Injured Wrangler NFR contestants on the mend; all should be back within three months | TSLN.com

Injured Wrangler NFR contestants on the mend; all should be back within three months

Given that more than 20 of the 119 contestants at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) found their way onto the Justin Sportsmedicine injury report at some point during the Dec. 2-11 championships in Las Vegas, it is time to count blessings. No one came out of it with serious long-term affects.

Bull rider Chad Denton was the only cowboy who required surgery – he had a rod inserted to repair a fractured left tibia – and should be back in action in about three months, perhaps in time for Rodeo Austin.

“I just got the staples taken out today (Dec. 20) at R.P. Rehab in Oroville (CA),” Denton said. “I had the surgery Dec. 10 in Las Vegas, and they just wrapped it up and put me in a walking boot. It’s never good to get injured, but if you are going to break something, it might as well be now, so you can spend time with your family over the holidays.”

The only contestants looking at about that same sort of recovery time are bareback riders Ryan Gray (lacerated liver) and Matt Bright (fracture of the lumbar spine), who will require 8-12 weeks of healing and rehab before returning to the arena.

The scariest of the lot was Bright’s injury, which occurred when the bucking horse he was on, Carr Pro Rodeo’s Real Deal, reared up and slammed Bright’s back into the metal chute wall.

“The first thing I thought when I got hurt was that I didn’t know the extent of how bad it was,” Bright told the Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel. “Half the time it’s a career-ending deal, so that’s the first thing I worried about, not being able to rodeo any more.”

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Bright is walking with a back brace. He figures the bone will mend nicely with time. The hard part will be getting himself back in riding shape so he can compete for his second trip to the Wrangler NFR.

“When you ride a bareback horse,” Bright said, “you exert as much energy in an eight-second bareback ride as most people do in an eight-hour work day.”

Bull riders Kanin Asay, Steve Woolsey, Clayton Williams and D.J. Domangue all suffered concussions in the late stages of the Wrangler NFR, and are all expected to make a full recovery within a couple of weeks and return to competition.

Jesse Wright, the saddle bronc rider who set a Wrangler NFR earnings record for injury replacements with $92,927 (he joined the field when Rod Hay withdrew), competed for most of the 10 days with a severe left ankle sprain and joint fracture. Doctors have recommended rest and rehab for the next couple of months, but he is entered in the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver, starting Jan. 8.

Given that more than 20 of the 119 contestants at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) found their way onto the Justin Sportsmedicine injury report at some point during the Dec. 2-11 championships in Las Vegas, it is time to count blessings. No one came out of it with serious long-term affects.

Bull rider Chad Denton was the only cowboy who required surgery – he had a rod inserted to repair a fractured left tibia – and should be back in action in about three months, perhaps in time for Rodeo Austin.

“I just got the staples taken out today (Dec. 20) at R.P. Rehab in Oroville (CA),” Denton said. “I had the surgery Dec. 10 in Las Vegas, and they just wrapped it up and put me in a walking boot. It’s never good to get injured, but if you are going to break something, it might as well be now, so you can spend time with your family over the holidays.”

The only contestants looking at about that same sort of recovery time are bareback riders Ryan Gray (lacerated liver) and Matt Bright (fracture of the lumbar spine), who will require 8-12 weeks of healing and rehab before returning to the arena.

The scariest of the lot was Bright’s injury, which occurred when the bucking horse he was on, Carr Pro Rodeo’s Real Deal, reared up and slammed Bright’s back into the metal chute wall.

“The first thing I thought when I got hurt was that I didn’t know the extent of how bad it was,” Bright told the Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel. “Half the time it’s a career-ending deal, so that’s the first thing I worried about, not being able to rodeo any more.”

Bright is walking with a back brace. He figures the bone will mend nicely with time. The hard part will be getting himself back in riding shape so he can compete for his second trip to the Wrangler NFR.

“When you ride a bareback horse,” Bright said, “you exert as much energy in an eight-second bareback ride as most people do in an eight-hour work day.”

Bull riders Kanin Asay, Steve Woolsey, Clayton Williams and D.J. Domangue all suffered concussions in the late stages of the Wrangler NFR, and are all expected to make a full recovery within a couple of weeks and return to competition.

Jesse Wright, the saddle bronc rider who set a Wrangler NFR earnings record for injury replacements with $92,927 (he joined the field when Rod Hay withdrew), competed for most of the 10 days with a severe left ankle sprain and joint fracture. Doctors have recommended rest and rehab for the next couple of months, but he is entered in the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver, starting Jan. 8.

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