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Greenfield Vedette - Greenfield, MO
  • Neosho grad killed at rodeo

  • JD Jones, a 2005 Neosho High School graduate, was killed Saturday night while competing in a national rodeo.
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  • LAS VEGAS — J.D. Jones, 25, Goodman, was killed Saturday night while competing in a national rodeo.
    Jones, a 2005 Neosho High School graduate, was entered in the saddle bronc riding event at the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas when he was critically injured and later died at the hospital, according to the rodeo website.
    Various bronc riding websites and other sources say that Jones got entangled in the saddle rigging and was struck in the head, and that the horse also fell on him.
    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of J.D. at this difficult time," rodeo officials said in a statement. "J.D. was a favorite of the rodeo because of his passion and respect of the sport and he died doing something he loved."
    According to rodeo spokeswoman Perse Hooper, Jones got stuck after his foot slipped through a stirrup. The horse fell on him and eventually had to be euthanized for internal bleeding and a broken pelvis, she said.
    It was Jones' first time competing in the national finals, which were held Nov. 6-10 at the South Point resort, Hooper said.
    Last week's competition was the 37th annual Indian National Finals Rodeo. Competitors must prove Native American heritage and typically win regional rodeos before advancing to the national event.
    It was the first time in the event’s history that a competitor has died, Hooper said, adding that the organization is investigating whether changes can be made to make the rodeo safer.
    Individual sources initially said that $8,000 was raised on the spot for Jones’ family, though that number could not be confirmed.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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