Top Canadian bull rider trampled to death during B.C. rodeo
By Salim Jiwa
VALEMOUNT, B.C. – One of Canada’s most promising bull riders scheduled to participate in the largest rodeo event in the world in Gillette, Wyoming, has been trampled to death in a tragic accident in front of 200 spectators.
Makwana Derickson-Hall, 18, was bucked off and trampled on by a bull at the Canoe Mountain Rodeo event in Valemount on Friday at around 8 p.m., RCMP announced.
Cpl. Annie Linteau said Makwana was seriously injured when he was thrown off and then stepped on by a bull. He was rushed to Valemount Health Unit where efforts to save his life failed.
“The incident occurred during the annual 3-day Valemount Rodeo and was witnessed by approximately 200 spectators,” she said.
“He was a success story, this is very tragic,” said Blair Bates, president of the Peachland Riding Association. “He had qualified to participate in the biggest rodeo in the world.”
“He was one of the top rider in B.C. and Canada,” said Bates in an interview. “Just a wonderful person who I met at various events.
Makwala, a resident of Westbank and Oliver and was an Okanagan First Nations Member.
Makwala was to compete in the National High Schools Finals Rodeo event in Gillette, Wyoming on July 18. The event is the biggest in the world with 1,500 high school aged students competing.
In a bulletin on the Peachland Riding Club association website, Bates had earlier lauded the achievements of the young man.
“A few of our present and past members have qualified for the biggest rodeo in the world, the High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette Wyoming July 18-24th,” he said.
“Candace Chevallier (PRCmember) qualified by winning BC High School Rodeo Queen and she also qualified in cutting. Jessie Bates (PRC member) qualified in Pole Bending and Barrel racing, Nick Smith and Makwala Derickson-Hall in Bull riding,” Bates said prior to the tragedy.
“All of these students are from Mt Boucherie High School and will be representing BC and Canada at the finals in Gillette. Following that rodeo will be the Canadian Finals in VirdenManitoba August 5-7th. All of the students qualified to go to Canadians, and I know Candace and Jessie will be going to that rodeo. It is amazing to hear about one student in the valley qualify for the finals, but to have four riders is outstanding. Please wish these rodeo competitors a great trip as they travel south.”