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Posted: Monday November 12, 2012 5:53PM ; Updated: Monday November 12, 2012 5:53PM

Rider dies after suffering critical injuries at Vegas rodeo

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A Missouri man died after being critically injured during the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Rodeo officials said J.D. Jones, 25, of Goodman, Mo., died after an accident at the saddle bronc riding competition Saturday night.

"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.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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