CSI athlete paralyzed following rodeo incident

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) A CSI athlete is recovering in a Utah hospital this week after an accident at the PRCA rodeo Thursday night.

Braxten Nielsen broke his back when his horse reared up and smashed him against the chute while bareback riding.

According to a Go Fund Me account, he twisted his spinal cord and broke his T-12 and L1 vertebrae.

After a five hour surgery, doctors told family members he is paralyzed from the waist down.

Coach Steve Birnie said, "you know Braxten's got a long road ahead of him but he's a fighter, he's strong willed, determined, he's got a great outlook on life in general. we're all behind him, supporting him and wishing him the best."

Nielsen transferred to CSI from Weber State where he competed in the college national finals last year.

Coach Birnie anticipated him bringing in big points for the team and appreciates his go-getter attitude.

Obviously Nielsen can't attend, but will be with the team in spirit.

"I think our team will draw from his strength and his determination and his attitude. We've talked a lot about that already and what Braxten wanted to accomplish this year individually and as a team. everyone will work that much harder to make those goals a reality.

The Go Fund Me account has already raised more than $41,000 of their $50,000 goal.

the website says he will soon be moved to a rehabilitation center to work on his recovery.

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