A 4-year-old mare, Strawberry Fudge, fell shortly after leaving the chute

By Jeremiah Johnke
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CHEYENNE -- A horse that was removed from the Frontier Park Arena during Sunday's Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo performance has died.

Strawberry Fudge, a 4-year-old mare owned by the Vold Rodeo Company, fell to the arena floor on its right side shortly after leaving the chute. Rookie saddle bronc rider Brett Olive of Ford, Kan., was pinned underneath the horse until on-site veterinarians positioned the horse to load it in the arena's animal ambulance. Arena personnel immobilized and sedated the animal to prevent further injury prior to loading it.

It is suspected Stawberry Fudge suffered head and neck injuries, which resulted in decreased motor function.

"We hate to see any animal injured at any time," CFD animal care committee chairman Bob Budd said. "This is the most unusual accident that we've had in a long time. We regret the loss of this animal.

"I've been volunteering here for 25 years and this is only the second roughstock animal I can remember dying.


Although that was the most tragic incident Sunday, several other injuries and unusual happenings had spectators on the edge of their seats.

Dan Yeager had his rookie bronc horse fall into the stairwell of the camera pit. The horse's momentum carried Yeager over the railing and prevented an injury. The bronc stood right back up and began running towards Chute 9 and the timed event athletes waiting to make their runs.

Bullfighter Mike Matt was briefly caught underneath a bull trying to remove Marcos Nunes from harm's way. Matt received more than 20 stitches in his arm and more than a half dozen more in his thigh, but returned to the arena for the final section of bull riding.

The most serious injury of the afternoon happened to bareback rider Lee Cherry of Buna, Texas. Cherry's left arm got hung up in his rigging after being thrown by Harry Vold's Blizzard. The horse dragged Cherry around the arena before it was finally corralled and Cherry was released.

Cherry was removed from the arena on a backboard and regained consciousness on his way to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. A CRMC representative would only say Cherry was being evaluated.

"That's unfortunate and bad when it happens," bareback rider Kaycee Feild said of Cherry's injury. "But you can't let that effect the way you ride. You've got to try and forget about it and go at it every time you get on.

"It's kind of the way rodeo goes.


Reigning champs

Steve Woolsey, who won the CFD bull riding title last year, was thrown from his draw for the second consecutive day.

Tie-down roper Todd Brown needed 20.5 seconds to tie his second calf. His two-head total is 41.9 seconds.

Tim Abbott, last year's steer roping champ, competed in team roping Sunday. He and partner Bobby Boyd missed their second straight steer.

Defending all-around champ Cody Lee failed to catch his draw in steer roping. He was 16.6 on his first draw.

Local hands

Cheyenne's Aaron Vosler caught his second steer in 10.3 seconds and sits second in the second go.

In saddle bronc, Centennial's Blaze Hamaker and Laramie's Shell Roberson both posted 64s. Will Berg of Casper rode Cat Man Do to 67 points. He's covered both draws and sits at 140 on two. Powell's Jake Griffin rode Harry Vold's Dairy Queen to a 73 and is 135 on two. Kaleb Asay of Powell posted a 62 in his bareback run.

Kaycee's Nathan Graves posted his second successful bareback ride of the rodeo when he posted a 75-pointer on Smart Guy. He has scored 140 points on two runs

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