Matt Bright knew he had a chance to win the eighth go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo when he was matched with Carr Pro Rodeo’s Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Riding Horse of the Year.
What happened was a wreck when the big brown gelding reared and smashed Bright into the back of the bucking chute. It was a freak deal that left Bright with a broken lumbar vertebrae and forced the Tennessee cowboy to miss the final two rounds of ProRodeo’s championship. It will also keep him on the sideline through at least mid-March.
But it’s time to err on the side of caution. I’d rather see this young cowboy compete for many years to come than risk further injury right away. Riding bareback horses is tough enough on the body; Matt needs to be in the best health possible to make another run at the NFR.
The docs that are associated with the Justin Sportsmedicine Team are going to give a rodeo contestant every opportunity to compete; more importantly, they’re going to make recommendations based on what’s best for each cowboy’s health.
We’re going to miss seeing Matt’s tremendous talent over the next couple of months, but it’s in his best interest to stay home.