A teenage rodeo rider from Pennsylvania was thrown off of his horse and trampled in front of thousands of spectators, sustaining injuries that led to his death.
Coy Lutz, a 19-year-old who had been involved with competitive rodeo since high school, was thrown off of his horse during a rodeo on May 28. Lutz was trampled and rushed by EMTs to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Daily Mail. The rodeo had an audience of around 2,200 people.
Lutz was riding the horse, known as H3, bareback, which means that he was not using a saddle, bridle, or reins. Bareback riders use only a strap called a "surcingle," which goes around the horse's body and has a handle for the rider to hold on to.
During Lutz's ride at the rodeo, H3 began to buck in a tight circle, rather than bucking while moving forward. The force was enough to knock Lutz off of the horse, and he was stomped on by H3's hooves several times. Staff members at the rodeo were able to maneuver the horse away from Lutz, and EMTs who are always on the scene during the weekly rodeo came to Lutz's aid.
Lutz was rushed to the Memorial Hospital of Salem County in Mannington Township, where doctors determined that he was dead.
The Cowtown Rodeo in New Jersey, which counts itself as the longest running weekly rodeo in the U.S. having opened in 1929, posted a tribute to the young rider on its Facebook page. "Cowtown Rodeo and The Harris Family extend our heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Lutz Family for the tragic loss of their son, Coy," wrote the rodeo. Lutz had performed with Cowtown the year before, as well.
Lutz had participated in rodeos since he was in high school, and was attending the University of Tennessee at Martin where he participated in collegiate rodeo, says WCAU.
The rodeo's owner, Grant Harris, told NJ.com that although rodeo is a dangerous sport and a number of riders have had broken legs, arms, and ribs, this was the first time a rider had died from injuries caused during Cowtown. "It's tragic and traumatic to our entire industry," said Harris.
"He was a nice kid, a really nice kid, from a nice family," Harris added.