Objectives: To document injury rates and treatment use during one competitive season of Canadian professional rodeo.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Canadian professional rodeo competition.
Subjects: Competitors, included professional cowboys from Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.
Methods: Data were gathered prospectively at 15 of 68 professional rodeos in Canada, constituting 22% of all Canadian professional rodeos. Data were collected by four certified athletic therapists using a standardized form.
Main results: Overall, 94 athletes were injured during 3,882 individual competitor exposures (CEs). The composite injury rate was 2.3 per 100 CEs. This rate is lower than that reported in contact sports. Within the context of rodeo injuries, bareback riders and bull riders had similar high injury rates (4.6 and 3.6 per 100 CEs, respectively). Saddle bronc riders and steer wrestlers had moderate injury rates (1.4 and 0.9 per 100 CEs, respectively), whereas calf ropers had low injury rates (0.5 per 100 CEs). The knee and ankle were the most frequently treated sites of the body, followed by the shoulder, elbow, and lower back. Acute injury care and prophylactic taping were the most frequent services provided.
Conclusions: In order to study injury patterns in more detail and to assess risk factors for injury, a larger scale epidemiological study should be undertaken. Through such risk-based analysis, preventative strategies could be identified.