Jason Blasdel of Fruita planned to step back this year from his professional bull riding days after competing in a rodeo in Wyoming last weekend.
Unfortunately, the 30-year-old family man died last Saturday after suffering injuries in what would be his last bull ride.
Blasdel, a husband and father to two young girls, was following his passion for participating in the rodeo sports he had loved since he was a young boy.
"His life was rodeo," Blasdel's father, Joe Blasdel, said by phone Thursday. "It was more of a hobby than his future. He had all the protective gear. There's no explanation why. It was one of those freak accidents."
Jason Blasdel leaves behind his wife, Heather, and his two daughters, 6-year-old Braylee and 2-year-old McKinley.
To help with the loss, family and friends are raising money for the family through a series of auctions at the Western Slope Cattlemen's Livestock Auction in Loma.
A livestock auction Wednesday benefited the Blasdel family, attracting scores of supporters. Another live auction for a horse trailer and dozens of items are available in a silent auction through Saturday. The fundraiser ends that night with a goat roping event and a raffle drawing for a car.
One room at Jason Blasdel's parents' home is dedicated to their son's rodeo days, filled with trophies, saddles, and belt buckles — all manner of memories that date back to when the 8-year-old boy started competing in the Little Britches series at Fruita's Rimrock Rodeo.
"There was just some awesome weekends with him," Joe Blasdel recalled. "We supported rodeo. That was our life."
Jason Blasdel also worked with his father at the family's landscaping business, Beethree Services, LLC. His son would have taken over the business one day, Joe Blasdel said.
Not one to spend money recklessly, Jason Blasdel built a home for his family, "a piece at a time," his father said.
"He literally built it from the ground up," he said, adding his son built in efficiencies to decrease utility costs.
The Fruita Monument High School graduate earned good grades and also loved sports. He participated in wrestling and football. He was quiet, his father said, but he would help anyone with something they needed.
Joe Blasdel remembers his son as a good boy, never once even getting a ticket. Jason Blasdel took his daughters to church and the family believes he's waiting to reunite with them in another world, his father said.
"He was growing into a nice young man," he said. "He had his whole life ahead of him."
Blasdel's survivors also include his mother, Sharron Blasdel of Fruita; and one sister, Jessica Mendes of Fruita.
Services are at 5 p.m. Sunday at Victory Life Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jason Blasdel Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank.