‘She spent her last moments doing what made her heart soar’: tributes paid to 10-year-old rider

  • A 10-year-old girl ‘whose talent knew no bounds’ has died following a riding accident.

    Piper Faust’s horse fell just before she was due to compete in a barrel racing competition at a rodeo in Texas, United States, on Sunday evening (14 March).

    The Southeast Texas Youth Rodeo Association announced the tragic news in the early hours of the following day.

    “I don’t know what to say. This is hard. I’m terribly sorry to let everyone know that Piper Faust didn’t make it tonight,” said a spokesman.

    He asked for Piper’s family to be given privacy during this difficult time.

    “Please pray for Brian and Rhonda as they deal with something no parent should have to go through,” he added.

    Mr and Mrs Faust told news outlet KBTX that Piper was a dedicated barrel racing jockey.

    “She had an all-around spirit that was just infectious, with a beautiful smile… Her smile just made you smile,” Mrs Faust said.

    A GoFundMe page set up for the Faust family has raised almost $30,000 (£24,000).

    “Piper was a special little girl whose talents knew no bounds,” the tribute reads.

    “She touched the lives of many with her bright smile and determination to succeed in all she did.

    “Piper loved barrel racing and that is how she spent her last moments…doing what made her heart soar.

    “The Faust family has suffered a loss which none of us can even begin to comprehend.

    “Please, help this precious family begin to pick up the pieces by giving what you can.”

    Several memorial events have been organised in Piper’s memory, including the Piper Faust Memorial Barrel Race, which will take place on 13 May.

    The race will raise funds to establish a scholarship in Piper’s memory.

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