On May 28, brothers Ethan and Porter Hulme, the sons of Scott and Kimberly Hulme, were on their way to their home in Vernon, Texas after roping in Decatur, Texas. The truck Ethan was driving blew a tire, resulting in a rollover accident with both the tow vehicle and the trailer. It was truly an accident; neither excessive speed nor careless driving was involved.
Porter, 10-years-old, was ejected from the truck and pinned underneath. His arms were pinned under the headache rack. Ethan initially tried to lift the truck off his brother but was unable to do so. Within two minutes 10 or 12 motorists had stopped and helped lift the truck. Ethan was able to pull Porter out. An off-duty firefighter took care of Porter until an ambulance arrived. Ethan sustained cuts and bruises. Porter was left with numerous injuries, including broken ribs, an arm, collar bone, shoulder blade, and four broken vertebrae. He also suffered bruised lungs. One horse died in the accident.
As the Hulme family deals with the aftermath of the accident, they face another challenge: they do not have health insurance. It’s times like this when we get to see how the western industry steps up.
A lot of people doing a little makes a huge difference
Initially, there were a number of smaller auctions and fundraisers created for Porter and his family. Eventually, people reached out to Melanie Smith in Whitesboro, TX who runs Solo Select Horses LLC. You could say Smith has a background in online auctions. In November of 2020 Smith started the Solo Select Online Sale, which is now the leader in online horse sale platforms. Clay Reynolds of His Cavvy Foundation, was one of the people who reached out to Smith.
Reynolds established His Cavvy Foundation in March 2018, as a way to help families and individuals in the ranching community who were dealing with serious medical issues. “A lot of people doing a little makes a huge difference,” is the motto of the foundation, which is exactly what made the Hulme Auction successful.
Smith reached out on her Facebook business page which has in excess of 45,000 followers, asking for auction items. People shared and tagged her posts, garnering the attention of 250 donors who donated a range of items. “From stallion breedings, a ranch building, various trips, including one to Cabo, handmade jewelry, beef, custom-made spurs, everything,” said Smith.
The final amount raised by the auction was $306,700, with 1,000 bidders. “Stuff sold way over what it was worth,” Smith said, thus increasing the final amount of money donated to the Hulme family.
The road ahead
A Go Fund Me Page, “Medical help for Porter Hulme,” has been set up by Porter’s uncle Dustin Hulme to help the Hulme family with costs they are incurring daily. Various barrel races and ropings are also being held to benefit Porter. The estimated cost of Porter’s medical treatment and recovery is $1,000,000.
Porter was scheduled for surgery on June 7; however, he had an infection in his arm so doctors were unable to proceed. Family friend and fellow roper, Matt Budge says the surgery has been postponed. According to Reynold’s Facebook page, the plan is to fuse nine vertebrae, from T7 to L3, due to Porter’s spinal cord injury.
According to Budge, the Hulme family “Are a wonderful family, good people,” he said. “Porter is always laughing when he is here. Anything anyone can do to help out would be great.”
Miles and Alicia Werner, from Casper, Wyoming donated a breeding to their stallion, Aint Seen Iceman Yet (Ice) to Smith’s fundraiser. When asked what moved them to do, Alicia said, “We wanted to help a fellow cowboy family out. The horse world takes care of their own, and we couldn’t think of a better way to lend a helping hand.”
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