Tough Aussie cowboy gets a bum steer
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”.
Bull rider Bradie Gray was stomped in the chest after being thrown.