Mason Lowe — a professional bull rider from Exeter, Missouri — died after he was thrown off a bull, and stomped on, at a rodeo competition in Denver. Lowe, 25, was thrown on Tuesday, and died of his injuries.
CNN says that Lowe was competing at the PBR Chute Out at the National Western Stock Show — riding a bull named Hard Times — when he was “pulled under the animal’s left hind hoof,” a hoof which struck his chest, according to Professional Bull Riders President and CEO Sean Gleason.
Though the bull rider was wearing a protective vest, the injuries to his chest and heart were too severe. He died at the hospital.
Gleason released a statement on behalf of the organization via Twitter.
“We are deeply saddened to report that Mason Lowe passed away this evening following injuries sustained at the PBR event in Denver. The entire PBR and National Western sports family extends our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Mason’s wife Abbey and his family.”
Mason Lowe was ranked 18th in the world, and had been bull riding since he was eighteen years old. He had already earned $10,000 this season, according to the Professional Bull Riders Association website.
My colleague and I met and photographed Mason on Monday night, in a back room at the rodeo arena. We spoke for a bit about a cowboy’s creased jeans, and his love of the sport. He didn’t tell me he was ranked 18th in the world. https://t.co/yG9LTSz3eT— julieturkewitz (@julieturkewitz) January 16, 2019
Paul Andrews, President and CEO of National Western Stock Show, also wanted to express his condolences to Lowe’s family.
“Our entire rodeo family and every member of the Stock Show community is saddened by the loss of bull rider Mason Lowe. Our hearts and thoughts are with the Lowe family, his fellow bull riders and the entire PBR organization.”
Gleason added that the bull Lowe was riding during the competition will continue at the event.
Shad Smith, who owns the bull called Hard Times, says he’s mourning the death of Lowe — but adds that it wasn’t the animal’s fault, per USA Today.
Smith says that the 1400-pound animal was doing what he was supposed to do at the time Lowe was killed, and that as a professional rider, Lowe knew the risks.
“Everybody in the rodeo world knows it’s not the bull’s fault. I mean, it’s a risk you take [as a bull rider]… Bulls are like people. They all have their own personalities. And this bull is an athletic, good bull. But as far as a mean bull or things like that, he’s no more than what he’s been bred to do.”
Lowe was on Hard Times for 3.04 seconds before he was thrown at the Denver Colosseum earlier this week.