An experienced cowboy was knocked unconscious and suffered
possible spinal injuries at the Outram Rodeo yesterday.
Cam Billing, of Te Awamutu, was airlifted by the Otago
Regional Rescue Helicopter after his horse reared in a stall
as the gate opened for his ride in the open saddle bronc
Cam Billing, of Te Awamutu, lies injured after being bucked
into the back of a stall at the Outram Rodeo yesterday.
Photo by Craig Baxter.
''The horse reared and slammed him into the back of the
chutes. It wasn't him getting bucked off that caused the
injury. He was injured before he even came out,'' Fred Doherty,
of the Outram Rodeo, said last night.
The rider, who was not wearing protective headgear, came off
his horse just metres after the bucking horse left the chute.
The announcer could be heard calling for immediate assistance
from St John ambulance staff, who went to stabilise the
knocked out rider.
He was initially assisted by fellow cowboys and officials.
He was then taken from the rodeo ring by ambulance to a
nearby car park, where he was picked up by helicopter and
taken to Dunedin Hospital.
St John spokesman Ian Henderson said last night Mr Billing
had ''serious injuries, including possible spinal injuries''.
He was later reported to be in a stable condition in an
orthopaedic ward at Dunedin Hospital. Mr Billing was ranked
fifth in the saddle bronc event in the 2012-13 open
standings, Mr Doherty said.
''It is one of those things that happen. A rodeo is
inherently dangerous, I guess, and we don't like to see
things like that happen but occasionally it does.''
Earlier in the open saddle bronc competition, judge Johnny
Robinson, of Lawrence, sustained a minor leg injury after
being hit by a horse that had just bucked off its rider.