Fourteen-year-old boy dies after being thrown from bull in first-ever rodeo ride
A 14-year-old boy has died after riding a bull at a rodeo in King, North Carolina.
The incident took place on Saturday night when emergency services responded to a call of cardiac arrest at about 8.24pm at the Rafter K Rodeo Winter Series, the Director of Emergency Services in Stokes County Brandon Gentry said, according to WRAL.
The rodeo’s Facebook account identified the teenager as Denim Bradshaw, who was transported to a hospital where he later died.
Amanda Paquette told WFMY that she attended the rodeo, and after having watched her own son compete, she saw the boy enter the bullpen. After the doors opened, the bull bucked twice and he fell off. After the fall, the bull stomped on the teenager’s chest, she told the outlet.
Two EMTs stepped in before Stokes EMS arrived, Stokes County emergency services said.
“Like, I’m a single mom, I had spent these last two weeks saving my money to buy my son everything he needed for the rodeo,” Ms Paquette told WFMY. “I wanted to make sure that he had everything he needed to be safe, but she has no idea that the next day her son wasn’t going to be there with her.”
William Cooper, with several years of bull riding experience, also saw the accident, telling the local TV station that the incident reminded him of him being stepped on.
“The way he come off too and everything. I don’t know if he had time to move out of the way or not, it slammed him to the ground like I was. I didn’t have time to roll over or nothing, it just slammed me down to the ground hard,” Mr Cooper told WFMY.
“Last night was the longest night of my life!!” the teenager’s mother, Shannon Bowman, wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday morning. “My beautiful handsome 14-year-old son ... went to be with the lord! I awoke in a nightmare for the rest of my life! I hate myself for this call but he was loving every second of it I never seen him so happy as I had seen him last night before his departure.”
“Denim baby you did it!! You did that!! I’m so proud of your braveness and your courage! My lil cowboy I will love and miss you so much and I know God will take care of you. For the sake of your bull-riding friends there really should be EMT on site in this sport! That ride was a little [too] long,” she added.
The organiser said in a Facebook post that “everyone here at Rafter K Rodeo Company, LLC would like to give our sincere condolences to the family and friends of bull rider, Denim Bradshaw. This is a tragic event and words cannot describe the pain felt by this loss. We ask everyone to come together and pray for his family for comfort and healing during this difficult time”.
In order to compete, riders have to sign a consent form, and if the rider is a minor, the form must be signed by a parent or guardian and it has to be notarized, WFMY noted. The form states that taking part is dangerous and may lead to injury or death.