Cowboys, concussions and unholy risks: Inside the world of professional bull riding

Cowboys, concussions and unholy risks: Inside the world of professional bull riding

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I tell anybody that has no idea it’s like, just times everything that you love and do
in any extreme sport by minimum ten, and that’s what bull riding is. Half the fun is riding these rank
bulls and the other half is traveling, you travel all over the world with your
close buddies, your best friends. I think that’s the greatest thing in the world. I like the nervous feeling I get before I get on like, you got to learn to deal with it ’cause you know, you’re getting on an eighteen hundred pound animal that sometimes wants to kill you. We all have a gladiator love for
each other, like it’s just, you know we hate to see it happen but we know it’s
kind of, day by day you can be the king, the king one day and the next day you
can have your guts stomped out and you just kind of, don’t ever take it for granted. Pozzy was probably the best bull rider
to come out of Canada in a long time. He was always positive you know, he got wrecked out more than anybody, he had a lot of injuries. You couldn’t keep him down.
He’d get back up and he was positive about it and he’d be there next weekend and you’d
be down in the dumps and he’d get you back up, and get you positive about stuff.
He was just, he was positive energy all the time. I’ve never met anybody more passionate
about what they do in anything then, then he was. Came to a point where I didn’t
care how much he loved it I cared how much I loved him. So, I wanted him to stop,
I begged him to stop. And he wouldn’t, he never would have. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done the same thing or maybe I have done the same thing, so, I can’t sit here and say; Oh, geez you know, we should have told him to not get on and that. There isn’t one of us that would have.
Looking back on it, everybody wishes they would have, but we didn’t. I try not to think about it, but really we did have bull riding kill a friend in a way. So it’s, definitely this year it really kind of sunk in on me that how dangerous what we do really is. Back to the being the cowboy way, guys break their ankle, you know have knee problems,
whatever, they’ll get on, right. They get sports med to tape them up whatever way, so they can make eight seconds. And that’s the way it used to be
with concussions too, you know. Guys would get hit in the head,
get knocked out at one event, they’d jump in the truck, drive to the next event and drink water and whatever and just think it’s like bumping your elbow or something and we didn’t know the consequences if you were to take another hit or not. I don’t think cowboys have took it serious enough. You know, everyone’s just kind of been trying to do the old cowboy way, tough it out. At the same time, like that’s kind of downfall of rodeo, it’s what we make a living at, you gotta kind of balance it between being smart, staying healthy and still going and toughing out stuff when you know
you can, because you got to pay some bills. We’ve got to protect these guys, they’re not going to protect themselves. This is the only way they know how to
make a living and they’re passionate about it. So there has to be a better
protocol for, for telling them no and maybe a support system for helping them when they aren’t allowed to so they don’t feel the need to get back in
it before it’s too soon. The biggest thing I would like to see is the medical professionals that do truthfully know our sport,
people that get to know us, understand us, deal with our drive and desire to win, have the ability to tell us we can’t get on. Don’t leave it up to us, or our buddy
because the guys that are the best, like a Ty, are gonna get on every time and try to win. I still love rodeo and the sport of bull riding. It’s what I grew up around as well. Every man in my life has loved it dearly, No one as much as Ty. So I don’t want to kill it, I don’t want to do away with it, but there’s got to be a way to make it safer for these guys.

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