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By Echo Menges
The family of the late Andrew Howe made the pilgrimage to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the 2019 Double S Extreme Bull Riding Tour Championship at the Star City Bull Bash held on December 27 and 28 at the Lancaster Event Center, which Andrew was preparing to compete in, before his untimely death in November.
Andrew was among the top ten high school competitors slated to compete at the end of the year. He was missed by his fellow bull riders and the Double S Extreme Bull Riding Tour organizers – so much so that Andrew’s spot in the Top Ten was not filled. The finale of the tour hosted only nine riders – a symbolic gesture felt all the way in Knox County, MO.
Andrew’s family was invited to attend the competition and their stay in Lincoln was gifted to them by the family of a fellow competitor.
The family, parents Don and Debbie, sisters Lyndsey and Audrey, uncle J.R. and friend Joe traveled to the event and stayed to watch the two days of competitions.
They were honored with the leather jacket meant for Andrew, which was also given to all of the finalist bull riders, with a special addition – Andrew’s name embroidered onto the chest. All of the jackets given to Andrew’s competitors also featured the name of the late bull rider embroidered on the back.
The Howe’s reported the competition was a tough one to attend, but they are glad they went and saw Andrew’s friends compete in the sport he loved so much.
A special tribute was paid to Andrew during the awards ceremony of the competition in the form of a moment of silence and the Howe’s reported the entire two-day competition felt like it was dedicated to him.
“You see there is one empty space in the line of athletes before you this evening,” said the announcer before kicking off the event. “We’re going to talk about a young man that had the courage – the courageousness – to chase his dream. He was a bull rider from Edina, Missouri. At seventeen years of age in a tragic hunting accident he left this time on earth, this life he knew, early. Andrew Howe was one of the top bull riders of the series. He would have been here – in that very spot. Ladies and gentlemen, this evening those young men ride in remembrance to their dear friend.”
“Sitting in the stand are the family members and the friends of Andrew Howe,” said the announcer, before asking the family to stand and wild applause erupted from the crowd.
As the riders departed from the arena, the announcer said, “Let’s celebrate the life and the memory of a cowboy!”
In Loving Memory of Andrew Howe