Casper College Bareback Rider In Horrific Rodeo Wreck Out Of Hospital

Austin Broderson, the 19-year-old Casper College cowboy who survived being dragged and trampled by a horse Jan. 15 at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver, is out of the hospital and on his way back home.

RJ
Renée Jean

January 26, 20245 min read

Austin Broderson, a Casper College rodeo rider and native of Canada, was released from a Denver hospital Thursday less than two weeks after being involved in a horrific wreck on a bareback ride at the National Western Stock Show.
Austin Broderson, a Casper College rodeo rider and native of Canada, was released from a Denver hospital Thursday less than two weeks after being involved in a horrific wreck on a bareback ride at the National Western Stock Show. (Courtesy Photo)

Austin Broderson is on a long journey home after being released from the hospital Thursday and is continuing to make a remarkable recovery after one of the worst wrecks in the memory of many rodeo insiders, his parents told Cowboy State Daily.

His left arm’s in a sling and his neck’s in a brace — but his spirits are good. He’s also so grateful for all the support shown him from around the world, after the Casper College sophomore was dragged and trampled during a bareback rodeo ride Jan. 15 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

“He looks a lot better than he did a week ago,” his father, Steve Broderson, told Cowboy State Daily. “He’s doing good considering all of his multiple injuries. He’s been getting a little more strength and a little more energy every day.”

When the doctors gave the family the go-ahead for travel Thursday, they took off for Canada, where Austin Broderson’s rehabilitation will continue with the support of Canadian medical teams.

Meanwhile, Austin, who was on a scholarship with the Thunderbirds rodeo team, will finish out his semester remotely for now.

“His college rodeo coaches have worked it out with the school so he can continue online for now,” Steve Broderson told Cowboy State Daily. “You know, being an international student, I think they said they usually don’t do that. But for this being such a bad case scenario here, they’re willing to do that for him so he can continue on with his degree.”

One thing Steve Broderson said the family is particularly grateful for is all the support they’ve received from people around the world.

“All the support from the U.S., Canada, the rodeo family, the strangers we don’t know — we’re very appreciative, and we thank everybody a lot for it,” he said. “It’s been very great the support. I’m very shocked by the amount of support we’ve had, and we’re very thankful for it.”

Austin Broderson, a 19-year-old Casper College student, comes out of the chute on Jack Dupp during a ride in the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver on Jan. 15, 2023. After finishing his 8-second ride, Broderson's rigging slipped and he was drug and trampled by the horse. He survived and is recovering in a Denver hospital.
Austin Broderson, a 19-year-old Casper College student, comes out of the chute on Jack Dupp during a ride in the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver on Jan. 15, 2023. After finishing his 8-second ride, Broderson's rigging slipped and he was drug and trampled by the horse. He survived and is recovering in a Denver hospital. (Rick Andersen, National Western Stock Show)

The Arm Remains Biggest Concern

The GoFundMe set up by Austin Broderson’s uncle, Braden Van Nistlerooy, has risen to a new high on all of that support, approaching $90,000.

That money will be very important down the line to help Austin with any expense that insurance doesn’t cover.

The young cowboy is going to need extensive rehabilitation to get back to everyday normal life, his father told Cowboy State Daily, and Austin’s left arm remains the biggest concern.

An artery to that arm was severed during the accident, and the nerve damage was extensive.

“We’re expecting to not have any results anytime soon for how badly damaged the nerves and stuff are,” Steve Broderson said. “They have been telling us even, like, some might arise in the next six months or so, but the whole battle to kind of get it working and everything again might take up to two years. So, he’s got a long road to recovery for that.”

Most of the rest of Austin’s injuries, which include a fractured hip bone, broken vertebrae and broken nasal bones, are expected to heal with time.

“And then there will be some rehab to get back at, you know, daily life,” Steve Broderson said.

Casper College bareback rider Austin Broderson gives a thumbs up from a hospital bed in Denver after suffering a horrific crash riding in the National Western Stock Show Rodeo on Jan. 15, 2023.
Casper College bareback rider Austin Broderson gives a thumbs up from a hospital bed in Denver after suffering a horrific crash riding in the National Western Stock Show Rodeo on Jan. 15, 2023. (Kendra Santos via Facebook)

High Spirits

In a photo posted of Austin just before leaving the Denver hospital where he’s been since the wreck, the 19-year-old cowboy’s arm remains in a sling and his neck is in a brace.

But he looks quite chipper and alert, not like someone who survived the equivalent of a boxing match with a heavy-weight quarter horse’s hooves.

The 19-year-old has even been keeping everyone’s spirits up around him, insisting that he’s not really in all that much pain when the nurses ask, and cracking jokes with family and friends.

“He’s been in very good spirits, and that’s why I think he’s, you know, has the energy to do whatever anybody asks,” Steve Broderson said. “Once in a while he’s got good sarcasm. He’s still able to joke around and stuff like that, and you can even joke back with him.”

Visitors dropped by throughout the week at the Denver hospital where Austin was staying. That has been a tremendous help, Steve Broderson said.

“You know they come in, crack jokes, tell stories, and then he seems like he’s right back at home,” he said.

At times that has even had Austin saying once he gets back out there, he’d jump on another bucking bronc.

“In all reality, with his arm and everything, he does know that it’s gonna take quite some time to heal,” Steve Broderson said. “Based on that arm, we’re not even likely sure if it would even happen again. We just don’t know.”

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Renée Jean can be reached at Renee@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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RJ

Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter