Reston youth trampled in rodeo

Minor injuries - “They wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t love the sport.” - Amy Wheelans

Reston youth trampled in rodeo

The Friday night rodeo crowd went silent during tense moments when, in junior steer riding, Sean Wheelans of Reston was roughed-up by the cow that pitched him off. It was the day after he turned 12.

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It’s called steer riding but the bucking animals are actually rodeo stock cows with attitude. Things happen fast in the rodeo ring. Wheelans’ cow was agile and bucking hard. She appeared to tramp on him almost the moment he hit the ground then turned and went over him again.

Bull fighters Dean Glencross and Jordynn Swanson intervened immediately, drawing the cow away from Wheelans.

Pick-up riders Kevin Smith and Blade Young moved in, roping the fast-moving, bucking cow and keeping her away from Wheelans, allowing the EMS crew to do their work.

At rodeo, EMS sits ready for any emergencies and they were on the spot, to remove the young cowboy from the ring on a stretcher.

Chairman of the Indoor Rodeo, Lonnie Brown, jumped into the situation.

“I helped carry him out.” When Brown checked on the youth a few minutes later, he said he had a “raspberry” (red bruise) on his belly. “By the end of the weekend he was back motoring around.”

His mother Amy said, “They checked him over Friday night.” She confirmed that her son was not seriously injured.

Medical responders were concerned about possible internal injuries.

“It was muscle bruising. He got back up. He was actually back behind the chutes by Saturday, helping them strip (bucking straps) off steers,” she said. “A true cowboy heart,” she added.

For a parent, it is nerve wracking.

Her perspective, “It’s the sport. You have faith. Everybody’s so good down on the arena floor.”

As a mom, Wheelans has seen it all before. Her nearly 18-year-old son Colby Wheelans rides bulls and was in the bull riding event just a bit later on in the evening.

Sean wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps.


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