Teen bull rider returning to competition after breaking collarbone

A young bull rider is back in saddle after suffering a serious injury.

Jake Ufford of Rogers, Minnesota broke his collarbone while competing.

Just seconds into a bull riding competition in Iowa this past spring, the 17-year-old was thrown to the ground. Ufford got back on his feet almost immediately, but his recovery would take months.

“I was on a bull and spinning left and I fell to the inside - it’s called the well - and got to the inside and the bull’s horn came back and hit me in the collarbone,” said Ufford.

The 2,000-pound bull snapped his left collarbone in two.

Days later, the Rogers High School senior was on an operating table. He endured weeks of rehab with Twin Cities Orthopedics.

“When you have a unique injury, we need to create a unique plan of care to get the patient to the goals they want to attain,” said Chris Bailey, a TCO physical therapist.

For Ufford, that goal was getting back on the bull. 

“I definitely couldn’t have made as fast a return or got back to 100 percent without them,” said Ufford.

“I don’t want to say it’s fun because injuries are never fun, however, you do get a bit of a feeling of a pat on the back when you see people rehabilitate,” said Bailey.

Bull riding since he was 10 years old, Ufford knew he had to return to competition.

“When you make an eight-second ride, it makes you feel like you’re on top of the world,” he said.

Now back in the saddle, Ufford is readying himself for his next rodeo. 

“I’m just hoping that I get a good bull - give me an opportunity to win,” he said.