In a heart-stopping incident at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, on Monday, a 19-year-old cowboy named Austin Broderson faced a near-fatal accident during a bareback riding event. Described as "the worst bareback riding accident in recent history," an online fundraiser has been launched to support Broderson's recovery.
The terrifying episode unfolded shortly after the eight-second buzzer sounded, capturing the attention of spectators and fellow riders. Broderson, a member of the Casper College rodeo team, slipped off the side of the horse, gripping the rigging – a handle resembling a suitcase – that helps riders stay on the steed. However, the rigging broke apart as the horse continued its race around the arena.
A chilling video from the event revealed Broderson being dragged between the horse's hindquarters for nearly 20 seconds as it stomped around. Other riders bravely intervened, managing to free him from the horse's grip. Unfortunately, by that point, Broderson was already unconscious and bleeding heavily, as reported by 9 News.
Broderson was swiftly transported to Denver Health Hospital, where he spent the night in the intensive care unit. His injuries included internal bleeding, a damaged artery, a fractured hip, spinal bruises, and a loss of feeling in his arm. His parents rushed from their home in Alberta, Canada, to be by his side.
Despite the severity of the injuries, Broderson is expected to make a full recovery, surprising onlookers who witnessed the horrifying incident. Fans in the stands fell silent, removing their hats as they watched the events unfold.
"It was by far the toughest rodeo wreck we have ever seen in [our] life," commented one woman on Pro Rodeo Canada's Facebook post about the incident. Another described it as "the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed," expressing relief and prayers for Broderson's recovery.
Broderson's mother, Samantha, shared details about his condition, mentioning that he had a fractured nose and a fractured vertebra in his neck, though thankfully, his spinal cord remained intact. Despite the challenges, Broderson remains resilient, even cracking jokes when awake, according to his mother.
An online fundraiser has been launched to assist the family in covering Broderson's medical expenses, acknowledging the long road ahead. The statement notes that Broderson is strong and determined, expressing confidence that he will overcome the challenges he faces during his recovery.