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One Man Is Killed At Party For Teen That Went Viral

| by Michael Doherty

One man is dead after a Mexican teen's birthday party invitation went viral, leading to over 1 million RSVPs.

Rubi Ibarra's quinceanera, a traditional 15th birthday party held for teens in Central America, was intended only for close friends and family, but the invitation went viral online, leading to 1.3 million RSVPs, BBC reports. The party, which thousands of people showed up to, included an amateur horse race, music and tents with food.

In the video invitation for the party, Rubi's father Crescencio Ibarra said the winner of the amateur horse race would be awarded nearly $500.

Felix Pena, the man who died at the party, had entered his horse into the race, and said he expected to win.

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"I'm not doing it for the [prize] money," said Pena. "I'm doing it for the fame and the glory."

In a video of the race, Pena is seen being trampled by the horses before lying on the ground unconscious. Bystanders said Pena may have misjudged the distance as he tried to cheer on his horse, Oso Dormido, which translates as Sleeping Bear. Another person who was caught in the animals' path broke their leg.

"Hello, how are you? We invite you this 26 December to the 15th birthday party of our daughter, Rubi Ibarra Garcia," said Crescencio in the video invitation.

More than 30,000 people attended Rubi's party, NPR reports. Villa de Guadalupe, Rubi's home town, has only 140 residents.

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The party had initially been intended only for friends, family, and neighbors in Villa de Guadalupe, but once the video invitation went viral online, Rubi had become a meme, reportedly sparking jokes, tributes from musicians and offers of sponsorships from companies. One airline offered a 30 percent discount on tickets to the state in central Mexico where Rubi lives.

Rubi's father allegedly became angry with reporters at one point during the party, threatening to end the festivities if they did not give Rubi more space.

Sources: NPR, BBC / Photo credit: David Feltkamp/Flickr

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