Dave Weston picks up broken nose, ribs, punctured lung on July 19
When Scappoose resident Dave Weston hopped on a bull for the first time three years ago, it was a lifelong dream and something to check off his bucket list. Friends banded together and got him a ride at the Columbia County Fair and Rodeo in 2011, and though his ride didn't last long, the excitement stuck around.
Weston rode again the next summer and the next, and at the age of 53 decided to give things another go this year, tempting fate and attempting to hang on for the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.
His fourth ride didn't go quite as well. The bull took a giant leap coming out of the chute, sending Weston over the bull's rump and into the dirt a few feet from the fence before the 2,000 pound animal had so much as moved its front legs. He landed on his back, and in the process of rolling on to his stomach to escape the bull's furious hooves, caught the brunt of the thunderous animal as it made its way toward the center of the ring.
Weston took a hoof to the head and several more to his back and sides, breaking several ribs, smashing his nose and damaging the bones around his right eye. Once the bull had been chased away, his motionless form brought a hush over the crowd as paramedics were called in from the edge of the arena.
With the cowboys and bull riders-in-waiting looking on with their hats in hand, paramedics examined his back and neck, eventually raising Weston from the ground and helping him limp through the gate at the back of the arena. Weston gave the thumbs-up as he struggled out of the dirt, and was taken to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, where he had surgery to repair a fractured eye socket and was kept several days to monitor his many and varied injuries, including a punctured lung.
According to Julie Sandstrom, a member of the rodeo board, Weston said he was being released on Tuesday to return home and continue recovery. There's no word on whether Weston plans to compete in the rodeo next summer or when he'll be able to return to work, but it's safe to say the bull won this round.
NPRA and Jr. Rodeo Roundup
Weston wasn't the only bull rider to come up empty handed in the competition, however. Through two days of rides, only Scotty Bartels managed to hang on for the full eight seconds, winning the event with a score of 84 points and taking home the entire winners' purse of $2,920.
The breakaway ropers, where participants have to get a rope to settle around the calf's head and stop their horse, getting the rope to break away from the saddle, had far more success. Kayla Tiegs of Nampa won the competition, coming home with more than $1,200 in winnings after posting one of the fastest breakaway times in St. Helens' history of 2.5 seconds. Sammy Jo Cardoza took a narrow second place with a time of 2.9 seconds.
Britni Carlson of Hermiston was the third-highest money-winner of the weekend, taking the barrel racing competition with a time of 17.6. Carlson won $1,183, beating Molalla's Rachel Coleman by one twentieth of a second and Shane Falon of Yakima by seven hundredths of a second.
The team roping duo of Clint Harry and Shane Erikson came away with $828.24 each after setting the winning time of 6.3 seconds, just ahead of Garrett Rogers and Brent Falon at 6.4. The rest of the field faded from third place, dropping to 8.3 seconds from Hayes Smith and Cully Stafford, and up to 10.6 seconds in fourth place from Justin Marcus and Andy Carlson.
Ellensburg, Washington, was well represented in the tie down roping, claiming second and third by way of Kass Kayser and Jason Minor in 8.8 and 9.4 seconds respectively, but no roper could touch Ricky Canton, who won the purse of $1,162 with a time of 8.5 seconds to narrowly stay on top.
The steer wrestling, in which cowboys leap from the back of their horses and attempt to roll a dashing calf on to its back at full tilt, ended in a tie between Newberg's Austin Woods and B.J. Campbell of Myrtle Point. Each wrestled their steer in exactly four seconds, splitting the winners' pie and taking home $871.32 each.
In the bareback riding, perhaps the most iconic of the rodeo events outside of bull riding, Nick Gutzwiler of Cheney scored an 80 to take the competition and bring home $640.80, just ahead of Harrisburg's Kyle Bounds, who rode Slinky to a second-place score of 77.
The junior rodeo, which took place on Thursday, July 17, was successful as well. Ivy Musch won the mutton bustin' event, followed by Austin Perez and Jordan Jeffers. Emily Fender won the steer riding in the big fry division, while Jake Raley and Dawson Branton took first and second in the junior division.
Jace Thompson and Lisie Mae Luttrell came in 1-2 in the junior breakaway roping competition for 11-14 year olds. The senior division was won by Zach Raley, followed by Brandy Thurston in second place.
The daubing event, where competitors attempt to chase down a steer and get paint in a circle along the steer's ribs, had a solid turnout for both the junior and senior divisions. Jake Raley won the junior division, beating out Lisie Mae Luttrell and Josie Boltinghouse. Hannah Bonebrake won the senior class, topping Zach Raley and Randee Weygandt.
Ellie Enders won the small-fry barrels competition, with the big fry division being taken by Shane Scott. In junior barrels, it was Abby Cheney finishing ahead of the well-rounded Lisie Mae Luttrell and Kaitlyn Davis, while Jayden Thurston won the senior division over Ashely Lamphear and Brandy Thurston.
Full results can be found here, thanks to the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association.