An 18-year-old aspiring bull rider had a heart attack and died after suffering a fall during a rodeo in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo last week.
Thiago Castilho was taking part in the Luiz Antônio Rodeo Show at the Gilberto Moreno Permanent Exhibition and Events Park on Thursday evening when tragedy struck.
Video from the event that has been circulating online shows the teen being flung from the bull’s back just eight seconds into the ride, as the Daily Mail reported.
Castilho lost his helmet and fell unconscious to the ground. He was quickly carried away by two men while a third chased off the bull.
The teen, from the city of Brodowski, who dreamed of riding bulls in the US, was rushed to a local hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and died early Friday.
His father, local cop Jean Carlos Castilho, told the Brazilian news outlet G1 that his son had been riding horses since the age of 11, and was riding oxen by the time he turned 16.
The elder Castilho said he would often warn his son about the dangers of bull riding, but he said the youngster was committed to the risky pursuit.
“Unfortunately, that’s what rodeo is all about. It’s a dangerous sport,” Castilho said. “I always said to him, ‘My son, stop it’. (He said), ‘No, father, that’s what I want. If I die one day, I’m going to die happy, I’m going to die riding.’”
Castilho added that his son was happy when he left home to go to the rodeo on Thursday.
Rodeo announcer Ronaldo Xavante told the outlet that the aspiring bull rider was showing a lot of promise and had even caught the attention of several national teams.
The teen was laid to rest in his hometown on Friday afternoon.