Denim Bradshaw was taking part at the Rafter K Rodeo Winter Series in King, North Carolina. His family said: “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.”
A 14-year-old boy has died while riding a bull for the first time at a rodeo in North Carolina.
It happened at the Rafter K Rodeo Winter Series at the American Legion Post 290 venue in the city of King on Saturday, officials said.
The rider was named as Denim Bradshaw by event organisers in a Facebook post.
Paramedics were called to the scene following a report of a cardiac arrest. The teenager was taken to hospital where he later died.
His mother, Shannon Bowman, shared her heartbreak in a Facebook post.
“Last night was the longest night of my life!” she wrote.
“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!”
She added she had “never seen him so happy as I had seen him last night before his departure” – and praised him for his bravery and courage.
Amanda Paquette, whose son also took part in the event, told local TV station WFMY News 2 she saw the bull stomp on Denim’s chest after he fell.
Event organisers wrote on Facebook: “Everyone here at Rafter K Rodeo Company, LLC would like to give our 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.”
They added: “This is a tragic event and words cannot describe the pain felt by this loss.”
Denim’s sister wrote on a GoFundMe page she set up to help with funeral expenses that it was his first time riding a bull.
She wrote: “Denim adventured into the world of bull riding and fell in love. 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.”