Written by Katie Boone (April, 2008)
All I could see was grey. He was tall, muscular, and sweaty. He looked like a beast.
It was one hot June day in Sisseton, South Dakota. My family and I arrived for the rodeo at around 9:00. By around 9:30 I was saddled up, had my button down shirt on, with my cowboy hat, boots, and in the arena warming up my horse Smokey. It was going fine. I was just loping around the arena with my friends when I wanted to kick Smokey up. At that time I was at the west end of the arena. I must have hit him behind the back cinch, because "BAM," he started to buck! I was doing fine just riding him out when all of a sudden he took a hard right turn. I was caught off guard and I started to slip off of the saddle. He started to head for a fence so I let go of the saddle horn thinking that I would fall off. It didn’t turn out that way. My left foot got caught in the stirrup so he was dragging me. I could feel my knee twisting and turning. It hurt so badly that I wanted to die. Smokey finally let up enough so I could get my leg out.
At that point I was in an extreme amount of pain and agony. I was lying there feeling the dirt clumps against the back of my neck cringing with pain. Over the intercom I could hear the song “Cowboy Up”. The announcer interrupted the song and called the paramedics to the south arena. When they finally got to me I was sitting up and trying to get to my feet. The woman paramedic told me to lie down and relax. I replied with “I can lie down but the only way I can relax is if you cut my leg off”. She chuckled and asked me, “What is your name so I can page your parents?" I told her and she relayed the message to the announcer. The entire time she was talking to me all I could think of was the taste of dirt in my mouth, or what I hoped was dirt. I could hear someone breathing hard next to me and asked the paramedics who it was. They said that it was my horse and he was sorry for bucking me off.
When my dad got to me the paramedics asked him if he wanted to take me to the hospital on a stretcher. Rudely, I interrupted them and said I was fine. I got up and picked up my white sheet of paper with my number on it, brushed off my blue button down shirt and my dad helped me out of the arena. It ended up that even though I was a little battered and bruised I still participated in all of my events that I had signed up for that day. I didn’t do very well in my events, but it was okay. To this day, I still have problems with my knee but the doctors say that it is terminal.