On July 11, 2013, two-time PBR Canadian National Champion bull rider Aaron Roy from Yellow Grass, Sask., suffered a broken back and two fractures to his jaw while attempting to ride Gretzky at the Calgary Stampede. Doctors delivered the stunning news to Aaron and his wife, Hallie; he would be paralyzed from the ribs down.
The couple battled through; Aaron faithfully followed his doctor’s advice, worked hard at physio, the couple had a child, and slowly Aaron Roy began to heal to the point that he spent the summer riding community pasture.
This past November in Saskatoon saw a phenomenal comeback when Aaron posted a title-clinching 90 pts — the highest score of the weekend — on a bull named Trendon; winning the PBR Canada National Finals and an emotional standing ovation from the capacity crowd.
“Aaron Roy just cemented the fact that he is the best bull rider to represent this country in the PBR’s 21 years of existence,” said event promoter Jason Davidson of 3D Bull Riding Inc.
Why, after such a catastrophic injury, did he climb on another bull? “The drive for me to come this weekend was just to prove to myself an injury didn’t stop my career,” he says.
As for his future in the toughest sport on dirt, the champion is uncertain.