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Benefit held for Manitoba bullfighter

Those who wish to send cards and letters, as well as those who may wish to assist financially, are asked by Brad and Dusty Lynn to use their home address – Brad Dunn, RR 3, Box 45, Carman, Manitoba R0G 0J0.

Twin Lakes Ranch Ministries (Ron and Lorna Silvester) is also accepting donations in support of Brad, with a charitable tax receipt being provided if wished. Their address is Box 1175, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan S6H 4P9.

Of all efforts, prayers are top priority for Brad and Dusty Lynn, who are both very well known and respected within the Manitoba rodeo community.

While freestyling a bull, Dunn was hooked from behind and thrown over the bull’s head.

Believing a man’s greatest possession is his dignity and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than aiding a fellow man, cowboys rode for a cause at “The Brad Dunn Bull Bash” in Brandon, Manitoba this summer.

In the true essence of being a cowboy, the benefit put forth two facets of the sport of bull riding – competition and camaraderie – in support of the 26-year-old Carman, Manitoba resident who is recovering from a serious injury sustained at the Twin Lakes Ranch Ministries Bull Riding & Bullfighting School in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in May, 2008.

Often mistaken for rodeo clowns, there is nothing funny about the serious nature of a bullfighter’s job to protect and serve. They both may wear greasepaint but the similarities end there. Bullfighters are truly unsung heroes of rodeo as they risk their life for the safety of a rider.

Upon being named the 2007 Twin Lakes champion bullfighter, Dunn worked at the high school, amateur and semi-professional levels of rodeo. Looking up to bullfighters, Raymond Goodman (pro, manager of Calgary Stampede Ranch), Eddie Phillips of East Selkirk, Manitoba and Craig Stevens of Bengough, Saskatchewan, he truly found his calling in the rodeo world. Preparing for another season, he enrolled at Twin Lakes this spring and was declared champion bullfighter once again before the accident.

“I’m not sorry I chose to fight bulls. I’m fully aware of what can happen when you get in the arena with those bulls. It’s not something you really think about until it happens,” said Dunn.

The accident

While freestyling a bull, Dunn was hooked from behind and thrown over the bull’s head. He flipped over in the air, landed knees first, flat down on his stomach. The whiplash from the hit caused the C5 vertebra in his neck to shatter, causing immediate paralysis from the shoulders down.

“There are a lot of rumours going around, but the actual accident wasn’t really scary or gory,” said his wife Dusty Lynn, a 2004 Manitoba high school rodeo graduate. “Brad was rushed to Regina General Hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the vertebra and was fitted with a halo to keep his neck aligned and stabilized.”

While his vertebra was shattered, the spinal cord was just damaged and bruised versus cut or severed, so while the surgeon couldn’t guarantee medically he would walk again, he also bel ieved in miracles.

After spending over three weeks in Regina, Brad was flown to Winnipeg and is currently in the Health Sciences Centre Rehab Hospital where he’s amazing staff with his progress every day. Dusty Lynn explained that he has regained nearly all use of his arms, his hands are slowly coming back to working function, and while he can’t yet move his legs, he does have feeling in them and his feet. Able to sit at the edge of a bed and keep his balance, she went on to say her husband is in very good spirits.

“I believe that God is healing me and will continue to heal me until I’m fully recovered. I will walk again,” said Brad. “And as for fighting bulls again, “If God wants me to fight bulls again, I will fight bulls.”

Great performance

After hear ing about the accident, Chris Coulson and his partner Kim Martin of Five Star Bucking Bulls, located northwest of Brandon near Rivers, immediately wanted to help in any way possible. The idea of a bull-a-rama and benefit social materialized as being the per fect way to raise funds for Brad’s rehabilitation.

Coulson initiated his dream to be a stock contractor solely as a hobby upon purchasing a few Brahma heifers from R-Saga Ranch Ltd. in Carlyle, Saskatchewan. Nearly six years later, he holds a membership within PBR Canada, and is striving to contract bull-riding events as well as rodeos, with his bucking string of bulls and horses.

Within the Westoba Credit Union Agriculture Centre of Excellence over 30 riders from Manitoba and Saskatchewan were matched up against bulls supplied by Five Star, R-Saga Ranch Ltd., Prime Times Rodeos Inc. of Kennedy, Saskatchewan, and Humps and Horns Ranch of Swift

Current, Saskatchewan. Once the final gate latches were sprung and the eight-second rides scored, two young talented rodeo athletes in Orin Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba within the junior ranks and Tanner Byrne of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in the open, came out on top.

Efforts of a dedicated committee combined with the support of countless others including competitors, rodeo personnel, sponsors and fans made the evening one to remember for Brad and Dusty Lynn (nee Wiebe), both who were in attendance and very appreciative of the support shown in their honour.

– Darrell Nesbitt writes from Shoal Lake, Manitoba

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