One week ago, August 5 and 6, was the Morgan County Fair annual rodeo. Scheduled were the traditional competitions such as barrel racing, calf roping, and bronco busting.
The crowds were there to support and cheer them on as well. There is a certain amount of risk when competing in the sport of rodeo. Besides the audience cheering for the competitors, there were also many times when there could be heard a collective intake of breath as they witnessed dangerous moments or someone getting hurt. Sometimes breath is held longer when, for example, a bull has managed to buck and swirl fiercely and free itself from the unwanted rider in the sport of bull riding.
It all happens very quickly and many times it appears as if the bull’s heavy hoof has landed on the rider when he was tossed to the ground. Fortunately, most of the time the bull has not actually hit the fallen competitor, but it had appeared like it because the animal had only missed by mere inches. Unfortunately last Friday, bull rider Andy Lively did not escape injury when the bull he had been riding moments before continued to buck and thrash and came down hard on lively’s back.
Those who were watching Andy ride that night knew something was wrong when he didn’t immediately stand up after his fall to the ground. Andy had the reputation of quickly jumping up from the ground after a fall and then moving quickly away from the danger. Rodeo clowns move in as soon as the rider has lost his grip and balance and the competition between rider and bull has ended. These so called clowns save many from being the recipient of a hoof to the head.
Lively injuries included five broken ribs and a punctured lung. He was taken immediately to the hospital for care and he has been there ever since. He has received surgery on his lung and the doctors expect that he will be well enough to be released by the week’s end.
Meanwhile, back at the fairgrounds that Friday night, the rodeo went on as planned. However, the mood had sobered as they worried about Lively and how serious his injuries were.
On the following night of the rodeo, the concern for Lively only grew as they heard about his five broken ribs and punctured lung. That concern was then compounded when they learned that he was in between health insurance policies and had no coverage to pay for the surgery that he already had to repair his lung, nor did he have the money to pay for the daily mounting hospital bill that will continue to mount for at least a few more days until he is discharged.
The empathetic rodeo crowd wondered how they could help the bull rider and show their support for him outside the rodeo arena. Morgan County Fair Chairperson, Kris Krammer, her husband Mike, and Jessie Franich of the 4H decided that they were going to act rather than just wait and see.
So, right then and there they began to collect donations to help where they could. As the container to collect donations was passed throughout the crowd, people were glad that they now had a way to actually do something for the bull rider. Many of the people in the crowd had been there the night before to see the direct hit that Lively took from the animal.
Lively knows from a young age about the risks in rodeo. When he was only four years old he said that he was ready for rodeo. He signed up with the other children to participate in a Muttin’ Bustin’ event. After that ride, he knew that rodeo was for him and what he wanted to do. He has been competing in rodeos every since.
Andy Lively lives in Hooper, UT and he travels to as many of the county fairs as he can afford to compete in for the bulling riding. The Morgan County Fair is one in which he always tries to participate. Andy mainly travels to different counties in Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah to do bull riding in their rodeos.
Lively’s family understands his passion for the rodeo. Three of his seven siblings, Josh, Sam, and Linzie, are also involved in rodeo. He has four sisters (one sister is deceased) and three brothers. Andy’s family has been with him at the hospital to do whatever they can and to talk to Andy’s doctors about his injuries. They all want him to recover and come home soon.
Andy even has the support of his little nephew Jayden who went to the hospital to visit his Uncle Andy and help him feel better. Jayden did not like to see his Uncle Andy hurting and he wanted to help him. Not knowing anything else he could do to help, Jayden went up to Andy and held out his “blankie” to give it to him. The family was surprised and asked Jayden why he wanted to give to Andy. Jayden said he loves Andy and didn’t want him to be hurt. He said his blankie always makes him feel better and that Andy needs to feel better now…
Besides his own immediate family, Andy receives helps and support from his fiancé, Kyelie McLean who is from Morgan and her family as well. In fact, it is Kyelie’s mother and grandmother (Andy’s future mother in-laws) that have provided the newspaper with information to tell Andy’s story.
Things in Andy’s and Kyelie’s lives will certainly slow down while Andy recovers from his injuries. Andy does fencing work for a living, and his doctor has told him to plan on at least a couple of months before he can go back to work.
Many people are still asking about the “bull rider” and want to know how they can help.
The family has opened a medical account for Andy at Goldenwest Credit Union in his full name: Andrew Lively.