Student tossed off rampaging bull and crushed to death by hooves at Texas rodeo

Tributes have been paid after a student was trampled to death by a rampaging bull at a Texas rodeo.

Rowdy Swanson, 20, was fatally injured after being tossed off the massive animal and crushed by its hooves.

The member of Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team was riding at the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association's PRCA Pro Rodeo.

Video footage showed him being bucked off the bull called Gritty soon after leaving the chute on Thursday night last week.

A witness said the huge animal's rear legs seemed to come down on top of Swanson right after he hit the ground.

A bullfighter is then seen quickly covering Swanson from the bull in Mineral Wells, Texas.

Adult bulls can weight around 2,400lb and Gritty was owned by Rafter G Rodeo Co. in Terrell.

Gary Lothridge wrote on Facebook that Swanson got up and tried to leave the arena and moments later paramedics rushed into the arena.

Coach Cody Hollingsworth said in a statement about Rowdy Swanson: "With a heavy and aching heart, I am saddened to announce that the OSU Rodeo Team has lost one of our own.

"He was a big part of our rodeo family and he will be missed immensely. Our thoughts are with the Swanson family at this time."

Swanson was studying animal science at the university in Stillwater and held a permit while he was attempting to obtain a PRCA membership card.

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The rodeo finally took place last Thursday after it was postponed on April 1.

George Taylor, the CEO of PRCA said: "The hearts of the entire rodeo community go out to Rowdy's family in this tragic time.

"We will continue to keep Rowdy and his family in our thoughts and prayers."

The chairman of the event in Texas led tributes to Oklahoma native Swanson.

PPCLA's Rodeo Chairman Scott Fenner said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rowdy Swanson following injuries sustained at the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association's PRCA Pro Rodeo.

"The entire Rodeo Committee and our rodeo family extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Rowdy's mother Venessa, his brother Roper, and his entire family."

Kendra Santos shared on Facebook: "Our rodeo family has gained another bull riding angel.

"Prayers for the family and friends of college cowboy Rowdy Swanson of Duncan, Oklahoma, who died doing what he loved at the PRCA Rodeo in Mineral Wells, Texas, last night."

His girlfriend shared pictures of the pair online as she remembered Swanson.

She tweeted: "I keep trying to make sense of it but it just doesn’t. I love you so much rowdy.

"Forever cheering for you, rowdy. you were so loved, sweet friend. God needed a great Cowboy, & he sure got that w/ you."

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