Tough Aussie cow­boy gets a bum steer

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BEN PIKE

THIS is the mo­ment the fa­ther of cham­pion Aussie bull rider Bradie Gray thought he’d lost his only son.

Mick Gray and wife Sharon were just me­tres away when Bradie, 20, was tram­pled by Levi the Boss, a one-tonne rag­ing bull, af­ter be­ing thrown dur­ing the Col­lege Na­tional Rodeo at Wy­oming, in the US.

The 2016 Aus­tralian Rookie of the Year got to his feet and stag­gered a few steps be­fore col­laps­ing into the arms of coach Clint Aragon and an­other team­mate.

With bro­ken ribs and a punc­tured lung, his bruised heart had stopped beating by the time he ar­rived at the Wy­oming Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

Mick, a for­mer pro­fes­sional bull rider, said: “Bradie is an amaz­ing young man and I thought we had lost him last night. It was touch and go for while but some­one up there was look­ing out for him.

“He woke when we were in there (at hos­pi­tal). He tried to talk but couldn’t with the ven­ti­la­tor in. He wig­gled his fin­gers and toes, he even wanted to write some­thing down on a piece of pa­per but was too weak.” This is not the only brush with bull­rid­ing death for Bradie, who is study­ing in the Odessa Col­lege in Texas, where he is bull rid­ing team cap­tain.

In the past he has suf­fered a bro­ken back and col­lar­bone, frac­tured his jaw twice and torn his groin.

Coach Clint “CJ” Aragon said he couldn’t be­lieve how lucky Bradie was. “I’ve been com­pet­ing for 28 years and coach­ing for 10, but this is the worst bull­rid­ing in­jury I have ever seen.

“Doc­tors told us that if Bradie was not wear­ing his pro­tec­tive jacket he would not have made it.”

Mr Aragon, 42, said as well as be­ing out­stand­ing aca­dem­i­cally, Bradie was also “as good as any col­lege bull rider I have seen”.

The near-death ex­pe­ri­ence sparked an out­pour­ing of em­pa­thy on­line for the charis­matic com­peti­tor.

Pro­fes­sional Bull Riders Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Glen Young said Bradie will “come back big­ger and stronger than ever”.

Pic­ture: Alan Rogers

Bull rider Bradie Gray was stomped in the chest af­ter be­ing thrown.

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