Rodeo Riders Adjust to Helmets - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Rodeo Riders Adjust to Helmets

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Rodeo riders are gearing up for the P-R-C-A championship in Bismarck this weekend. It's a sport filled with injuries. Yet until recently, they've ignored an obvious piece of protection that could cut down on aches and pains.

A lot of riders will wear protective vests but one thing they aren't too keen on is helmets.
In many states, they're actually a requirement now for riders under 18, but for those who have spent their whole careers without them, it's easier sometimes to do without.

Imagine going to head to head with one of these 2,000 pound bulls.

"I wear a helmet all the time," says bullrider David Feickert.

But not all riders take those safety precautions coming out of the gate.

"There's still guys that don't wear the helmet and some of the reasons are maybe a little macho, but some of the reasons are they can't see as well out of the helmet, and they feel the balance, it throws their balance off when that helmet's heavy," says Jody Carper, Rodeo Announcer.

But many riders say they're not taking chances of hitting the dirt too hard.

"It's easy to get hurt or for you to meet the bull's head with your head, so a concussion is a pretty big injury in bull-riding. So, if you want to make your career longer it's a lot safer to wear a helmet, definitely," says Feickert.

And others involved with the sport say they think more riders will wear helmets in the future.

"If it was me, I'd be wearing a helmet. You look at the safety factors, the concussion factors, look at the NFL," says Carper. "They're still trying to improve helmets every year.

And when facing one of these some riders say they want to be prepared with the best safety gear.

Feickert says he didn't wear a helmet for half of his first year, but quickly realized he preferred to wear one.

The extreme bull-riding competition starts at 7:30 tonight here at the Bismarck Civic Center.

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