The rodeo community is mourning the loss of 18-year-old Thiago Castilho. The aspiring bull rider died following a tragic accident on September 22.
According to the New York Post, Thiago was a participant in the Luiz Antônio Rodeo Show held in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. Just eight seconds into his ride, the bull flung Thiago off of its back.
Thiago lost his helmet in the fall, and was knocked unconscious. Two men rushed the teen to safety, while another chased the bull away.
Sadly, Thiago died at the hospital the following day (September 23) after going into cardiac arrest.
Thiago dreamed of one day being able to ride bulls in the United States. His father, Jean Carlos Castilho, told G1 his son was interested in the rodeo world from a young age. He started riding horses when he was 11, then began riding oxen at age 16.
Jean Carlos was concerned about his son’s rodeo ambitions. But Thiago wanted to keep riding anyway:
“Unfortunately, that’s what rodeo is all about. It’s a dangerous sport,” Jean Carlos said. “I always said to him, ‘My son, stop it’. (He said), ‘No, father, that’s what I want. If I die one day, I’m going to die happy, I’m going to die riding.'”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Thiago’s family during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.