A DAD was horrifically crushed to death after falling from a bucking bull at a New Year's Eve rodeo.
Cowboy Hue Mills, 25, was thrown off the animal just seconds after entering the arena in Queensland, Australia.
He had travelled over 100 miles from his home in Atholwood to compete at the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society’s New Year’s Eve Rodeo on Saturday.
But the novice bull ride attended by hundreds of spectators quickly turned into a terrifying display.
Hue is said to have been abruptly "bucked off" almost immediately after beginning his performance.
The bull then violently trampled on the helpless dad with its hind legs as he lay on the ground in the packed arena.
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One witness said it "broke their heart watching" the tragedy unfold just metres away from them.
Hue sustained serious chest injuries after being crushed by the hulking animal.
Despite donning protective gear, the cowboy suffered critical injuries and was rushed to Warwick Hospital.
He sadly passed away a short time later from his injuries, leaving behind his devastated wife and young son.
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The National Rodeo Association paid tribute to the dad while describing their shock at the New Year's Eve tragedy.
NRA chairman Jason Hall told The Courier Mail: "The competitor came off about halfway into the ride, the bull’s legs came down on his back.
"It didn’t look any more serious than anything that happens every week."
Hue was wearing a helmet as well as a protective vest at the time of the incident.
"But they are obviously to help limit any injury, it can't obviously prevent everything from happening," Hall added.
"It was an unfortunate accident. Bull riding is a dangerous sport and everyone competing knows this is always a possibility."
Family and friends have also paid tribute to the keen bull rider, describing him as the "most humble" man.
One wrote: "Devastated for his family. Rest in peace young man."
Another poignant post read: "Such a shocking tragedy to one of the nicest, most humble friendly upstanding people I've ever met.
"His down to earth personality was one you couldn't help but admire and strive to become a better person having known him."
A third added: "'RIP old son you were always a wild one was great knowing you for the short time I did."
Rodeo fans who witnessed the horror also shared their sadness after hearing of Hue's passing.
One said: "Thoughts for this brave man’s family and friends. Witnessing this tragedy brought tears to my eyes and broke my heart watching."
Another wrote: "As the DJ for this event, I am deeply saddened… my deepest condolences to his family.
"I wish to thank all the volunteers and paramedics who did all they could for this young cowboy."
And a third said: "One of the saddest things I have ever witnessed."
Grieving event organisers announced plans to support Hue's heartbroken loved ones at a junior rodeo held on Sunday.
They called for donations to help pay for his funeral arrangements and "any long-term care for the family."
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NRA President John Maher later added: "We want to offer our condolences to his family, friends and his fellow riders.
"A man losing his life doing the sport he loves is such a great tragedy."
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