a report with Solomon Romero from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the sheriff’s report, Romero then headed to the penitentiary, where he met with two Bullrun producers who confirmed the crash but denied any physical contact between Goldberg and Brockhoft. Romero then interviewed Goldberg—whose name has been redacted from the sheriff’s report because he was never charged—who also said that “the incident was never physical.”
Brockhoft says that’s untrue. “This isn’t a hearsay issue,” Brockhoft says. “It’s all on videotape.”
Bullrun, which is currently airing its third season on Fox’s SpeedTV, disagrees.
“Any accusations that [Brockhoft] was assaulted or intimidated at any stage during filming are not true, it simply did not happen by anyone within the Bullrun production and as a consequence no footage exists,” Bullrun Press tells SFR in a statement.
But Brockhoft is insistent. “Not only did the production company lie to the sheriff, but the sheriff’s interpretation of what I said to him was absolutely off base,” Brockhoft says. “It’s almost a useless police report.”
For one thing, his name is listed on the report as “Brockhart.” He also says neither of the producers Romero interviewed actually witnessed his argument with Goldberg and takes issue with Romero’s failure to arrest the host.
But Undersheriff Robert Garcia says the report is satisfactory, and that there wasn’t enough evidence of the alleged assault and battery to bring in Goldberg.
Brockhoft says he filed an amendment to correct the original report’s errors a few months ago, when he returned to Santa Fe to retrieve his car. But Garcia says his office has no record of receiving anything from Brockhoft, despite twice sending him blank forms so he could send in a written statement.
To Brockhoft, the whole thing seems like a cover-up. He had a lawyer until recently, he says, but feels his case is a hard-sell since he wasn’t seriously injured.
The Bullrun producers “have a lot of money and can drag it out forever,” Brockhoft says. “I’m just a little guy in a bad financial situation.”
That’s why he entered Bullrun in the first place, he says: the allure of $200,000.
“The great thing about reality TV,” Brockhoft says, “is you can get slugs nationwide who want their five minutes of fame, and they’ll do anything to get it. They’ll do the stupidest, stupidest things!”