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
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...
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
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,
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
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
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
(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.
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
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
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,
Covington dreamed of competing in the National High
School Finals Rodeo.
High School Rodeo Association rules require a bull rider to wear a
Kevlar vest, the use of a helmet is optional.
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
And the decision is his to make.
"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,"
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
"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
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 <email@example.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?
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
A Falmouth man died Sunday from injuries sustained in a bull-riding
accident Saturday night.
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
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
16-year-old dies while bull riding
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
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
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
“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.”
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
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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
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
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
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
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,"
"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.
RIDING ACCIDENT FATALITY OVERVIEW
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
Mountain lion 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
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
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