National bull riding champion Dave Kennedy put on a good show in support of his injured mate Bryce Daly.
National bull riding champion Dave Kennedy put on a good show in support of his injured mate Bryce Daly. Diane Essery

Rodeo community gets behind Bryce

EVEN though sidelined with a serious brain injury, talented young bull rider Bryce Daly was still leading the National Rodeo Association’s junior bull riding standing on Saturday at a fundraising bull ride in his honour at Alstonville.

The 17-year-old from Cedar Grove, Queensland, was nearly killed in a horrific bull riding accident six weeks ago, and while this promising cowboy’s career is now over, on Saturday the close-knit bull riding community rallied to support the Daly family.

“Bryce had been practising riding that day with a couple of mates and when the phone call came in we thought it was Bryce calling to say it was time to pick him up,” his mother, Tanya Daly, said.

Instead, his parents discovered Bryce had been bucked from a bull and had sustained critical internal injuries to his brain and liver.

“Ever since he was little, all Bryce ever wanted to do was ride,” Mrs Daly said.

“I was never scared for him – he was confident and took it in his stride,” she said.

“We never, ever thought that a bull would do this to him. It was a freak accident.”

Since the fall, Bryce has had successful surgery on his liver, however the brain injury is more severe, Mrs Daly said.

“The doctors say it will take at least two years to recover. To the naked eye he looks fine, but we can see how he has changed. His speech is slower and he has trouble walking,” she said.

“But he is alive and that is all that matters.”

Mrs Daly said Bryce would love to keep riding but the risk of death from another knock to the head was too high.

“He doesn’t get that yet. It will be so hard for him,” she said.

Saturday’s benefit ride attracted 66 competitors and about 250 spectators who braved the rain to raise more than $10,000 for the Daly family, said friend and rodeo organiser Rebecca Lock of Wardell.

“The bull riding community is very close-knit. We’re like a family,” Mrs Lock said. “The people who have come out today in this weather for Bryce are just brilliant.”



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