A young Alberta bull rider was fatally injured when he was struck in the head while competing at the Chiniki Rodeo Grounds on Sunday.
The Ermineskin Cree Nation of Maskwacis identified him as Seth Saulteaux, 19, in sharing condolences and photos from family members and his friends on its Facebook page.
“A devastating loss for the family and for the rodeo community; along with our nation members, friends and families who loved and supported this young cowboy,” it posted. “Prayers to all who are grieving the loss of this fine young man.”
Saulteaux was competing at the four-day Mini Thni Rodeo on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, a qualifying event for the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas next October.
Homer Holloway, a member of the Nation’s Canada Day Rodeo committee, said the rider was struck in the back of the head by the bull’s horn after he was thrown.
“He had a helmet on. The helmet didn’t even crack or anything, but the bull rider was helped up and he walked out of the arena, went behind the bucket chutes and that’s where he collapsed,” said Holloway.
On-site paramedics treated the man before he was transported via ground ambulance to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.
Saulteaux was one of the final participants in Sunday’s bull-riding competition.
“It just happened really fast and it was unexpected,” said Holloway. “It’s tragic,”
Raylene Saulteaux posted on Facebook that her son died “doing what he loved.”
Another relative wrote, “Our cowboy rode his last bull straight to heaven yesterday. Our boy left this world doing what he loved and always said if I die riding bulls always remember that’s the best way to leave this earth for a cowboy like me.”
With files from Postmedia
The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. The position covers Îyârhe (Stoney) Nakoda First Nation and Kananaskis Country.