A professional rodeo athlete and his horse were killed by a lightning strike in a rural area of Nebraska.
Terrel Vineyard, 27, was on horseback checking on cattle north of Oshkosh shortly after 2 p.m. on June 21, the Garden County Attorney’s Office said in a statement to KNOP-TV.
Vineyard, a married father of three, was pronounced dead by first responders at the scene.
An autopsy confirmed that Vineyard died from a lightning strike, the attorney’s office said.
Vineyard's horse, named Dose, was also killed by the lightning strike.
Vineyard was a professional calf and team roper who qualified for the World Series of Team Roping in Las Vegas on three occasions.
Mike Kammerer, president of the Wyoming Rodeo Association, told the Cowboy State Daily, "Our thoughts and prayers and condolences for the families from the Wyoming Rodeo Association. That just hits close to home, because the one thing about rodeo families is they’re all pretty tightknit."
Vineyard leaves behind his wife, Stacey, and three young daughters.
He was buried on Tuesday in Nebraska.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to financially assist the Vineyard family.
"Terrel had many horses along the way but always had a main mount during each phase of his life. Terrel purchased Dose a few years ago as a roping prospect. Terrel and Dose left for greener pastures together – Terrel with his rope in hand," the fundraising campaign stated.
Vineyard and his wife got married earlier this year, according to the GoFundMe listing.
Stacey Vineyard wrote on Facebook, “June 27th, 2023 we laid our husband, son, and brother to rest. It has been truly humbling to receive the love that has been shown for Terrel and all of us."
Mourners brought horses to Terrel's funeral service.
"The Vineyard family wants to thank everyone for what they have done for us the last week and moving forward. Helping us prepare for Terrel’s service and making sure we are also taken care of," the widow said. "Thank you to those who graciously contributed to the girls' memorial account and to those who have made meals for us. It has been truly humbling to receive the love that has been shown for Terrel and all of us."
The National Lightning Safety Council said Vineyard's death was the sixth U.S. fatality from lightning in 2023. There were 19 lightning-caused fatalities in 2022.
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