Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team Brings Expertise to Bull Riding Schools in 2024

By: Covy Moore  Friday, April 5, 2024 @ 10:10 AM

The Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team is present at every PBR Canada event. Photo: Covy Moore/

AIRDRIE, Alta. – The Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team (CPRSMT) is a pivotal part of the PBR in Canada.

At every event in Canada, the CPRSMT team is on site to keep an eye out on the competitors' health and wellness. From massage therapy, chiropractic, and athletic therapy, the CPRSMT is a one stop shop for bull riders to ensure they are in the best shape possible for competition, and to provide immediate care for athletes who may be injured during competition.

In 2023, the team treated 4,802 athletes, spanning both rodeo and bull riding, and administered 6,458 treatments across 239 performances of Western events. Of those treatments, 1,971 were with an athletic therapist, 1,372 were with a massage therapist, and 1,550 were chiropractic treatments. The CPRSMT facilitated 1,569 self-care treatments and provided 7,336 rolls of tape across the season.

In the past decade, the team has shifted its focus to include educational elements to help ensure competitors in bull riding and the other rodeo events are knowledgeable in the decisions they’ll make throughout the season, while maintaining a competition-ready fitness.

Starting in 2020, the CPRSMT began offering spring training events that not only provide off-season baseline testing for competitors, but training regimens for each event, nutrition, and talks from other industry professionals about the business of rodeo and bull riding.

The CPRSMT have already completed their 2024 Spring Trainings, with two staged in Edmonton, Alberta and one in Calgary, from January-March.

More recently that educational aspect has been introduced to bull riding schools.

The team committed members to look over the safety of the schools and offer a segment on many different aspects for ensuring each competitor operates in a sustainable manner, kicking off 2024 with Zane Lambert and Scott Byrne’s Bullhand Rodeo Academy in Ponoka, Alberta.

For the CPRSMT’s Brandon Thome, the shift to bringing their own programming to bull riding and rodeo schools was a natural progression for the team and its mandate of making the sport safer and more sustainable.

“How do we as a sports medicine team help with the sustainability of bull riding, and it is through schools and education and making it safer? One of the ways we have been able to do that is through educational opportunities,” Thome said. “We have talked about the Spring Training Camp for five years now, and we have seen it transition into even younger kids attending, instead of just the pros.”

“We have moved that program to include learning how to take care of their bodies and the things they need to do to warm up, strength and conditioning.”

Thome added that without the support of those running each of the many schools in Canada throughout the winter and spring, they wouldn’t be seeing the success of their efforts.

“Guys putting on the schools are learning that this is a vital part of it,” Thome added. “They continue to bring us out for these educational opportunities alongside the usual safety component we bring to it.”

The proof is in the pudding as they say.

Both 2022 PBR Canada Champion Nick Tetz, as well as championship contender and multi-time event winner Coy Robbins, attended the Spring Training Camp in its first year and followed through with continued care from Acumen Performance.

“In the bull riding you don’t have to look further than Canadian Champion Nick Tetz. Tetz and Coy Robbins were some of the first pro athletes to come to our Spring Training events. And look at the success they are both having,” Thome said. “They are able to maintain their healthy lifestyle. At the end of the day, we are not able to prevent the injuries where you are competing against a 1600-pound animal.

“That always happens. What we are trying to get rid of are those ongoing injuries, the strains that plague a competitor throughout their season.”

While the average age of competitors attending the Spring Training Camp has dropped, this season saw three more PBR professionals attending.

“There are a couple guys who came to the school this year, a couple of the pro guys. Mike Ostashek, Cauy Schmidt and Chanse Switzer. We will see there might be some more proof in the pudding here soon,” Thome said.