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“I went to sit up and couldn’t move my legs:” bareback rider J.R. Vezain

Posted: 7:25 PM, Jul 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-08 11:58:44-04

MELSTONE — J.R. Vezain’s only gear right now is power forward.

It’s been almost 10 months since Vezain broke his back riding at a Texas rodeo in September.

MTN Sports was recently welcomed to the family ranch Melstone where ‘one step at a time’ delivers true meaning. With the help of family, friends and doctors, the Cowley, Wyo., native, a former PRCA Rookie of the Year and six-time qualifier at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, is galvanizing himself to walk again. And that’s not all.

Over lunch, Vezain recalled details of his life-changing ride.

“I never went unconscious … until they put me under for surgery,” he said. “I remember trying to yank my hand out (of the rope). As soon as my hand got out, then she (the horse) got up and gut stomped me right in the guts. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t catch my air and immediately, I was … I went to sit up and I couldn’t move my legs.”

Vezain and his family share an inside look at his road to recovery in the MTN Sports special ‘Will to Walk’ Sunday, July 7, during statewide 10 p.m. MTN newscasts.

Melstone cowboy J.R. Vezain wheels himself toward a horse mounting area on the family ranch. (BRANDON SULLIVAN/MTN Sports)