Theresa Tayler/Metro Calgary


Sports therapist Kristin Carlyle works on bareback rider Travis Whiteside’s arm yesterday.

From broken bones, to pulled muscles and cowboys bruised from head to toe, Kristin Carlyle has seen it all.

The sports medic/therapist is behind the scenes at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, mending pulled muscles and broken spirits.

Carlyle sees more than 100 athletes a day.

“It could get as high as 185,” said Carlyle.

She understands what these athletes are feeling when they come off the rodeo grounds with aches and pains, as she used to rodeo herself while growing up in Red Deer.

“I would get on full bulls here and there,” she said. “I understand what they might be feeling from personal experience, but more importantly I understand the events.”

She says rodeo is one of the most challenging sports for someone in her field to work in.

“It’s not just one sport, it’s not like dealing with soccer players — there are so many different areas within rodeo. You can’t treat a bull rider’s injury the same way you would a bronc rider or calf roper,” said Carlyle.

Carlyle said the most common injuries treated at the Calgary Stampede are to knees and shoulders. She is part of a team of sports therapists, medics, and chiropractors who work behind the scenes at the rodeo to keep athletes in tip-top shape.