In 1980, formerly affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys, Dr. J. Pat Evans and athletic trainer Don Andrews saw the need for medical support at rodeo events. A short time later, the mobile sports medicine system became a reality.
Along with a mobile unit, the rodeo sports medicine coverage system expanded into a network comprised of emergency and trauma physicians, orthopedic specialists, massage and physical therapists and athletic trainers, who along with clinics and hospitals across the country, offered comprehensive medical care to professional rodeo participants.
By 1981, Justin Boot Company became involved in sponsoring the program and remains the solitary sponsor today. During the first year of inception, the mobile system was present at 10 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association events and treated 775 contestants.
Today, the mobile sports medicine coverage offers services at more than 125 PRCA events every year, along with 10 PRCA Xtreme Bulls events.
Thousands of rodeo athletes receive preventative, emergency or therapeutic care through the program annually.
Clinics on Wheels
Dr. Evans and Don Andrews retired from the program in 2010. However, Mike Rich and Dr. Tandy Freeman now lead the Justin Boots Sportsmedicine Team. The mobile Rodeo Sports Medicine coverage teams travel more than 85,000 miles throughout the year via 40-foot gooseneck trailers hauled by Dodge Quad Cab trucks. Within the trailers, the team has computers to record and monitor athlete medical history. Audio/visual equipment provides conditioning and rehabilitation education. Medical and physical therapy equipment and supplies enable team members to perform diagnostic procedures, render emergency services or offer therapy at each location.
Functioning like miniature on-site clinics, the teams and equipment handle everything from sprains, strains and minor lacerations to more serious traumatic injuries. Ambulances also stand-by at each event in case a participant requires immediate transportation to a local hospital. The teams commonly coordinate between each other and the medical members of each community to ensure that rodeo athletes receive the best care possible.
Additional Benefits of Mobile Medicine
The training and skills of team members means that mobile rodeo sports medicine coverage professionals have become extremely familiar with the injuries that event athletes commonly suffer and are able to intervene as needed when accidents occur. The experience that the team has with events also means that the crew becomes familiar with injury trends and prepares accordingly to meet the demands. The knowledge base that they possess also helps rodeo competitors avoid injury where possible.
Cowboy Lifestyle Network thanks Justin Boots Sportsmedicine Team for everything they continue to do for rodeo athletes and everyone who has contributed to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.