Bull Rider, 22, Killed in ‘Freak Accident’ During Competition

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
August 31, 2021 Updated: August 31, 2021

FRESNO, Calif.—A Brazilian bull rider was killed Sunday when his spur got caught in a rope, pulling him under the bull, and the animal stepped on his chest in California, according to the Professional Bull Riders touring group.

Amadeu Campos Silva, 22, was competing at a bull-riding Velocity Tour event at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, said Andrew Giangola, a spokesperson for Professional Bull Riders. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Campos Silva lost his balance and his spur got stuck in the flank strap, which is wrapped around the bull’s lower torso to encourage it to buck. In a “freak accident,” Campos Silva was pulled underneath the bull, which then stomped on his chest, Giangola said.

Amadeu Campos Silva
Amadeu Campos Silva rides the bull Yippee High Cowboy in Grand Rapids, Mich., in August 2021. (Andre Silva/Courtesy of PBR/Bull Stock Media via AP)

The Fresno County coroner’s office confirmed Campos Silva’s death but has not yet determined the cause.

Giangola said the bull, named “Classic Man,” will still be eligible for future events despite the tragedy. The bull was not at fault, he said.

“It clearly was not an act of aggression,” he said. “The bull was bucking in his normal pattern.”

“A bull rider with a lot of promise,” Campos Silva competed in the 2020 Professional Bull Riders World Finals after debuting in the United States the year before. He was pursuing his dream to support his family.

“He was a determined cowboy,” Giangola said.

Amadeu Campos Silva
Bull rider Amadeu Campos Silva during the 2020 Monster Energy Team Challenge in Las Vegas. (Andy Watson/Courtesy of PBR/Bull Stock Media via AP)
The Associated Press
The Associated Press