All Reno Rodeo fans get to watch the events from a safe distance in the stands away from any danger.
But inside the arena it's a whole different story. Crashes aren't that uncommon at the rodeo, and neither are injuries.
"I've seen guys get hit on the back of the head from the hines of the horse," says athletic trainer Dustin Hopfe. "Knocked out."
It's dangerous inside the arena, which is why the rodeo has several athletic trainers who treat 10 to 15 rodeo participants each night.
"We deal with a lot of head injuries, quite a bit," says Hopfe. "In all aspects you can see them in the rough stock events. Especially bareback you see quite bit."
Other common injuries include broken bones, cuts, bruises and pulled muscles. And you don't have to be a rider to feel the direct impact of these animals' brute strength.
"I got kicked by a bucking horse this spring at Red Bluffs," says Bronc Boehnlein. "I got kicked in the middle of the back. Kind of mess up some vertebrae in my back."
Boehnlein doesn't ride a horse or bull in the events, but he's definitely right in the thick of the action. He's a "pick up man"meaning he rounds up the bull or horse after the rider falls off and makes sure everyone is safe.
"We're up and close and personal with 2,000 pounds of bucking horse," he says.
The amazing thing is, many of the riders and pick up men still don't wear helmets. There are options out there though.
"Over the last few years, you've had a lot of innovations in bull riding helmets," says Hopfe. "A lot lighter, and especially in this sport you need a lot of peripheral vision."
But a lot of these cowboys just have too much pride. You won't see them wearing anything but a Western hat in front of thousands of screaming rodeo fans.
"My helmet is a black felt hat," says Boehnlein. "That's a bout as close to a helmet as I'm getting."
Just to give you an idea of how important helmets are, athletic trainers say 50% of all head injuries could be avoided if every single rider wore one.
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