By Connor Lynch
PICTON — When most people go bull riding, it’s voluntarily. But it wasn’t for Prince Edward County beef producer Lynn Leavitt.
He went out on the evening of Feb. 20 to feed his cattle on his Picton-area farm. They were crowding around, as cattle do, as he was dumping grain into a steel trough. They’re Angus cattle, so they’re “extra spirited,” he said. Something spooked them; he’s not sure what. But they took off running.
He had his back to the animals and when he heard the stampede he had just enough time to think: “This is gonna hurt.” They knocked him into the steel trough on his back, with one leg dangling out. One of the animals hammered his leg.
His back and side hurt more than his leg. But as he tried to stand he felt a bone pushing up against his skin. So he crawled on his hands and knees to the barn, about 25 feet away, and called home for his truck and crutches. His daughter rushed the truck over and found him lying at one end of the stable. She called an ambulance. After a 24-hour wait at the Belleville hospital, a surgeon arrived. A CT scan showed his tibia had been smashed to pieces.
“(The surgeon) said it looked like kibbles and bits down there,” Leavitt said The plate on top of his tibia (shin bone), where it meets his knee, had been driven downwards, so it had to be brought back up and screwed in place, Leavitt said.
That will put him out of commission for at least three months. It’s a busy time for a start-to-finish beef operation with spring just around the corner but one of Leavitt’s three grown kids has taken a work leave to help out at the farm. There has also been a deluge of community support.
Leavitt’s daughter-in-law, Jessica Gilbeau, also started a gofundme page to raise money to hire help and pay for medical supplies.
Involuntary bull riding knocks beef farmer off his feet for three months
By Connor Lynch