Bull rider Reid Oftedahl updates his recovery and thanks donors

After a severe bull riding injury during the NFR, Oftedahl says he is still healing.
Reid Oftedahl heals in a hospital near Mesa, Arizona.
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 2:27 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - 28-year-old Raymond resident Reid Oftedahl says he is slowly, but surely, making a stable recovery after a bull riding injury on Dec. 2.

“I’m doing good. I’m doing good,” bull rider Reid Oftedahl said.

The Pemberton-native says that making his debut in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas was a dream come true...

But, during his second bull riding round, he suffered from an unexpected injury...

“Well, from what I remember, I just got dirt down and I got knocked out by the bull,” Oftedahl said. “My head hit the bull’s head.”

An injury that left Oftedahl with a C-7 vertebrae fracture, a concussion, and bleeding in the brain-

Forcing Oftedahl on mechanical ventialition for four days.

“Rodeo is violent,” Arlington Farms Phenom Genetics owner Matt Scharping said. “People get hurt fairly often. So, you become immune to it- but I knew when he didn’t wake up in the arena, it was bad.”

Since his injury, friends, the rodeo community, and even strangers who know nothing about bull riding came together to raise money for Oftedahl and his family.

“We’re just trying to make sure that they can focus on healing- they don’t have to focus on money,” Scharping said. “And that’s just a rodeo way of life. When something does go wrong, we try to come together and do what’s right, and that’s to help other people.”

Through silent auctions of unique rodeo gear and NFR collectables, Phenom Genetics has raised over $70,000 since Reid’s injuries.

Also, a GoFundMe page, created by Oftedahl’s friend, sits close to $90,000 community donations as of Dec. 17.

All funds raised from both avenues will go directly to Oftedahl’s family.

“I want to thank everyone- I’m overwhelmed with everyone thinking of me,” Oftedahl said. “And I’m just blessed, absolutely blessed, that I know that there are people out there willing to do that.”

Oftedahl continues to remain in high spirit for his recovery:

“I think Reid has a long journey ahead of him,” Oftedahl’s mom added. “He’s doing remarkably well. He’s a tough one.”

“I plan on make a 100% full recovery. Let’s just hurry up and get this done, so I can get back with my family,” Oftedahl said.