When your job is to be thrown off a bucking horse or fired-up bull, having a doctor nearby is probably a good idea.
That's why Dr. Jason Stoneback
is there at the National Western Stock Show before, during, and after every rodeo.
"We take care of a lot of chronic issues, chronic shoulder problems, knee problems, sprains, and strains," Stoneback said. He is a orthopedic traumatologist at the University of Colorado Hospital. "So, I deal with bones that healed funny or didn't heal at all," Stoneback said.
The University of Colorado Hospital also donated the use of an x-ray machine to use on site at the rodeo to evaluate injuries immediately after they happen.
"As cowboys are injured, where if its serious injury we were the first out there on to the arena grounds to assess them," Stoneback said.
Stoneback says having a doctor on site can be valuable and it is something that a lot of rodeos do not have. Plus, he admits cowboys aren't necessarily the type of people who like to go to the doctor. "They're going down the road. This is their living. This is their livelihood," Stoneback said. Working with the Justin Sports Medicine Team, Stoneback volunteers at other rodeos around Colorado, as well.
"Yeah, there are a lot of injuries that occur especially in the rough stock events - saddle back, bare back, and bull riding," Stoneback said.
He does all this because he truly understands the rodeo life. "When I was younger, I used to ride saddle bronc and bulls," Stoneback said.
He knows the injuries wears and tears and the injuries first-hand. But, most of all, he just wants to give back to the cowboy community that he grew up with.
"That's part of why I do this because you get to see them again and you get to talk and catch up and see how things are going," Stoneback said. "To be able to give back to the guys that are still riding and competing."