Odessa College bull rider from Australia severely injured in College National Finals Rodeo

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A bull rider from Australia suffered life-threatening injuries when a bull threw him and stepped on his chest at the College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming, his coach said Friday.

Bradie Gray, a junior from Hallsville, Australia, suffered broken ribs, a bruised aorta and collapsed lungs Thursday night at the Casper Events Center, Odessa College coach C.J. Aragon told the Casper Star-Tribune.

Gray had no pulse when he arrived at the Wyoming Medical Center. He underwent surgery, was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator and faced another operation on Friday, Aragon said.

Gray was bucked off Frontier Rodeo’s Levi the Boss and the bull stepped on his chest. He was able to stand up and was pulled into a bucking chute where he was put on a backboard and taken by ambulance to the hospital.

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Gray, a junior at the college in Odessa, Texas, told the Star-Tribune earlier in the week that he was coming off his fifth serious injury of his college rodeo career. He suffered a broken back as a freshman, twice broke his jaw, suffered a torn groin and earlier this year broke a collarbone.

He also spoke about his decision to come to the United States to compete.

“It’s what I love,” he said. “I’ve been bred to do it, so we’re here to do it.”

Gray had told the Odessa American that his family planned to travel to Wyoming to watch the competition.

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Gray said he had ridden just one practice bull in preparation for the College National Finals Rodeo as he recovered from his most recent injury.

“I try to ignore it all and just have fun,” he told the Star-Tribune. “That’s what you need to do.”