Although the first five days of competition were relatively safe, with only a few bumps and abrasions to speak of, the final night of St. Paul Rodeo on Saturday brought the sell-out crowd to silence as emergency medical personnel arrived to transport three competitors from the arena.
Ardie Maier, Taygen Schuelke and Dylan Vick Hice were each transported to the hospital to care for various injuries sustained during the bull riding competition.
Schuelke suffered a compound fracture of his fibula the smaller of the two bones in the shin and was transported to Salem Memorial Hospital to undergo surgery. He is expected to be out of competition indefinitely.
Hice is in a walking boot after breaking his foot.
Maier had perhaps the scariest injury, breaking multiple ribs on the right side of his chest, to go along with a lung contusion that forced emergency responders to transport him via Life Flight helicopter to the hospital. Although his injuries seem severe, Maier was in good spirits following a short stay in the hospital.
These guys are tough, St. Paul Rodeo media director Ruth Nicolaus said. Maier is already out of the hospital and wants to be back riding bulls in 10 days.