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Stuart Mazanec, 17 -- Rodeo Accident

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DENVER (AP) — A 17-year-old fulfilling a dream to learn rodeo died after a horse rolled on top of him during his first bucking bronco ride, his family said.

Stuart Mazanec died Wednesday from organ damage, four days after the accident at a weekend rodeo clinic in Byers, about 30 miles east of Denver.

‘‘It was his first and last ride,’’ said his mother, Pam Mazanec.

Stuart Mazanec was a senior at Douglas County High School south of Denver and active in 4-H, and rodeo had caught his attention, said Jay Brentner, a family friend and veteran rodeo rider.

‘‘I’d tell him stories about all the rodeos I’ve been to, and he thought it was pretty cool,’’ Brentner said.

Mazanec had finished the standard 10-second bareback ride at the rodeo clinic and was trying to get off the bronco when his hand got caught in the rigging around the horse’s neck, said Brentner, who was at the clinic.

Mazanec tried to run alongside the horse, but the animal staggered, tripped and landed atop of him, Brentner said. When the horse got up, the teen was hanging limply at its side, he said.

After he was airlifted to Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Mazanec managed to speak despite a broken jaw, Pam Mazanec said.

‘‘The first thing he told me was, ‘Mom, don’t cry,’” she said.

By Wednesday, his body began to fail, and the family decided to remove life-support that night after consulting with doctors and a priest, she said.

Pat Bohlender-Lowe of the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association said she could recall only one other fatality in youth rodeo in Colorado, a bull-riding accident about 20 years ago.

‘‘People sometimes forget what a rough sport it is,’’ said Brentner. ‘‘But for Stuart, the one thing he always wanted to try ended up being the thing that killed him.’’



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