HomeGeneralBull Rider Injured At NFR-How Safety Protocols Can Save Lives On The...

Bull Rider Injured At NFR-How Safety Protocols Can Save Lives On The Rodeo Circuit

Rodeo is a beloved sport, but the risks of serious injuries are ever-present. In this article, we take a look at the recent case of a bull rider injured at NFR and explore how safety protocols can save lives on the rodeo circuit.

Introduction to Bull Riding

As anyone who has ever been to a rodeo can attest, bull riding is one of the most exhilarating and dangerous events. Riders attempt to stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds while holding a rope attached to the animal’s flank. It is not only a test of the rider’s strength and skill, but also a test of their nerves.

While there are many riders who have years of experience and are able to stay on even the wildest bulls, accidents do happen. In December of 2015, at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, one such accident occurred when bull rider J.W. Harris was thrown from his bull and stomped on by the animal. Harris suffered several fractures and internal bleeding, but fortunately he was wearing a protective vest which saved his life.

This incident highlights the importance of safety protocols in rodeo events, especially bull riding. Riders must wear protective gear including a vest, helmet, and gloves. The bulls themselves must be inspected before each ride to ensure that they are not overly agitated or injured. And finally, there must be qualified medical personnel on hand in case of an accident.

By following these safety protocols, we can help reduce the risk of serious injury or death in rodeo events.

The NFR and its Regulations

The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is the premier rodeo event in the United States. Held every December in Las Vegas, Nevada, the NFR attracts the top cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country.

While the NFR is a thrilling event to watch, it can be dangerous for participants. In 2017, bull rider Scottie Knapp was seriously injured when he was bucked off a bull during the NFR. Thankfully, he was wearing a protective vest and helmet and was able to walk away from the incident with only minor injuries.

However, not all rodeo participants are so lucky. Injuries are common in rodeo, and sometimes they can be fatal. That’s why it’s important for rodeo organizers to implement safety protocols to protect riders and animals alike.

Some of the safety measures that have been put in place at the NFR include mandatory vest and helmet use for bull riders, increased safety fencing around the arena, and improved medical response times. These measures have helped to reduce the number of serious injuries at the NFR in recent years.

As Knapp’s story shows, even with these safety precautions in place, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s important for rodeo participants to always be aware of the risks involved in their sport. By understanding the dangers and taking steps to protect themselves, they can help make rodeo a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Safety Protocols Used At the NFR

When it comes to the rodeo circuit, safety is always a top priority. The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is no exception. In fact, the NFR has some of the strictest safety protocols in place to ensure that riders and animals are protected while competing.

One of the most important safety measures at the NFR is the use of padded bucking chutes. These chutes help to protect both riders and animals from injuries by absorbing some of the impact when a bull bucks. In addition, all bulls that compete at the NFR must be inspected by a veterinarian before they are allowed to compete. This helps to ensure that any bulls with injuries or health problems are not put into competition.

Another important safety measure at the NFR is the use of helmets and protective vest by all riders. Helmets help to protect riders from head injuries in case of a fall, while protective vests help to absorb some of the impact from being thrown off a bull. All riders are also required to have their saddles inspected before each ride to make sure that they are secure and will not slip during competition.

The NFR also has rules in place regarding how many times a rider can attempt to ride a particular bull. If a rider is unsuccessful in riding a bull after three attempts, they must dismount and move on to another bull. This helps to prevent injuries by limiting the amount of time a rider spends on a particularly difficult or dangerous bull.

Impact of Injuries in Bull Riding

Injuries are a common occurrence in bull riding. While the majority of these injuries are minor, there is always the potential for more serious, even life-threatening, injuries to occur.

While there are always risks associated with any sport, bull riding has been shown to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Arizona found that bull riding has a higher rate of injury than any other sport, with riders sustaining an average of 8.8 injuries per 1,000 rides.

The most common type of injury sustained by bull riders is a concussion, followed by fractures and contusions. More serious injuries can include internal bleeding, organ damage, and even death.

While the vast majority of riders do walk away from their rides without any serious injuries, it only takes one bad fall to cause lifelong consequences. That’s why it’s so important for riders to be aware of the dangers they face and to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves.

One of the best ways to stay safe while bull riding is to wear proper safety gear. This includes a helmet, mouthguard, protective vest, and gloves. Wearing this gear can help reduce the severity of injuries sustained in a fall and can even save lives.

In addition to wearing proper safety gear, riders should also follow all safety protocols put in place by rodeo organizers. These protocols are designed to minimize the risk of injury and help keep riders safe.

Potential Solutions To Improve Safety on the Rodeo Circuit

There are a few potential solutions that could help improve safety on the rodeo circuit. One solution is for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) to create a safety task force that would be responsible for examining all aspects of rodeo events and coming up with recommendations for improved safety. This task force could include riders, stock contractors, and other experts in the field.

Another solution is for the PRCA to create stricter rules and regulations regarding safety equipment and helmets. Currently, there is no requirement for riders to wear helmets while competing in rodeo events. However, many riders do choose to wear them, and some states have made helmet use mandatory for junior rodeo competitors. Making helmet use mandatory for all riders would help to prevent head injuries in the event of a fall or collision.

Finally, increasing education and awareness about rodeo safety amongst riders, officials, and spectators could help to make the sport safer overall. This could involve things like providing more information about the risks involved in rodeo riding, as well as proper safety procedures that should be followed both during and after an event.


Rodeos are a beloved American pastime, but they can be dangerous for participants and spectators if proper safety protocols aren’t in place. This incident at the NFR serves as an important reminder of why it is so important to implement and enforce strict safety regulations on the rodeo circuit. We hope that this article has helped raise awareness about the importance of these precautionary measures, which could potentially save lives down the line.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular