Several years ago Kinesiology researcher Dale Butterwick launched a worldwide registry looking for details on serious injury or death in rodeo competition.
“The purpose of the registry was to get an idea of how many injuries occur and how often they occur,” says Butterwick. “And I think we’re getting a better handle on that.”
Since the registry was created in July of 2007, Butterwick has received documentation of 45 serious rodeo injuries, including 18 fatalities.
He is compiling the information for publication, however he suggests that an early look at the data indicates that some rodeo equipment worn by cowboys clearly isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to. He also says there might be a good case made for wearing helmets in competition.
“Two of the cases that were reported detailed fatalities due to head injury,” says Butterwick, “neither of those individuals were wearing a helmet. On the flip side there were no reports of serious head trauma or death by cowboys wearing helmets in competition.”
Butterwick stresses that analysis of data is not yet complete, and hopes that injuries will continue to be reported to the registry website: http://www.sportmed.ucalgary.ca/rodeo.