Riggins’ Wreck: Kadoka man healing from bareback horse falling backward on him | TSLN.com
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Riggins’ Wreck: Kadoka man healing from bareback horse falling backward on him

by Kaycee Monnens for Tri-State Livestock News

Dylan Riggins knows he ought to have died on June 14, 2021. The beginning of a textbook bareback ride at the College National Finals Rodeo quickly turned into a nightmare, as Riggins’ horse hit the fence and flipped over backwards on top of him. When bucking horses go over, they generally go to one side, but not this time. “I had my feet in her neck and she went all the way over and that’s when I felt everything snap,” he said.

To add insult to injury, Riggins was still strapped in when the bucking horse regained her feet. Using adrenaline he was able to wrench his hand out of the riggin and land roughly in the Ford Wyoming Center arena floor, where he lay still, unable to move.

The final tally: a broken sternum, broken left clavicle, broken left scapula, broken ribs on left bottom side, lacerated left lung (not punctured), and bruised lung on right side. He was discharged less than 22 hours after being admitted.



Riggins attended the Tuesday performance at the CNFR, just a few hours after being discharged. Wednesday, he hopped in the car to head back home to Durant, Oklahoma, where he is a graduate student at Southeastern Oklahoma State.

Riggins hails from Kadoka, South Dakota and he first found the thrill of roughstock at the Kadoka Rodeo Bible Camp in 2012. In fact, he tried all three his first time. “Ty Murray and Larry Mahan were my idols. I wanted to ride each and every roughstock animal to the best of my ability. I made state high school finals in all three,” he said. Later, he decided to focus on bareback riding, a suitable path considering his surname.



Riggins plans to take his time in recovery. An x-ray next week will reveal whether his collarbone will be reset with surgery, but otherwise, he just needs time. “I could come back in the fall, but my college rodeo career is over. It’s better if I take a long break and come back stronger than what I was. I’ll really make sure I’m 100%, with workouts and getting on the bucking machine. I’ll try to come back in January for Denver,” he says.

Riggins’ only regret from the week is that he was unable to fulfill a good draw, one which he felt should have resulted in 80 points or better. He is grateful to all who prayed for him and reached out after his wreck. “I truly feel blessed with all the thoughts and prayers that have aided in my safety and recovery,” he says.

Beginning in Kadoka, South Dakota's Rodeo Bible Camp, Riggins had an aptitude for all three roughstock events. Later, he became focused on just bareback riding, a suitable path considering his surname. Photo courtesy World Champions Rodeo Alliance
Riggins was discharged from the hospital 22 hours after being admitted and attended the Tuesday performance at the CNFR with a good number of broken bones on his left side. Photo courtesy Southeastern Oklahoma State Rodeo

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