Boy, 14, Killed at North Carolina Rodeo During First Bull Ride: 'My Lil Cowboy'

Denim Bradshaw was bucked by a bull during his first bull ride in King, North Carolina Denim Bradshaw
Photo: Gofundme

A mother is in mourning after her son died at a rodeo in North Carolina on Saturday. It was his first time riding a bull.

Denim Bradshaw, 14, was killed as he competed in King, North Carolina, located about 15 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, on Saturday.

Stokes County EMS was called to the rodeo just before 8:30 p.m. in response to a cardiac arrest, Fox News reports. Stokes County EMS did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Monday night.

According to onlookers, the teen was dropped down into the chute and was atop the bull but, before the doors opened, the bull bucked twice, throwing Denim to the ground and under the animal's hooves, WFMY News reports.

Despite paramedics' best efforts, the teenager died.

Denim's heartbroken mother Shannon Bowman announced his death on Facebook.

"My beautiful handsome 14-year-old son had went to be with the lord! I awoke in a nightmare for the rest of my life!" Bowman wrote.

"I hate myself for this call but he was loving every second of it I never seen him so happy as I had seen him last night before his departure."

"My lil cowboy I will love and miss you so much and I know God will take care of you," she wrote.

Denim's sister started a GoFundMe to help raise money to cover funeral costs.

"No one expects to lose such a young soul, and we were not prepared," Persephone Bowman wrote.

"Denim adventured into the world of bull riding and fell in love. The boots, the cowboy hats, and those big belt buckles -- he loved it all," Persephone added on the GoFundMe. Denim, she said, had "a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face" that lit up the room.

"He got to ride his first bull on January 28th, and his excitement was palpable. None of us could believe that this first ride would cause his death, and we are beyond devastated," his sister wrote.

"Our sweet 14-year-old boy lost his life during what was the most exciting moment of his short life, and we are now lost without him."

The rodeo organizer Rafter K Rodeo Company, LLC shared the company's condolences on Facebook on Sunday.

"Our sport is truly a family and we are so thankful for everyone that was there to help," the rodeo company said.

"This is a tragic event and words cannot describe the pain felt by this loss. We ask everyone to come together and pray for his family for comfort and healing in this difficult time."

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