Bull Rider Ky Hamilton's Concussion and Shoulder Injury Took Him Out of the Game


Jan. 31 2024, Updated 11:53 a.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Bull rider Ky Hamilton hit his head on a bull during round 5 of the Wrangler NFR in December 2023. He was knocked out and suffered a concussion.
  • Ky was having the best NFR of his career prior to this major setback.
  • Then, in January 2024, Ky dislocated his shoulder twice, and announced he is now taking a break from the rodeo sport.
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It was expected that world champion bull rider Ky Hamilton would have to sit out the sixth round of the Wrangler National Finals in December 2023 due to an untimely injury. Following the news of Ky's injury, many wondered what had happened to the bull rider, who until this setback, was having the best finals of his career to date.

While Ky was able to make a comeback in the Wrangler NFR, he is now reportedly taking a break from the rodeo sport. The 23-year-old Australian pro bull rider revealed that he recently suffered additional injuries. Here's everything we know about his injuries and current condition.

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What happened to bull rider Ky Hamilton?

The Australian bull rider has suffered back-to-back injuries. In 2023, he was knocked out during his ride aboard Honeycutt Rodeo's Bales Hay's MAGA on Dec. 12.

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Following the injury, Dr. Tandy Freeman, the Medical Director of the Justin Sportsmedicine team, explained what had happened.

"Ky and the bull smacked heads against one another," Dr. Freeman explained. "He lost consciousness and has a concussion. He was sent to University Medical Center Trauma Center (in Las Vegas) for evaluation and observation."

The doctor also said that Ky would definitely miss round 6 of the competition, which was scheduled for 10 a.m. on Dec. 13, and would be reevaluated for round 7, which was scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Freeman did say that fans should not get their hopes up, though. "He's doubtful for competition (Wednesday) evening," Freeman said.

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In a shocking turn of events, Ky was able to compete in rounds 6 and 7, and ultimately claimed victory in his final round of competition. Per Pro Rodeo, Ky earned $114,654 for the 16 seconds he devoted to rounds 6 and 7.

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Ky Hamilton suffered two dislocated shoulders in January 2024.

After "overcoming" a concussion in December 2023, Ky got back to riding but encountered yet another round of unfortunate circumstances. During a January 2024 interview on The Luke Branquinho Show, Ky revealed that he dislocated his shoulder twice in one week.

He first injured his shoulder in Denver, and then again in Fort Worth. Ky explained to Luke Branquinho, “The worst part is, I felt like I was riding just as good as I was at the finals, and so it's just a freak deal that sucks.”

Per FanNation, the world champion bull rider "is out for the foreseeable future."

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Ky was having a great tournament prior to his injuries.

Before he was concussed and sustained shoulder injuries, Ky was having the best National Finals of his career to date. He won two rounds of the NFR, and posted 89 points during a ride on Bridwell Pro Rodeos' Fred. He had already earned $147,849 at the 2023 NFR, and he was also first in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $402,013. He was also leading the NFR average with 312 points in four head.

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Ky comes from a lineage of bull and horse riders, as his dad used to do both in Australia. His father's side of the family was into bull riding, according to his Pro Rodeo bio, and he has cousins who ride bulls and bareback horses in Australia. Ky started riding steers at age 12, and competed for the first time in America when he was just 15 at the Junior High School Finals in Des Moines, Iowa.

Fans of Ky's posted comments on Instagram with their prayers, saying that they hope he's okay and ultimately able to resume competition.

"That was one of the craziest buck offs ive seen, sending prayers ur way Ky, no matter what please remember to take care of yourself and heal. God bless," one person wrote.

It's unclear when Ky will be back to competing, but at least for now, it seems he's focused on his recovery.

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