Twelve-Year-Old Boy Dies in Bull Riding Competition

200px-Bull-Riding2-SzmurloWhen researchers recently found that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport, they probably did not consider bull riding. The accident happened around 11:20 a.m at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. Richard Wayde Hamar, 12, of Yuma died in the junior bull riding competition held in Boulder County Fairgrounds this week while riding a bull.

The children have to stay on the bull for six second and Richard was thrown off after a couple of seconds. The rear legs of the bull then came down on his lower abdomen. He was wearing a protective vest but the bull hit Richard just below it. He died at the hospital.

The National Little Britches Rodeo Association is based out of Colorado Springs and holds more than 275 junior rodeos across the United States, including the national championship in Pueblo. Little Britches are aged between 8 and 18 years old.

The accident is likely to raise questions over the safety of putting eight-year-olds on a bucking bull. The organizers insist, however, that the safety rate is quite good for their sport. Sgt. Mike Dimond of the sheriff’s office said that accidents are rare but always a concern: “It could happen any time. I’m just surprised it doesn’t.”

The rodeo clowns were too far away and the accident occurred too fast for them to act to separate the bull from the boy. Most of these competitions have extensive waivers, but such waivers may not protect against reckless or gross negligent conduct. The problem with a lawsuit is that such a fatality can occur without gross negligence. The question is whether, even when rodeo clowns and staff are acting reasonably, the sport is still too dangerous of kids as young as eight. The competition tries to select animals that are age appropriate, but these are still huge animals.

Recently, a gun organization faced the same question when a child shot himself in the head with an Uzi, leading to criminal charges. There is clearly no criminal allegations likely here, but there may be some questions of unacceptable risk for children.

For the full story, click here.

37 thoughts on “Twelve-Year-Old Boy Dies in Bull Riding Competition”

  1. This is simple. Organize your own house before you try organizing someone else’s. You would probably find out you wont have enough time to keep up yours, much less ours. God bless all of our rodeo family

  2. I can’t believe how stupid people are about this whole thing. I didn’t know this existed until tonight. The excuse “My kid really wants to do it” doesn’t hold water, people. Kids want to do tons of inane stuff but parents are supposed to be there to guide them away from stupid ideas like getting on a twelve hundred pound bull with a cinch infuriating him. I watched a kid tonight get carried into the ambulance tonight and they don’t know how he’s going to do. He’s 12. I also watched a kids ankle gets stomped on and probably broken and another kid get caught in the rope and get flung into the gates like a rag doll. The other argument “More total deaths or injuriies in football” shows how little you know about statistics. There are millions of kids playing those sports, so their average is insanely low compared to the small number of junior bull riders and then the number of them who get hurt or killed. This is child abuse.

  3. And just to point out, that this does not in any way pad a parents pocket, the entry fee for the futurity rodeos are in the 100s of dollars, buckaroos range from $5 to $45. Sometimes we walk away with a cash prize from the futurity events if he places. 80% goes into an interest bearing education fund, 10% will pay for gear replacement and his entry fees, and my son will usually get to keep a small amount to spend as he pleases, and he will donate 10% to church and charity. Most of the time (well over 95% of the time) my husband and I eat the expenses. Meaning we pay out way more than he ever has brought home and we do not keep anything he earns for ourselves. One thing that wasn’t mentioned before is the cost of transportation and tickets for these events. While my son is allowed in the gates for free as a participant, my husband, my daughter, and I still have to buy tickets to watch; ranging from $5 to $35+ each. We foot the bill for the cost of gas each month to travel at times 6 hours away pulling a full sized travel trailer to sleep in. We always end up spending an additional $100 or so on T-shirts, pictures, and food and drinks. There is the cost of upkeep on both our travel trailer and our trucks. The Buckaroo rodeos are often just for fun or benefits, some will pay out with a $25 gift card to somewhere like Cavender’s, but usually its just a trophy and job well done type of event with only ribbons and/or medals giving for participants who do not place.

  4. It really surprises me how many people want to berate others for something they have never dealt with. My son came to me one day and wanted to ride a bull. Of course I held ground and denied him time and again. I had the wonderful idea to take him to a rodeo and let him see how scary it was; this only drove his want to be a bull rider. I went home and researched it fully, talked to other parents, and learned the facts of the whole ordeal. In doing the research it almost made me relieved to know my son had no interest in football and other sports that most would call tame. The results took me by surprise: Average deaths annually from football are well over the 2,000 mark. Average annual deaths from bull riding…3! Hmm, who is a crazy parent now? More children are lost to “TAME” (as you are calling them) sports a year than bull riding.
    So the next year we walked by the Buckaroo rodeo booth and as my son smiled and took the sleeve of my shirt and pulled me toward it, I started by instinct to shake my head no, but his face was so bright and his smile so big and although it was scary for me, I had in my mind that he was more likely to die playing sports for his school than spending a few seconds on a calf. I signed him up, paid the $45 registration fee, relieved to know that protective gear would be provided as he would be riding in an annual benefit rodeo that all the proceeds would be used for college scholarships. All he had to do was show up.
    So we go and he gets a pretty little calf that bucked and twisted and ran, tossing my son off a mere 2.3 seconds out of the gate (It felt like 20 minutes to me, though). My son jumped up, tossed his arms in the air, and then strutted out of the arena to all the clamping and whoops and hollers of all the parents and bystanders. My video of the whole ordeal looks like we are in the middle of a huge earthquake I was shaking so hard, and you can hear me sniffling and teary eyed and praying in the background. I was more traumatized than my son with the whole ordeal. I hoped that had cured him of his idealism of bull riding. Instead he grew to love it more. His words ” Momma, thank you. I accomplished something great and I didn’t get hurt. See..” and he turns a complete circle before running off to talk and act “Big” with all the other little Buckaroos.
    We have been doing the Buckaroo and Youth Futurity Rodeos for three years now. He still rides calves and won’t go on to the little steers for another year yet. I am still nervous and hold my breath until he is safely back in the bleachers with me, but every time he returns with a huge smile and sparkling eyes to show me is perfectly okay before running back to stand with all of the other buckaroos. They play and talk between rides and stand and stay quite as they watch their friends ride. They kneel in prayer when necessary and clap and congratulate when the times are right. These boys are respectful and mature in some ways, but only in the ways that makes a parent smile and nod with a tear in their eyes as they watch their sons actions and faith speak outwards, time after time.
    I have to say the sense of community and level of support between all involved cannot be beat by any other competitive sport. The boys may be competing to win, but are a family of their own. We pray together and we play together. In the end, it doesn’t matter who won or who ate dirt the fastest, it’s comes down to community and lifelong friendships. Sure there are injuries, but none worse than any other sports.
    It comes down to this, call me a horrible parent for allowing this, but my son as of yet has not been injured. I know the chances go up with each rodeo, but I have had to have my children stitched and patched up more times from riding bicycles, trying to climb trees, jumping off of random items, and in my daughter’s case, a plastered arm from running across the yard and tripping over her own feet more times than I have ever seen from all of the accidents from the children’s rodeos my son as participated in.
    I know this post is already overly long, but parents research and learn facts before you start berating other parents. I don’t go around calling football parents irresponsible and unreasonable or other names that I am sure I would get struck by lightening for repeating because they allow their children to play one of the worse sports around.

  5. well i ride bull in arkansas and i almost got killed by and bull sundays thanks jacob jackson for saving my life!


  7. I’m16 years old and gonna be riding this winter, ive always wanted to do it, constantly buggin mom to let and shes said no no no its not safe you can get seriously hurt, now that im older i finally talked mom into it by letting her know i can get seriously injured by playing football just as much as riding a bull, i agree with some above, if the parents dont let them do there gonna do it soon as they have the say to, its like when your little mom says no your gonna do it behind there back.

  8. I found this after searching for an explanation of why boys want to ride bulls. I don’t like it, but my 13 year old does. We have had roping horses, barrel horses, played ball….. And his heart is in riding bulls! It’s scary. But, I will support him.
    My brother started riding calves, then steers, Jr. Bulls, then big rank ones. Rode for 15+ years. He was killed in a car wreck at age 21. So, you never know how you will go. He always thought a bull would get him. Wasn’t a bull! He loved riding bulls. He loved his rodeo family! Do what makes you happy. Life is too short to try to fix stupid people that sit around and judge others decisions. Rodeo is a family sport. It takes true grit and passion. It takes supportive family members. It takes a whole lot if money for fuel!!!!!

  9. i used to ride in rodeos with him when i was younger and sometimes he wold hang with one of my brothers. but then i went by a different felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest.he was like a brother.we all miss him and feel sorry for the family’s loss and but that is the risk with rodeo.

  10. i am 16 and have been ridein since i was 14. i was introduced to the sport by an older gentalmen who taught me everythin i know. this is a dangerous sport but its a way of life. you dont just jump on the back of a bull. it takes practice and alot of time. this is a tragic story and my regards go strongly to the family of this fallen cowboy but i dont blame the parents. it is an adrenaline rush when you get on the back of a bull. i love to ride and i choose to ride every chance i get. all this political stuff about kids shouldnt be able to ride at the age of 8 is a bunch of crap. this way of life is dieing out slowly and there arnt that many of us left. i think its great to teach the next generation this way of life. so if you have never been on the back of a bull then you dont understand the love you can have for the sport. RIP Wayde, you knew the risk of rideing and you rode that bull. thats a sign of love for the sport. RIP to all the cowboys young and old. you will be missed.

  11. okay, wayde was a friend of mine and i miss him a bunch. he actually died before he got out of the arena. i do little britches and you have to be a junior(8-13) or a senior (14-18) to ride the bulls. no one is going to put an 8 year old on a bull. thats crazy. it was not wayde’s fault or his parents fault that he got killed, it was just a freak accident. it was not careless parenting, and im certain of that. i agree with annie and wyatt. everything they are saying is true. do not blame this on the parents. my brother bull rides and he has gotten severely hurt, but what kid dosent get hurt? i do not know one parent that dose not want their kid to get on such a dangerous animal. trust me, i get nervous evreytime i go to a rodeo and watch my brother ride. the bull fighters got almost evrything handled. in wayde’s case, they just weren’t quick enough and they were standing too far away. seriously? you people are really irritating. i cant believe that you are leaving such rude comets on this and just blame other people when it was really no ones fault. i am so angry because you people just dont get it. honestly, yall need to wake up and get the whole picture before you start blaming people. i am a 13 year old girl and i have more sense then half of you people!

  12. cody:

    “im 15 and i ride bulls too and i love it. Ive been stomped and had broken bones but i think the good lord makes things like this happen for a reason, everything has an explanation …”


    I agree with you, cody. I would say the explanation is either absent or careless parenting. When you mature you might feel differently if your body is mangled and arthritic. Maybe another sport might give you as much satisfaction without needlessly risking your life.

    If you participate in the “Little Britches” rodeo here’s the language from the release you’re parents had to sign prior to your participation:

    We acknowledge that participation in any National Little Britches Rodeo Association, (hereinafter NLBRA) sanctioned rodeo or activity as a competitor, participant, volunteer or spectator exposes a competitor, participant, volunteer or spectator to a substantial and serious risk of property damage, personal injury, or death. <We assume all risks to ourselves, our guests and our children, including risk which can be eliminated, altered or controlled, whether or not integral to equestrian recreational activities. In consideration for our child being permitted to participate in NLBRA rodeos and activities, we hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless and release NLBRA its agents, executive committee members, sponsors, volunteers, owners, stock contractors and any NLBRA franchisee, production entity or organization, their agents, representatives, sponsors, volunteers, owners, and stock contractors from liability for any and all property damage, personal injuries, death, or other claims arising from our child(s), our own, or our guest(s) participation in any NLBRA activity, including but not limited to, rodeos, practices, play days, or other activities, including claims that are known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, future or contingent.”

    By the way, I have it on good authority the good lord is ok with you swimming or running and doesn’t make you get hurt “for a reason.”.

  13. Im sorry to here that, im 15 and i ride bulls too and i love it. Ive been stomped and had broken bones but i think the good lord makes things like this happen for a reason, everything has an explanation, but sometimes things, I think, are best left alone. God has a plan for everybody and for some of us, our plan might be simply just to lead someone to Christ. Ill be praying for yall.
    The bull riders prayer
    As i live the cowboy way,protection is what i pray, i don’t know my fate, outside of the gate. If my ride sees trouble, send angels on the double, for in you the lord I rest, let my life pass your test. By pure grace i am saved, lord, ride with me. That’s the cowboy way, And what bull riders pray.

  14. reasonable\ˈrēz-nə-bəl, ˈrē-zən-ə-bəl\, adj.,

    1a : being in accordance with reason (a reasonable theory) b : not extreme or excessive (reasonable risks)

    unreasonable \-ˈrēz-nə-bəl, -ˈrē-zən-ə-bəl\, adj.,

    1a : not governed by or acting according to reason (unreasonable people) b : not conformable to reason : absurd (unreasonable beliefs)

    2: exceeding the bounds of reason or moderation (working under unreasonable pressure)

    risk\ˈrisk\, n.,

    1: possibility of loss or injury : peril

    2: someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard

    3a : the chance of loss or the perils to the subject matter of an insurance contract; also : the degree of probability of such loss b : a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer c : an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source (war risk)

    4: the chance that an investment (as a stock or commodity) will lose value

    These three terms have a relationship. They even have a relationship to this story.

  15. Parents, if you want to keep your children from getting hurt the only thing to do to keep that from happening is sticking them in a bottle and putting them on a shelf, and even that they could still get hurt so just think about that when you don’t let them do things.

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