A 14-year-old cowboy is being remembered for his courage after he died while bull-riding for the first time in a rodeo on Saturday.
Denim Bradshaw was thrown from the animal and was in cardiac arrest on the arena floor at an American Legion post in King, North Carolina, a Stokes County EMS official told the Winston-Salem Journal.
A witness told WFMY 2 that the bull stomped on the boy’s chest.
The boy remained unconscious in front of the stunned crowd as emergency workers treated him. He died later at the hospital.
“I’m so proud of your braveness and your courage!” the boy’s mother, Shannon Bowman, wrote on Facebook Sunday. “My lil cowboy I will love and miss you so much and I know God will take care of you.”
The family noted in a GoFundMe page how Denim’s passion for the sport led to the fateful moment.
“Denim adventured into the world of bull riding and fell in love,” according to the post. “The boots, the cowboy hats, and those big belt buckles ― he loved it all.”
“He got to ride his first bull on January 28th, and his excitement was palpable. 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.”
The rodeo organizer, Rafter K Rodeo Company, offered its condolences.
“This is a tragic event and words cannot describe the pain felt by this loss,” the company wrote on Facebook.
Denim is survived by his parents and three siblings, WSFA reported.