SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A top ranked professional bull rider died after suffering serious injuries during a competition at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
The Professional Bull Riders say a bull stomped on Mason Lowe’s chest. He later died at a hospital Tuesday night.
The 25-year-old from Exeter, Missouri, was ranked 18th in the world.
Lowe was injured while coming out of a chute on a bull weighing between 1,500 to 2,000 pounds. He was attempting to stay on the bull for eight seconds.
Sean Gleason, the CEO of the Professional Bull Riders Association, admitted in a news conference bull riding is a dangerous sport.
“But I think that’s why people have made us one of the fastest growing sports in the history of sports,” Gleason said. “Nobody wants to see anybody get injured but it’s a dangerous sport.”
On Wednesday, officials said Lowe’s death is only the third ever in a PBR competition.
Lowe was on the rodeo team at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff in 2012.
Chad Phipps, the Head Rodeo Coach at Three Rivers College, said his death was shocking not only for them but for the bull riding world.
Tyler Joe Lewis decided to help his legacy last while raising money for Lowe’s family. Three River’s College officials said Lewis was a graduate there and was on the rodeo team with Lowe.
In just fourteen hours, he raised $3,500 selling stickers in Lowe’s honor. The sticker has Lowe’s initials and looks like the design he had on his riding gloves.
Phipps said every true bull rider knows the risk when they get on the bull, but they love what they do.
"It's a way of life. So to me, and most every true bull rider, there's no better way of going out of this world than doing what you really love,” said Phipps.
He also said the rodeo team is devastated and sends their deepest sympathy to Lowe’s family.
The Professional Bull Rider’s community and National Western Stock Show set up a fundraising page for the Lowe family as well.
In 2013, Lowe competed at the Sikeston Bootheel Rodeo.
He scored 78 points and finished in the top 10.
On behalf of the Sikeston Jaycees, Jeremiah Quick offered his thoughts and prayers for Lowe’s family and friends.
Quick said this is a tragic loss to the rodeo community.
He also said it just goes to show you how dangerous the sport can be when you’re working with an animal athlete at that size.
That’s why the Sikeston Bootheel Rodeo takes extra precautions to keep competitors safe.
At the rodeo, paramedics are always on scene, two ambulances are parked within the main gate, and they clear a route in and out of the grounds.
Quick says these measures are put in place in order to make sure if a cowboy or girl gets hurt during competition they can be seen by medical professionals immediately.