“Lucky to Even Be Alive”: Defying the Odds, 19-Year-Old Bull Riding Enthusiast Narrowly Escapes Life-Threatening Fall

Published 10/25/2023, 2:17 PM EDT

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Bull riding is a sport which requires vigorous strength and stamina. Over the years, the sport has gathered crowds enthusiastic to both watch and to match the beast’s stride. However, as thrilling as it is to watch the riders in action, the efforts put into the last 8 seconds might not always be as pretty. The primary goal of any athlete would be to stay put for the onlookers, but surviving without harm is the actual task.

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Bull riders are no strangers to falls and injuries. The sport is said to have the highest rate of injury among any rodeo sport; 32.2 injuries per 1000 competitor exposures. An aspiring young bull-riding youngster from Pleasant Grove has added to the numbers after succumbing to a heart-wrenching accident over the week.

Bull riding enthusiast survives fatal accident

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Dax Preston, a 19-year-old from Pleasant Grove, Utah, has been practicing the sport for the past few years. Last Saturday, on the 18th, Preston was performing at yet another one of his rodeo events in Marysvale. The youngster rode atop the bull for a few jumps before he fell to the ground. When Dax’s head came down, with it came the bull’s denting a spot in the youngster’s skull.

“Slid my hand in on the rope and nodded my head. I see that gate open; that bull come out. Then, I just opened my eyes, and I was in a hospital,” Preston said; according to KSL TV. The injury left Dax with a fractured skull, a bleeding brain, and subsequent hearing loss. The accident also forced the 19-year-old into a 15-hour coma and life support.

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“They say he’s very, very lucky to even be alive. To even be able to walk and talk right now is a miracle,” Dax’s mother told the press. The situation has pushed Dax to no driving or working for the next three months or probably further; yet Preston remains optimistic.

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Preston’s undying thrill for the sport

This wasn’t the first time Dax had been involved in an accident, breaking his ribs. The youngster revealed that he was aware of the dangers that the sports held. He said that a bull rider always knows the stakes of the sport, but what’s in the dark is the severity of it. Nonetheless, it’s a far notion for these athletes. “Something that gave you adrenaline: You wanted to do it, and the more you wanted to do it, the better you got at it,” Preston said. “If you’re gonna do it, you have to be all in about it.”’

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But to the disappointment of Dax, doctors say that this might have been the youngster’s last ride. However, with his enthusiasm, Preston is already planning to be hit the road and raring to be in action soon. A bull riding event in Duchense is what Dax is eyeing next, and he doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon after that.

Watch this story: Watch Bull Attacks Man as Group Tries to Ignite Its Horns

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Written by:

Shivatmika Manvi

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Shivatmika Manvi is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Having attained her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shivatmika aims to tread her way forward into journalism. Being an equestrian sports enthusiast, Shivatmika mainly covers animal sports including rodeo and bull riding.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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