Bracebridge Bullnanza a raging success
As he was led from the ring on a stretcher, champion bull rider Luke McCoag found the strength to tip his hat to the community that welcomed its first rodeo with open arms.
After an intense match against rivals from all across North and South America, the veteran bull rider from Port Rowan was crowned the winner of the inaugural Bracebridge Bullnanza Rodeo, which took place at J.D. Lang Activity Park on Thursday, July 5. Even after winning, McCoag wasn’t yet ready to leave. Cheered on by enthusiastic onlookers from the jam-packed stands, he saddled up for a final encore performance.
However, thing went awry in a matter of seconds after he was thrown from the saddle. McCoag was trampled by the raging bull, and left to crawl gingerly away with a limp left leg while rodeo clowns led the animal away.
“He had already won the event and rode his second bull for the fans in Bracebridge,” rodeo organizers said in a Facebook statement. “Early word is broken tibia in up to three places.”
Rodeo crews and paramedics then carried the 22-year-old McCoag to a nearby ambulance. Organizers had originally scripted the event to have the winner tip his hat to fans from a backboard.
The rodeo was first announced two weeks ago, after the town presented Double D Rodeo Productions president Dave Dunk with a $5,000 tourism event grant in a show of support.
“I ran two (rodeos) in Huntsville and they were good, but I wanted to try a different venue just to see if I can get interest in another town so that when we run a couple more, we can get fans from both areas to come,” he said.
The Bracebridge venture proved so popular that some passersby were even seen watching the event at a distance from the Fraserburg Road overpass.
Coun. Liam Cragg said the Bracebridge event is making its debut at the same time that another renowned Canadian rodeo is celebrating a significant historical milestone.
“Perhaps it’s fitting that we will be enjoying the rodeo as 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, an iconic Canadian event,” he said.