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Bull rider Tyler Pankewitz in hospital after being thrown off, stomped on by bull


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CALGARY - The excitement of rodeo's marquee event turned to fear in the blink of an eye on Monday when Tyler Pankewitz was bucked off his seat atop Tangle Flags and stomped on by the 1,500-lb. bull.
Pankewitz, the last rider of the day, was carried off the muddy infield on a stretcher and transported to Foothills hospital in stable, non-life threatening condition.
A few hours after the wreck, one of his bull-riding buddies reported Pankewitz was conscious but "his chickens are scattered."
He was slated to undergo a CAT scan Monday night.
"He was making a heck of a bull ride and, just like Tyler, he wasn't letting go until his head hit the ground," said fellow Alberta bull rider Denton Edge, who was watching the action from the chutes when Pankewitz, the 2007 PBR Canadian champion, was injured.
"It just kind of threw him right underneath the bull, and the bull turned around and just stepped on him.
"It's a scary deal, but he was breathing and moving around a bit so hopefully he'll be alright."
Bullfighter Scott Byrne saved Pankewitz from another potentially nasty moment a day earlier when an ornery Border Denial aimed its horns at the grounded bull rider in Sunday's third go-round.
Byrne didn't see the impact of Monday's incident because it happened so quickly, but heard early reports the rider's jaw may be broken.
"He was breathing fine. His eyes were open. He was kind of talking there. It looked really bad, but it wasn't that bad. There's a positive side to it," Byrne said.
"It could be a heckuva lot worse. What happened today with him - a bull stepping on your head - it could be a lot worse."
Strathmore's Scott Schiffner and defending Stampede champ Brian Canter are poised to split top honours in the fourth and final go-round, although the results won't be official until the horn sounds on Dustin Elliott's re-ride Tuesday.
Canter, the fourth rider out of the chutes, was awarded an 87.5 aboard Big Stone's Buffalo Soldier, while Schiffner matched his score on Hazard County, another bull from Bruce Sunstrum's herd.
Even if Elliott wows the judges and overtakes the leaders, both Schiffner, a two-time Stampede champ, and Canter are guaranteed a spot in Sunday's finale.
But none of the riders were in the mood to celebrate after Pankewitz was loaded into the back of an ambulance.
Most tried to stick to their routines while they waited for an update on his status.
Schiffner and Canter will be joined Sunday by Matt Bohon, the only rider to cash three cheques in Pool A action.
In other rodeo action, Jeff Willert hung on for an unmatched 89 in Monday's fourth and final go-round of saddle bronc riding Pool A, pocketing $5,000 in day-money and punching his ticket to the $100,000 showdown on Sunday. He will be joined by JJ Elshere, Anthony Bello and Isaac Diaz.

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