By Chelcey Adami
STILLWATER, Okla. — Rodeo athletes face a fair amount of danger while competing all over the nation, and now a new resource will aid those specifically injured in the sport.
Beginning this month, the Rodeo Medicine Referral System will provide rodeo athletes with a list of medical providers in the United States and Canada that specialize in common injuries rodeo athletes suffer.
The system is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Courtenay DeHoff is a traveling member of the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team. She said if you compete in rodeo, it’s not a question of if you’ll get hurt but when.
Constant traveling also provides a unique challenge to getting reliable healthcare.
Justin Sports Medicine Team accommodates most large rodeo events with rodeo-specific healthcare but can’t be at all rodeo events or provide care for someone who needs to travel elsewhere the following day.
Rachelle Holt is also a traveling member of the OSU Rodeo Team and said that the new system provides not only medical aid but mental relief.
“Those types of things makes you feel a lot better,” Holt said. “It’s very comforting.”
Even more of a challenge is the fact that taking time off for recovery is simply not an option for rodeo athletes who rely on the money they make performing for their living.
“They (rodeo athletes) need to be as healthy as quickly as they can. It seem silly that someone just needs to sit out, but when they’re putting food on the table, it’s a big deal,” Holt said. “Especially in the pro rodeo. If they get hurt, it puts a stop to everything. They need doctors that understand that need to quickly get treatment.”
Providers interested in being on the list can fill out a registration form on the webiste.
The Rodeo Medicine Referral System can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Injury Prevention Service web-site at http:///rodeomedicine.health.ok.gov.