A fourteen-year-old from North Carolina tragically lost his life after the bull he was riding during a local rodeo stomped him in the chest.
On Saturday evening, Denim Bradshaw was taking part in an event organized by the Rafter K Rodeo Company in King, North Carolina. His short ride ended abruptly when the bull he was riding on bucked twice before Denim was thrown to the ground.
EMTs who were present on the scene attempted to save his life until first responders arrived and took Denim to the hospital, where he later passed away.
William Cooper, a veteran bull rider who had been in a similar situation before, stated that Denim likely had no time to save himself.
Denim’s mother, Shannon Bowman, expressed her grief in a Facebook post and thanked her son for his bravery.
“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! 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.”
Rafter K Rodeo also released a statement on social media thanking first responders and requesting prayers for Denim’s family.
“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. 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.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help with funeral expenses and noted that this was Denim’s first time ever riding a bull.
“None of us could believe that this first ride would cause his death, and we are beyond devastated. Our sweet 14 year old boy lost his life during what was the most exciting moment of his short life, and we are now lost without him.”
According to regulations, all rodeo participants must sign a consent form, which details the potential risks associated with the activity. Minors are not allowed to compete without a parent’s signature and notarization.