Is DeCoteau a case for bull riders wearing helmets?Camren DeCoteau was lucky because of his own decisions.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Camren DeCoteau was lucky because of his own decisions.
Though every bull rider in the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association does it, bull riders are not required to wear helmets at any level of rodeo.
The National High School Rodeo Association requires bull riders to wear a protective vest and athletic mouthpiece.
But in the NHSRA’s 2011-12 year rulebook, only one reference is made to helmets. Rule No. 24 under the General Rules for Contestants states: “Helmets may be worn in lieu of western hats while in competition.”
Lori Fredericks said cowboys in roughstock events, especially bull riding, should look to her son as an example of how wearing a helmet could one day save their lives.
Fredericks said her son had a visitor in the hospital following his injury, a fellow bull rider from a southern state who told her he had no intentions of ever wearing a helmet during competition, even after he watched what happened to DeCoteau.
She couldn’t believe what she heard.
“The Justin Sports Medicine team that tended to him said that if he wouldn’t have had that helmet on, or that (protective) vest, we don’t know what would have happened to him,” Fredericks said.