ON October 27 it will be exactly a year since Forest Reefs bull rider John Crasti’s suffered a life-changing injury.
But he still says he is a lucky man.
In the lead up to this year’s Orange Rodeo on October 19, Mr Crasti said he is excited, rather than nervous, about returning to the scene of his horrific accident.
It was almost 12 months ago Crasti sat atop a 680kg bull in the chute, ready to go for the ride of his life.
Then tragedy struck.
The bull fell backwards, trapping the 18-year-old beneath its huge weight and rendering him a quadriplegic.
What followed was nine months in hospital and rehabilitation in Sydney before Mr Crasti finally returned to his new home in Bathurst.
“Everything’s going really good. I’m getting out and about and getting to a few places on the weekend, which is really good,” he said.
“I’ve got some good mates and they keep me going.”
Mr Crasti said he has also had some dark days since the accident.
“I had no movement at all and I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to do,” he said.
“It lasts for a little while and then you eventually get over it, you tell yourself to get over it.
“Just be positive. It gets easier as time goes on really.”
He still has the helmet he was wearing when he was injured.
“I still get it out and have a look every now and then,” he said.
“I had a helmet on, but it got pretty messed up.
“I’m probably grateful more so than anything. I didn’t have any other breaks, just a broken neck.”
At this year’s rodeo Mr Crasti will try his hand at announcing some of the event’s biggest rides.
“They’ve (rodeo organisers) been great with everything and supportive and it’ll be great to catch up,” he said.
“I can’t wait, it’ll be good to see everyone, hopefully it’s as good as last year.”
Mr Crasti said he is excited about his future and hopes it revolves around the rodeo circuit.
“I want to go around and follow the rodeos,” he said.
“Just take it as it comes really, like bull riding, just take it jump for jump.”
The Orange Rodeo is on at the Orange Showground.
Entry is $30 adults, children under 15 $20, family pass (two adults and two children ) $70.