‘He loved living life’: Bandera family shares memories of Peter De Luna after tragic bull riding death

BANDERA, Texas – Vanessa De Luna is mourning the loss of her 22-year-old son days after a tragic bull riding accident.

Peter De Luna was only a bull rider for one year, taking up the sport in May 2023. He already competed in this year’s Riding on Faith Rodeo Summer Series.

De Luna died after he fell off the bull and was stepped on during a rodeo event. Initially, he was able to walk away from the incident but collapsed soon after. EMS and the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene.

De Luna was transported to the landing zone by Bandera County EMS, but he later died.

At least 20 professional bull riders have died from bull riding incidents since 1989.

His mom, sister, grandparents and friends want the San Antonio and Bandera community to remember Peter as the “charismatic and outgoing” person he was.

“My son. He loved what he was doing,” Vanessa De Luna, Peter’s mother, told KSAT. “He loved living life.”

De Luna made his mark both inside and outside of the rodeo. His mother and grandfather told KSAT that several of his friends from school and from the rodeo called to share stories of their time being friends with him.

De Luna graduated from Smithson Valley High School in 2020. His family said he was the life of the party. On his Graduation Day, De Luna made sure to live that out.

On that day, Peter De Luna was most known for running a victory lap around his graduating classmates and getting thrown in “graduation jail.” Laughter from classmates, family and other spectators can be heard in the video of his victory lap.

“I was so proud of the man he was becoming,” Vanessa said.

“I just wanted to copy him all the time,” De Luna’s sister, Anyssa, said.

Vanessa and her family will attend the Riding on Faith Rodeo on June 7 as tributes are made in Peter’s honor. Events in his memory will begin just before the rodeo starts at 8 p.m. at Mansfield Arena in Bandera.

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