A 14-year-old North Carolina boy died at a rodeo after being thrown off a bull that then stomped on his chest, authorities and horrified witnesses said.
Denim Bradshaw was taking part in the Rafter K. Rodeo at the American Legion Post 290 in the city of King when he was thrown off the beast Saturday night, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
The teen’s mom, Shannon Bowman, described the horrific tragedy and paid tribute to her son in a heatbreaking post online on Sunday.
“My beautiful handsome 14 year old son had went to be with the lord! I awoke in a nightmare for the rest of my life!” the shattered woman wrote.
“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 you and miss you so much and I know God will take care of you,” Bowman added.
Stokes County emergency management chief Brandon Gentry said his unit was called to the scene at 8:30 p.m. on a report of a cardiac arrest.
“He was one of the participants when this happened. He was riding a bull and was thrown off,” Gentry told the Winston-Salem Journal.
The boy was rushed to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, where he died, Gentry said.
In a statement, Rafter K. Rodeo expressed its “sincere condolences to the family and friends of bull rider, Denim Bradshaw.
“Our sport is truly a family and we are so thankful for everyone that was there to help. We are thankful for our on site EMT’s, paramedics and law enforcement that work so hard to care for the cowboys,” it said.
“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 in this difficult time,” the rodeo outfit added.
Amanda Paquette, whose son also was competing at the event, told WFMY News 2 that she saw the bull stomp on Denim’s chest after his fall. She expressed her sympathy for Denim’s mom in the wake of the shocking incident.
“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,” 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,” she said.
William Cooper also was at the event, helping out when he saw Denim get bucked off.
“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,” Cooper said, recalling how he too was stomped on once while competing.
“I didn’t have time to roll over or nothing, it just slammed me down to the ground hard,” he added.
Rodeo Participants must sign a consent form to compete. Minors must have a parent or guardian’s notarized signature, according to WFMY. The form advises participants of the risk of personal injury and death.
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