Terrel Vineyard, a 27-year-old professional rodeo athlete, and his horse, Dose, met a tragic fate when they were struck by lightning while checking on cattle in a rural area of Nebraska. The incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on June 21, as confirmed by the Garden County Attorney’s Office.
Terrel Vineyard, a highly skilled calf and team roper, had earned the distinction of qualifying for the World Series of Team Roping in Las Vegas on three separate occasions. Regrettably, his promising career was cut short by this unforeseen natural disaster. Vineyard, who leaves behind his wife, Stacey, and their three young daughters, was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.
The Garden County Attorney’s Office has revealed that an autopsy verified Vineyard’s cause of death as a result of the lightning strike. This shocking incident has reverberated throughout the rodeo community, with Mike Kammerer, president of the Wyoming Rodeo Association, expressing condolences on behalf of the association and acknowledging the tight-knit nature of rodeo families.
On June 27, 2023, Vineyard was laid to rest in Nebraska amidst a somber ceremony attended by mourners, some of whom brought horses to honor his memory. The Vineyard family has been deeply touched by the outpouring of support and gratitude shown during this difficult time. A GoFundMe campaign has been established to provide financial assistance to the family as they navigate the aftermath of this tragedy.
Stacey Vineyard, Terrel’s wife, shared her appreciation for the support received via Facebook, acknowledging the kindness of those who contributed to the girls’ memorial account and provided meals for the family. She expressed her humility and gratitude for the love shown towards Terrel and their family during this trying period.
The National Lightning Safety Council has reported that Terrel Vineyard’s untimely demise marks the sixth lightning-related fatality in the United States in 2023. With a total of 19 lightning-caused fatalities recorded in 2022, this incident highlights the importance of raising awareness about lightning safety measures.
As the rodeo community mourns the loss of a talented athlete, Terrel Vineyard’s tragic passing serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability and danger of severe weather conditions. His memory will forever be cherished by those who knew and admired his remarkable skills and spirit.