Instead of asking why someone rides ask "where", where does such fearless confidence come from and what would this world be if we did not allow the seeds of bravery to grow in young men. The risks are many but the rewards are greater, not just for the men who risk everything to strengthen their mental toughness but for all of us in society who benefit from acts of bravery by men with a similar mentality such as Firefighting, Police, Military or any number of daily heroes who risk their life to help another in need.

So WHY do they ride? Because GOD gave a special gift to a handfull of our population to walk where others dare not walk and do what others dare not do... 

Daniel Dopps Memorial Rodeo

Tim Chambers Cody Brunner Chad Thomas Braeden Chamberlain
Josh Griffin Daniel Dopps Peyton D. Jackson Chris Self
Mike Flaherty Anthony Covington Glen Keeley  

Peyton D. Jackson was pronounced dead at Muskogee Regional Medical Center. Paramedics with Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service were at the competition at the Muskogee Faigrounds Saturday night and attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Witnesses said the bull's back legs came down on Jackson after the teenager completed his 8-second ride.

"Where the bull was bucking, was near the chutes and the fence," Melinda Fairchild of Oktaha, who witnessed the accident, told the Muskogee Phoenix. "When the boy came to the ground, he was kind of on his side, almost to his stomach.

"That bull kicked up, and when he came down, his back feet landed right there on the boy's back and side. He got up, took about three to four steps, and collapsed and hit the ground."

The boy was the only child of Tom and Becky Jackson of Alma, Ark. He was in 10th grade at Alma High School.

"He was the funniest person, and he never met a stranger," his mother said. "He had no fear of anything; that's why he was a bull rider."

Peyton Jackson was a competitor.

No matter what the obstacle, he was going to take it on full force. Sadly, the 16-year old young man with a world of talent left this world all too soon when he was killed Saturday night during a youth bullriding competition at the Muskogee Fairgrounds, in Muskogee, Okla.

Melinda Fairchild of Oktaha, Okla., described the accident.

"He (Jackson) got his 8-second ride," Fairchild said. "He was doing real well. Where the bull was bucking, was near the chutes and the fence. When the boy came to the ground, he was kind of on his side, almost to his stomach. That bull kicked up, and when he came down, his back feet landed right there on the boy's back and side. He got up, took about three to four steps, and collapsed and hit the ground."

Medical service personnel on the scene responded immediately and transported Jackson to Muskogee Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Peyton Jackson, dead at 16
Jackson loved the outdoors and sports. Besides bullriding, he also played football and baseball. He was the only child of Tom and Becky Jackson of Alma, Ark., and was in 10th grade at Alma High School with a 3.5 GPA.

Jackson became interested in rodeo through school friends who were bareback riding. He had been riding bulls for just six months.

His classmate Brock Stepp, 16, admired his late friend in many ways.

"He was fearless," Stepp said of Jackson. "He would do anything. And he was always honest with me. We always went hunting; he was a real good shot. He got an eight-point buck whitetail about a month or two ago."

Stepp said the two had plans to go to Wyoming after completing school to visit friends and go hunting.


Bull Rider Killed At Rodeo
Bull Flips, Lands On Rider GRACE, Idaho, August 8, 2005 | by Jill Preschel

(AP) A rodeo bull flipped in the ring and landed on its rider at the Caribou County Fair and Rodeo, and the rider died of his injuries the next day, officials said.

Daniel Dopps, wearing a vest and a black helmet, was the third contestant out of the gate in bull riding at 8:20 p.m. Saturday, the first event of the night, and never let go of the bull, county sheriff's Cpl. Rick Stokoe said.

A few steps into the ring, the bull made a few small bucks and tripped, putting its head down, digging a horn into the ground and flipping onto Dopps, about 19, of Mountain Home, said Stokoe, who rushed to provide aid.

The rider, ranked 20th in the Wilderness Circuit bull riding standings, was taken first to Caribou Memorial Hospital and then to Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls, where he died Sunday.

Most of the near-capacity crowd stayed for the windup of the two-day rodeo, which resumed later in the evening after a brief delay, said Keith Rigby, a fair board member.

"We didn't know what his real condition was until two or three hours ago. The cowboy was still on the back of the bull. It was kind of a freak deal," Rigby said Sunday night after being informed that Dopps had died.

The rodeo will include bull riding in the future, Rigby said.

"The cowboy wouldn't want it to change any," Rigby said. "They live for this sport. They all know there's a risk in it."

Dopps was at least the second bull rider to die from injuries in the ring during the current rodeo season.

Anthony "Stoney" Covington, 16, of Nespelem, Wash., died after he was bucked off a bull, hit his head against the bull's head and was stomped on the chest by the animal during the Newport, Wash., rodeo on June 25.



Like all of the athletes in Gillette this week, Anthony "Stoney" Covington dreamed of competing in the National High School Finals Rodeo.

But for Covington, the dream was just that: a dream.

Covington, a 16-year-old from Nespelem, Wash., died after being bucked off a bull at the Newport Rodeo on June 24, just three weeks before he was scheduled to compete in bull riding at the NHSFR.

"Stoney was one of the nicest guys I ever knew," said Garrett Wolfe, a member of Washington's NHSFR team. Wolfe was sporting a black armband in memory of Covington.

"(His death) has been hard for us all. We're just all trying to do good for Stoney."

According to reports, Covington was knocked unconscious when his head collided with that of the bull he was riding. When he fell to the ground, the bull stamped on his chest.

At the time of the accident, Covington was not wearing a helmet.

While the death of his friend has impacted him greatly, Wolfe said he will not wear a helmet during NHSFR competition.

"It makes me uncomfortable," he said. "I can't ride as good with it."

And the decision is his to make.

While National High School Rodeo Association rules require a bull rider to wear a Kevlar vest, the use of a helmet is optional.

"There hasn't been a helmet developed that we're satisfied with," said Kent Sturman, executive director of the NHSRA. "We're waiting for a certified helmet to be designed specifically for rodeo."

Washington team member Bucky Dickson, 16, said that though he always wears a helmet during a bull riding competition, the choice should be left to each rider.

"If you don't wear a helmet, it's up to you," he said. "You have a better chance of getting hurt, though.

"I don't want (what happened to Covington) to happen to me."

Scott Corey, whose daughter, Lylan, is competing this week in girls cutting, said that his opinions regarding a helmet requirement have changed over the years.

"When I was riding bulls in high school,I wouldn't have worn a helmet," he said.

"But now, to me, it's about the level of ability. These ones that are just learning who aren't yet used to the bulls, they should be wearing a helmet.

"The guys who know what they're doing - like the Professional Bull Rider guys - they should be able to decide if they want a helmet," Corey said.

He pointed out that Covington's head injury was not the only thing that caused the boy's death: "The bull stepped on his chest, that had a lot to do with it. Those vests take a lot of stuff, but when you get a whole bull coming down, it ain't a lot of cushion.

"The fact of the matter is, any time you run your hand to a rigging, put it through that loop, you're in danger," he said.

Corey expressed his sadness regarding the shortness of Covington's life, but "He lived a lot of life in that time. He knew what he wanted.

"He was a real good cowboy."

Corey said he has been surprised at how well the Washington team has handled Covington's death.

"They've been affected, sure," he said. "Everybody knew Stoney real well. But they're continuing to do what they need to do.

"Stoney was an all-in kind of guy. When he went, he gave everything. That's kind of the attitude the whole team is taking," Corey said.

"When you're in, you're all in."


Bull rider killed in Texas on Sunday
The PBR extends its sympathies to the family of Josh Griffin

PUEBLO, Colo. (February 2, 2009) - The PBR has learned that Josh Griffin, a Nacodoches, Texas, bull rider, passed away Sunday.

Griffin, 27, died of injuries sustained at a bull riding event at the Timpson Rodeo Arena.

“Though the event wasn’t PBR-sanctioned, the incident is a stark reminder of the dangers involved in bull riding, and a testament to the courage of all bull riding athletes, regardless of their sanctioning body,” said PBR CEO Randy Bernard.

“I’ve lost friends in this sport, and danger is what makes the sport so intriguing, not just to the fans, but to the riders,” said Ty Murray, nine-time World Champion and PBR co-founder. “Learning how to do a sport this dangerous is a true test of an athlete, in body, mind and spirit. We send our sincere condolences to Josh’s family.”

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Cason Monk Metcalf Funeral Home in Nacogdoches.


From: Sharon Best <skbest56@neosplice.com>
Subject: Chris Self
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:55:21 -0700

Can anyone tell me about a Chris Self that was killed while bull riding at the
Medicine Hat Stampede? He was riding the bull
Bullistic and suffered internal injuries?


Glen Keeley was was a former Cdn Bull riding champion, and a top-ranked member of the Prof. Bull Riders circuit.

On Fri. he was killed while bull riding in 2007. Glen Keeley, 29, a professional bull-rider; of injuries received in a rodeo competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born on a ranch near Nanton where he began riding bulls. He won the Canadian boys' steer-riding championship in 1983 and, after turning professional in 1988, won the first of his six Canadian bull-riding titles. He won the national (North American) title once, plus several circuit championships and the Copenhagen/ Dodge tour, and in 1993 won both the Alberta circuit and Coors Chute-Out series. He ranked ninth in the Professional Bull Riders point system and had been competing on the circuit since 1994.

Listed ninth in the Professional Bull Rider's rankings with $33,752 in 2000 earnings at the time of his death; Canadian boys' steer riding champion (1983) and bull-riding champion (1989); He died of abdominal injuries while undergoing surgery.

Almost 1,500 people gathered Thursday to remember Glen Keeley, a bull rider who died last week of injuries he suffered after a one-tonne bull trampled him.

Keeley, 30, was competing at the Ty Murray Invitational Rodeo in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Suffering a broken left arm, broken ribs and a punctured lung, Keeley walked away from the incident. But surgeons soon discovered Keeley had serious internal abdominal injuries. He died on the operating table.


A Falmouth man died Sunday from injuries sustained in a bull-riding accident Saturday night.

Mike Flaherty, 27, was competing in a World Bullriding Federation event in Paris, Ohio, about an hour southeast of Cleveland. He had just finished the required eight-second, one-handed ride on the back of the bull, but had trouble getting off.

Until then, he was having a great ride, said his wife, Brandi Flaherty. But he landed on his back beneath the bull.


Bull riding consumed nine-year-old Braeden Chamberlain's life.

Toy plastic bull riders overflowed in his desk and rodeo magazine articles were preferred reading over school textbooks.

In the family's central Alberta home outside Spruce View, Braeden and his two younger brothers practised steer riding on the arm of the couch.

But his passion for the rodeo life ended tragically when, four months after his first riding lesson, Braeden was killed when he was kicked in the chest area by a 650-pound heifer.

A family friend said that the Chamberlains have been shattered by the boy's death.

"How could you not blame yourself when a child is killed?" said Elbert Koster, a neighbour and family friend of Mike and Tammy Chamberlain, Braeden's parents. "The fact of the matter is: This is a sport, there are risks involved, safety gear was worn and worn properly to the standard of the sport and this was a freak accident."


16-year-old dies while bull riding

Chad Thomas had named the bull that killed him. The 16-year-old cowboy called him Hangover, because of the way he stumbled into a Butler County corral last week.

Chad was one of the first to walk the bull, talk to him and prepare him for the weekly rodeos at Hang'n Tree Ranch.

He was also one of the first to ride Hangover. And authorities say when the bull started bucking and snorting Friday night, Chad lost his grip, got caught in a rope and was struck in the head by one of the bull's horns.

The Ross High School sophomore was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital by Millville life squad, where he was pronounced dead at 9:30 p.m. The Butler County coroner's office said the death was an accident.

“All he wanted to do was be a bull rider,” Chad's 21-year-old sister, Brianne Thomas, said Saturday.

In a phone interview from the family's home on Ross-Hanover Road, Ms. Thomas spoke between sobs and laughter as she described her brother's devotion to being a cowboy, working on the ranch and his desire to lay claim to being the best rider.

She said about the only other thing he talked about was getting a driver's license, and he was impatient about having to wait for it.

Chad's mother and stepfather, Cheri and Tim Theiss, recalled his minor scrapes and bruises and the one time “he got stepped on.

“Two weeks ago, for the first time, he made eight seconds,” his sister said. “He said then that was what he was going to do for a living.”

Eight seconds is the magic number for bull riders: the time they attempt to stay sitting on the back of a 1,600-pound beast once it bursts from the chute.

Chad loved the bulls so much that on Friday he went straight to the Hang'n Tree after school without stopping at home first, as he did most days.

Fridays were Chad's payoff for a week of exercising, feeding and caring for the bulls. That's when some 250 people from around the Tristate pack into the Hang'n Tree's barn to root for the bull riders. There, competitors — who are mostly in their late teens and early 20s — can earn $300 or more in prize money.

But Chad wasn't after the money, said friend Casey Spreckelmeier, whose parents own the Hang'n Tree, on Cochran Road.

Chad, who learned to ride on a garbage can connected to a rope, went from there to the real thing, bypassing mechanical bulls altogether. He just wanted to ride.

“He was a hero in a lot of people's eyes,” Mr. Spreckelmeier, 23, said. “I mean I got him started in this. ... I took him to a lot of rodeos. He was like my best friend, kind of like a little brother.”

Mr. Spreckelmeier was watching Friday when Chad was pitched from Hangover.

“I don't want to talk about it,” he said. “It was a freak accident.... it could've happened to anyone.”

Chad's sister says the family doesn't hold anything against the ranch or the Spreckelmeiers.

He put in so much time at the ranch that Sundays were about the only day his family saw him before sundown, and today was supposed to be extra special. His parents had bought tickets to the World's Toughest Bulls and Broncs competition at Firstar Center.

“They were going to wake him up and take him down there, it was a surprise,” Ms. Thomas said.

Instead, they will be making funeral arrangements at Brown & Dawson Funeral Home and thinking about a memorial planned Friday at the Hang'n Tree Ranch.

“He was a part of everyone's life here,” Mr. Spreckelmeier said. “And he knew those bulls like they were his pets.”


Joshua "Cody" Brunner, 21, knew the risks, but the thrill of riding a 2,000-pound bundle of rage was a dream to him, "a destiny," said one friend.
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Brunner died Saturday night at a Topeka hospital after the bull he was riding at the United Rodeo Association finals at the Kansas Expocentre stepped on his abdomen.

Steve Tracy, a longtime friend and Brunner's traveling partner on the rodeo circuit, said everyone knows the dangers as they strap themselves to the bucking beasts.

"But when you jump off after a successful ride, throw your hat off and hear the crowd cheer, there's nothing better in the whole world," Tracy said.

Brunner, of Warrensburg, Mo., was the guy who "was always smiling," said Scott Davis, who contracts out his bulls to the URA circuit.

Tracy said Brunner's smile "never left his face."

"He was always bringing people up," Tracy said. "Even if he was annoying, he made you laugh."

Tracy remembers watching his friend pop out of the chute Saturday night and hang on for the full eight seconds before letting go. But something in the dismount went wrong, and after a stray hoof caught Brunner in the torso, the 21-year-old was motionless in the dirt.

Tracy and others raced to their friend's side and knew it wasn't good. They kneeled there and prayed.

"If he had any will in him at all, I knew he'd get up, but he didn't," Tracy said.

According to study in the June issue of International SportsMed Journal, bull riders receive more injuries than players in any other spectator sport. Those injuries are often more severe, as well, the study showed.

But that does little to deter those in the rodeo industry.

The sport has its roots in the Old West, an Americana built on rough and tumble settlers. That fighting spirit carries on in modern-day rodeo, said Mark Brandenburg, a doctor with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and the organizer of the International Rodeo Medicine Conference.

Brandenburg didn't have statistics on deaths related to rodeo events, but varying rodeo organizations estimated one to two people die each year from bull riding alone.

"A lot of people do think it's crazy," Tracy said. "But you'll never have another rush like it. You get on that bull and say to yourself, 'Ride that bull, ride that bull, ride that bull!' "

All the riders at Saturday's event wore protective vests, and many, including Brunner, wore helmets.

"It just shows even when everything goes right, it's still possible to get hurt," URA president Clint Tatum said of Brunner's preventative measures.

Tatum said the cowboys like Brunner aren't local farm boys ignorant of the sport's power.

"They train and study and spend years doing this," Tatum said.

He watched Brunner climb the rodeo ranks from the junior division up to the URA, and the 21-year-old was in sixth place when he died Saturday.

The URA is a few stops below the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, Davis said. Brunner wasn't at the top of the sport, Davis said, but he was enjoying his life.

"This was his destiny," Davis said. "He died with his boots on."


Attorney, bull rider and father of a blonde one-year-old girl, Austin Vollor, 36, feels life is for doing it all.
"I've always wanted to be a bull rider and I figured there's no better time to do it than now," said Vollor.
The attorney of 12 years wasn't going through a midlife crisis or severe boredom when he signed up to learn the ropes and the cowbells tied to them at Sankey Rodeo School in Martin, Tenn.
"I had just gotten used to putting blame on other people like everything was their fault," he said. "But when you get on a bull, mistakes you make are critical and you are accountable for your mistakes."
Sankey is one of about a dozen bull riding schools in the U.S.
The death of Vollor's friend, Tim Chambers, 49, by having slid under a bull has not scared Vollor out of riding again.
Chambers, a husband and a father of two from East Market, Tenn., stayed on the bull two seconds before losing his grip.
While his bull kept bucking, Chambers' chest was struck and he later died of massive internal injuries.
"We became buddies instantly and hung out together the whole time," said Vollor.
"Most bull riders are very young and he was the only other one I met there around my age."
Chambers accident was the second recorded death in Sankey's history.



Rodeo, equestrian, and bull riding deaths occur infrequently related to how many people are exposed to these animals, but they do happen. An average of 20 people per year are killed in horse related accidents, and on average 3 people are killed per year by Bulls.

Average Number of Deaths per Year in the U.S

Bee/Wasp 53
Dogs 31
Horse 20
Spider 6.5
Rattlesnake 5.5
Bull 3
Mountain lion 1
Shark 1
Alligator 1
Bear 1
Scorpion 1

The horse and bull rodeo origins can be traced back to when bull-fighting began in ancient Rome and southern European areas. Its roots stem from the ideas of bull worship and sacrifice, which was at the core of the Mithras religion of Rome. Mithraism was a secret religion practiced by some in the Roman military between 100AD and 400AD. Many initiates had to go through trails to prove themselves worthy of joining the Mithras religion, the majority of these tests were to slay powerful animals. One of these animals was the bull, which was a prominent figure in the religion. Angra Mainyu (the destructive one) slayed Gayo Maretan (the first one) who is represented as a bull. The oldest depiction of a man fighting a bull is located at the Celtiberian tombstone from Clunia and a cave painting "El toro de hachos", both are located in Spain.

Bull fighting can often be linked back to Rome, where many gladiators faced animals in the arena. During these fights, the bull was often fought on horseback using a long spear. Bull fighting was also used to warm up solders for war and at religious or cultural festivities, such as the running of the bull seen today in Spain (encierro). Since its beginning it has spread to numerous south European countries like Portugal and the south of France, where it has developed into numerous styles and variations.

At first one may think that the rodeo bull riding that is seen in America, somehow has its origins in Spain. However, this is not true, rodeo bull and horse riding originated in Deer Trail, Colorado. A disagreement between two groups of cowboys over who was the best at ranch tasks. This simple competition led to what is now a world renown sport. The idea is for the cowboy to be able to stay on as long as possible, however it is not that simple. Scores are out of 100, they are based on the cowboys rhythm and smoothness of their motions. If the rider is constantly off-balance or struggling then he or she will score poorly, the rider must also remain on the bull for at least eight seconds in order to be awarded any points. The bull also influences the amount of points a rider can score, basically the more difficult the bull is to ride the more points are awarded. If the bull scores more points than any of the riders can, the ranch from which the bull comes from receives great prestige. The honorary bull is often coveted as a breeding partner for cows and the ranch could receive alot of money from breeders.

In order to successfully ride a bucking bronco bull, you must be in tune with the bulls movements and adjust your balance swiftly. The faster you can switch your balance to counteract the bulls bucks and spins, the longer you will stay on. Riders should not see it as competing with the bull, but actually becoming one with the bull and working together. This results in the ultimate affinity of man with animal, and can be seen as a terrific piece of art. It is not only bulls that are used in the western rodeo, but also horses. A bucking horse is significantly different to a bucking bull, the movements are much different but the same principal of union exists. To successfully feel and interpret the animals movements will lead to success.

The western rodeo differs greatly from European games. In the western rodeo games, there are significantly less injuries to both man and beast. However, injuries and fatalities are still a possibility. Animal rights activists oppose all forms of rodeo and bull fighting, the former being less gratuitous although still considered to be cruel as the bull still experiences significant levels of stress.

The bucking bull machine is an attempt to simulate the rough and wild ride experienced provides a great deal of fun and laughter without any injuries to the ride or animal. Mechanical rodeo machines are often used by young would be riders during their training, which begins in high school.

http://www.wackyrodeobulls.co.uk For more information about modern rodeo and simulators

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_W_Higgins




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