John hangs tough despite horror fall

HE suffered an unthinkable injury. He was trapped, scared and fighting for his life but injured Forest Reefs bull rider said it was part of the risk.

It was just six weeks ago when 18-year-old John Crasti climbed aboard a 680 kilogram bull to take part in a rodeo when tragedy struck.

Still in the chute, and waiting to enter the ring, “something spooked” the huge beast Mr Crasti said and it reared up, flicked him off and pinned him to the ground.

“I remember most of the accident ... I would have been under the bull for a minute,” he said.

Despite the chaos that surrounded him, and the bull’s legs caught over the chute, Mr Crasti said all he was trying to do was “curl up in a ball”.

“I just remember trying to tuck up in a ball and I couldn’t move.”

Mr Crasti’s neck was broken in the accident and following a six week stay at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Mr Crasti has now been transferred to the Royal Rehabilitation Centre to learn how to live with the injuries he received.

“I’ve got no feeling below the ribs, at the moment they’re just working on my upper body strength,” he said.

Despite the terrible injuries in a tough sport and the possibility he may never walk again, Mr Crasti was extremely positive when he shared his story with the Central Western Daily this week.

“I’m feeling great, I’m feeling I could do anything I used to be able to,” he said.

Mr Crasti wanted to thank the Orange community, in particular the Forest Reefs Tavern, for their support since the accident.

“It’s been great getting the support and knowing how much support there is,” he said.

Looking towards the future Mr Crasti said he is extremely positive and holds no negative feelings about the incident.

“It’s the luck of the draw, you probably won’t see it for another 10 years ... it’s pretty unlucky,” he said.

“It’s the risk you take when you jump on a bull. You’ve got to understand it’s not if and when but how much.”

nadine.morton@fairfaxme

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