KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – Family and friends are remembering a professional bull rider from Exeter, Missouri who died at a competition earlier this week after a bull stomped on his chest.
“I’m still trying to grasp the fact that it happened. When we got the phone call, it was late at night on Tuesday, and I remember thinking I was having a nightmare,” said bull rider Casey Coulter.
Coulter said he met Mason Lowe a decade ago at a bull riding event in Mountain Grove, Missouri and they were friends ever since.
“Knowing that we’re never going to see Mason again is kind of unreal,” Coulter said.
Mason was in his eighth year as a professional bull rider and ranked 18th in the world when he was killed Tuesday night at a competition in Denver.
Officials with the Professional Bull Riders said Lowe was thrown off a bull and one of the bull’s hind legs came down on Lowe’s chest.
Lowe was wearing a protective vest but still died from his injuries. He was 25. He’s just the third rider to be killed at a PBR event since the competitions began 26 years ago.
“Mason, he didn’t know a stranger, that’s for sure,” Coulter said. “He would talk to anybody, visit with his fans, he just always had a smile on face. You just couldn’t find a better guy, really.”
A tribute video for Lowe was shown at the Denver event Wednesday night. Riders also wore patches honoring his memory.
“Not only was he one of my best friends, he was my hero,” Coulter said. “I studied the way that he rode bulls and I always wished that I could ride the way he did.”
Lowe appeared in interviews on Fox 2 and News 11 to talk about his love for bull riding and how he had done it since he was a child.
Coulter and many others are left coping with the tragic loss.
“This is going to make me want to dedicate the rest of my career to Mason,” Coulter said. “He should be remembered as one of the biggest inspirations to all of us that we’ve ever had in this sport.”
In a statement, Abbey Lowe, Mason's widow, called him the love her life and her best friend:
“Mason was the love of my life, and he was my best friend. He loved the sport of bull riding and the family of the PBR. He was loved by his family and friends. Mason had a kind soul and a heart of gold and was always willing to help someone in need. I appreciate all of the prayers and kind words spoken of Mason. He is dearly missed.”
Mason Lowe's funeral is set for next Wednesday in Boonville.
A fundraising campaign for Mason Lowe’s family has already raised well over $150,000. All funds received online or by mail will be given to the family.