Sometimes, things don’t go as planned.
My 13-year-old nephew Corbyn learned that the hard way two weekends ago.
Corbyn recently qualified for the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Lebanon, Tennessee, by winning the state championship in bull riding and placing in the top three in both bareback and saddle bronc riding.
Corbyn competed in all three events in Lebanon the week of June 19-22. He performed well, but not up to his expectations, being bucked off his bull in his final ride June 22.
The weather did not cooperate while he was in Tennessee, either.
My brother, Clint, said Lebanon received 10 inches of rain – so much rain that kids in the campground they were staying in were floating down the roadways on inner tubes.
All that rain made for difficult rodeo conditions.
Still, it was a great learning experience for Corbyn. He competed against the best of the best for his age division and gained valuable experience competing in a big-time event.
For someone who wants to make a career out of bull riding, that experience will come in handy.
Corbyn and his parents drove back to Iowa June 23. With his older brother competing at the youth rodeo in Osceola June 23-24, Corbyn decided to enter into Sunday’s rodeo events.
He gave chute dogging a try and won the junior division. He also entered the bull riding competition, the final event of the rodeo.
That’s where things went haywire.
Even at just 13 years old, Corbyn is an experienced bull rider.
But nothing he’s encountered in the past could have prepared him for what happened in his ride June 24 in Osceola.
Corbyn and his bull came out of the chute with Corbyn holding on well early in the ride, despite furious bucking by the bull.
But, it didn’t take long for Corbyn to start leaning to a side. Soon, he had been bucked off.
The problem was his hand got caught in his rope and he couldn’t get away from the bull.
With his arm caught above his head and his legs dangling on the ground, the powerful bull’s hoof came crashing down right on Corbyn’s left femur.
At that time, Corbyn was finally able to free his hand and the bull scurried away.
Concern in the crowd was already mounting as Corbyn lay motionless on the arena floor. But, he quickly got to his feet.
That was probably a mistake, though.
As soon as Corbyn moved to take a step, he collapsed right back to the ground. The rodeo clowns rushed to him and carried his limp body out of the arena.
I immediately knew his leg was broken when he crumpled into a heap after trying to take a step.
Others – Corbyn’s mom and my mom, included – remained hopeful. But, it was clear something wasn’t right.
I’m not sure Corbyn knew what was going on. I think he was in shock. He just kept saying, “My leg hurts.”
Thankfully, the paramedics from Clarke County Hospital were great and took good care of Corbyn, even if he was upset they cut his boots and chaps.
It turns out, it was a relatively clean break of his left femur. You never want to break your femur, but as far as breaks of the femur go, this was about as best-case scenario as it could have been.
While waiting in the Clarke County Hospital waiting room, I began looking through the pictures I took of his ride.
And there it was, the moment I believe he broke his leg. In the photo, seen at right, Corbyn is grimacing in pain.
He took it like a champ, though. He never once cried. He just toughed it out, because he’s cowboy tough.
Corbyn now faces a long road to recovery. He can’t bear any weight on his leg for at least six weeks and can’t do any rodeo or athletics for at least six months, which will put his wrestling season in jeopardy.
After all that, you might wonder if he wants to get back on a bull or not. The answer – yes.
Not even this tough break can keep him down forever.
Contact the writer:
Twitter – @scottvicker
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org