Tristan Chapman recovering in the hospital, after being stepped on by a 1500 lb. bull.
Byrd High School student Austin Alexander put together the Chapman Champion Challenge to raise money for his friend, Tristan Chapman. (Kimberly Rusley)
High school bull rider Tristan Chapman is on the road to recovery.
In January, during a competition in Texarkana, Arkansas, Tristan was bucked off his bull.
The 15-hundred pound animal then stepped on Tristan’s stomach.
"My intestines ripped open, and my liver kind of tore in two,” says Tristan. “I mean, it wasn't… I mean it was bad, but I couldn't do anything about it."
Tristan has been out of rodeo life every since.
"Oh, it sucks,” says Tristan. “I think about it every night before I go to bed, and every morning when I wake up."
Insurance didn't cover all of Tristan’s six week hospital stay, leaving his family with $250,000 in medical bills.
With help from several sponsors and relatives, Tristan’s friend, 17 year-old Austin Alexander put together the Chapman Champion Challenge.
The barrel racing and bull riding rodeo was held at the Springhill Rodeo Arena, with proceeds going towards Tristan's medical bills.
"Being a bull rider, I'd hope someone would do the same thing for me,” says Austin. “So, I'm just helping a brother out."
While they compete against each other, Austin and Tristan are like bull riding brothers.
"I don't know, it's kind of like you pull a guys rope for him, you end up talking a lot, and you're basically the best of friends no matter what," says Austin.
Austin says while he may not be able to cover all of the expenses, he wanted to help Tristan and his family as much as he could.
"I know I can't cover his medical bills, but I know that no matter what I do, his family will be grateful and so anything I can raise right now, will help out, and maybe next year, who knows, maybe it'll grow a little bit," says Austin.
“[I’m] proud that he's my friend, and I'm proud that he cares this much,” says Tristan. “If he got hurt, I'd do the same for him."
Doctors told Tristan he’ll be back in the rodeo arena in two years, but he's pushing for sooner.
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