Girl, 12, dies in fall outside arena at rodeo

May 31, 2011

A 12-year-old girl has died after a horse fell on her during a rodeo in South Carolina.

Lauren McKenzie Mathias
Lauren McKenzie Mathias, of Chester, died around 12.30pm on Saturday at Greenville Memorial Hospital from head trauma suffered in the accident at the T. Ed Garrison Arena in Anderson County the day before.

Authorities say she had been riding the horse on Friday outside an arena where the South Carolina High School Rodeo Association's state finals were being held.

The 23-year-old horse bucked and the girl, who went by the name McKenzie, was thrown forward. The horse fell, and then rolled on McKenzie when attempting to stand.

McKenzie had recently joined the South Carolina High School Rodeo Association's junior division. On the day of her death she was competing in two events - the barrel racing competition and the pole bending.

She had plans to attend Clemson University and train as a veterinarian.

McKenzie was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina on January 15, 1999, a daughter of John and Regina Mathias.

She was a rising seventh grader at Lewisville Middle School where she was a member of the Roaring Readers and participated in the Class Representative Pageant.

McKenzie was a member of Saluda Street Church of God where she was a part of the youth group and attended Shabbach.

A funeral service will be held at 4pm on Wednesday, June 1, at Saluda Street Church of God with Reverend Jimmie Cox, Reverend Gerald Funderburk and Reverend John Porter officiating.