Measurement of accelerations experienced by rough stock riders



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Introduction: Head injury is common in many sports, but it is of particular concern in professional rodeo events. Rough stock events (bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding) provide multiple opportunities for injury. Head injuries sustained during a rough stock event may be the result of whiplash effects or impact with the animal. Although there are a few recent studies investigating the incidence of head injury in rodeo events, little is known about the acceleration profile experienced by the riders.\r\n\r\nMethods: This study was conducted at the 2007 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Two subjects were enrolled: one bull rider and one bareback rider. The subjects were fitted with custom-molded accelerometers and a waist mounted data recorder. The head accelerations experienced during the subjects’ scheduled rodeo events were then measured and recorded. The motions of the riders were also captured on video.\r\n\r\nResults: This study demonstrated the ability to record both the magnitude and direction of the head accelerations experienced. Data were obtained from both subjects and revealed significant accelerations in all axes, particularly the z-axis. The maximum resultant acceleration for the bull rider was 258 m/s2 (26 g’s), while the bareback rider experienced a greater magnitude acceleration of 450 m/s2 (46 g’s).\r\n\r\nConclusions: Head accelerations experienced by rough stock riders are high in magnitude and have the potential to result in injury. Further studies of accelerations experienced during actual rough stock events are needed.\r\n



rough stock, rodeo, head injury, acceleration