Professional bull rider Mason Lowe has tragically died in Denver after suffering injuries during the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo. He was 25 years old.
Lowe’s passing was announced in a statement from Professional Bull Rider CEO Sean Gleason. Gleason wrote, “We are deeply saddened to report that Mason Lowe passed away this evening following injuries sustained at the PBR event in Denver. The entire PBR and National Western sports family extends our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Mason’s wife Abbey and his family.” Lowe was killed during an event named PBR Chute Out at the National Western Complex. The goal is to remain on an out-of-control bull for the longest amount of time.
Mason Lowe is survived by his wife Abbey. A witness to Lowe’s death told CBS Denver’s Alan Gionet that the rider was thrown from a bull and the animal stepped on his chest. The witness said that Lowe took a few steps before collapsing.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Lowe’s family to pay for funeral costs. You can donate to the page here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lowe Had Been Described as a Rider Who Would Seek Out the Wildest Bulls He Could Find
Lowe discussed the dangers of bull riding in an interview on PBR’s website in 2016. Lowe said, “You can’t really think about it when you’re out there. Once you start thinking about what the bull’s going to do next, that’s when you’re a second too late.”
A year earlier, a profile on the Professional Bull Rider website depicted Lowe as someone who was constantly pushing the limits. That bio said that Lowe was a native of Exeter, Missouri. A town with a population of fewer than 1,000 people. He began riding animals at the age of 3.
According to PBR’s website, Lowe was ranked 18th in the world. The highest rank he achieved in his career was 14th. He had been a professional rider for seven years. Already in 2019, Lowe had made $10,000 in prize money on the circuit.
2. Lowe Has Struggled With an Wrist Issue Since 2017
Lowe told his local newspaper, the Cassville Democrat, in September 2017, “There is no way to explain the rush you get bull riding. You don’t have much time think, you hold on until you hear the horn and hope you earn enough points to take home some pay.” During the same interview, Lowe spoke about wearing an elbow brace due to a wrist injury, that he eventually had surgery on. Lowe said at that stage that he was “trying to gut it out.” Lowe went on, “I’m not a good patient. I know that I have to have surgery, but it will be hard to stay off off a bull for six months. I guess I get that from my dad.”
3. Lowe Described the Bull Riding Circuit as a ‘Big Rock Show on Wheels’
Lowe told the PBR website in 2017 that the bull riding circuit was “kind of like a big rock show on wheels with bull riding attached to it.” He also spoke about having his family watching him in action saying,” They get to watch me on TV every week, but it’s a lot different when you get to see it in person.”
When asked about his preparation in a September 2017 interview with St. Louis Magazine, Lowe said, “A lot of people work out, do stretches; some people do yoga. I do work around the house and feed the cows and horses—that’s my exercise.” Lowe went on to say, “This year, I pulled a bunch of stuff in my wrist and hand and cartilage. I split my lip down the middle and got a few stitches in my leg. I got my teeth knocked out. I don’t wear a helmet, so that’s the reason, I guess. I’ve been riding this good without it, so I don’t want to change anything up.”
4. Lowe Married His Wife in June 2018
At the time of his death, Lowe had been married for less than a year. He married his wife, Abbey Cooper, in Pilot Grove, Missouri, in June 2018. According to her Facebook page, Abbey is a native of Rocheport, Missouri. Abbey says on her page that she studies at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma.
In June 2017, Lowe won the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour in Decatur, Texas, on Abbey’s 21st birthday. Lowe told PBR’s website that it had been year earlier when he noticed back problems while lugging his wife’s luggage during a trip to Las Vegas. When asked about his victory, Lowe said, “Yeah, that is pretty cool. A couple of years ago, we went to a little rodeo together in Ash Flat, Arkansas, and we both won. She won the breakaway and I won the bull riding on her birthday.” In addition to his victory, Lowe said he got his wife a baseball cap she had wanted and a necklace for her birthday.
5. Lowe’s Passing Has Led to an Outpouring of Emotion on Social Media
The news of Lowe’s passing has led to an outpouring of emotion from other professional bull riders as well as his many fans on Twitter. Here are some of the most poignant messages: