North Carolina

Boy, 14, Killed at North Carolina Rodeo During First Bull Ride: ‘My Lil Cowboy’ Denim Bradshaw Denim Bradshaw


A mother is mourning after her son died at a rodeo in North Carolina on Saturday. It was his first time riding a bull.

Denim Bradshaw, 14, was killed while competing in King, North Carolina, about 15 miles northwest of Winston-Salem on Saturday.

Stokes County EMS was called to the rodeo just before 8:30 p.m. in response to cardiac arrest, Fox News reports. Stokes County EMS did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment Monday night.

According to onlookers, the teenager was dropped down the chute and found himself on top of the bull, but before the doors opened, the bull bucked twice, throwing denim on the ground and under the animal’s hooves, reports WFMY News.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics, the teenager died.

Denim’s heartbroken mother, Shannon Bowman, announced his death on Facebook.

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“My beautiful, handsome 14-year-old son had gone to the Lord! I woke up to a nightmare for the rest of my life!” Bowmann wrote.

“I hate myself for that call but he loved every second of it. I’ve never seen him happier than he was last night before he left.”

“My little cowboy I will love and miss you so much and I know God will take care of you,” she wrote.

Denim’s sister started GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses.

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“Nobody expects to lose a soul that young, and we weren’t prepared for it,” wrote Persephone Bowman.

“Denim dived into the world of bull riding and fell in love. The boots, the cowboy hats and those big belt buckles – he loved everything,” added Persephone on GoFundMe. Denim, she said, had “a sparkle in her eyes and a smile on her face” that lit up the room.

“He got to ride his first bull on January 28th and his excitement was palpable. Neither of us could have believed that this first ride would cause his death and we are beyond devastated,” his sister wrote.

“Our sweet 14 year old boy lost his life at the most exciting moment of his short life and we are now lost without him.”

Rodeo organizer Rafter K Rodeo Company, LLC expressed his condolences to the company on Facebook Sunday.

“Our sport is truly a family and we are so grateful for everyone who was there to help,” the rodeo company said.

“This is a tragic event and words cannot describe the pain felt at this loss. We ask everyone to come together and pray for his family for comfort and healing at this difficult time.”

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