A 14-year-old boy is dead after riding a bull for the first time at a North Carolina rodeo. The family of Denim Bradshaw says he got in the ring at the Rafter K. Rodeo Winter Series at American Legion Post 290 in the city of King on Saturday night, and went into cardiac arrest during or after his bull ride. He died at a hospital, NBC News reports. The cause of the boy's cardiac arrest has not been officially stated, but a witness tells WFMY the bull may have stomped on his chest after bucking him. His devastated mother wrote on Facebook that she "awoke in a nightmare" after her son's death, but that he was happy before he died. "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," she wrote.
His sister echoed that in a GoFundMe campaign set up for funeral expenses, saying her brother "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," and that he died after "the most exciting moment of his short life." His mom was still cheering him on on Facebook: "Denim baby you did it!!” she wrote. “You did that!! I’m so proud of your braveness and your courage! My lil cowboy I will love and miss you so much." (Read more North Carolina stories.)