Bull Riding Vest

Written by Linda Alexander
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The bull riding vest was invented by former pro bull rider Cody Lambert. It is designed to prevent injury when a rider gets stomped on by a bull. It also absorbs shock and dissipates it over a larger area, helping to cut down on the number of spine injuries cowboys get from bull riding.

Bull Riding Vest vs. A Bull that Weighs a Ton

A bull riding vest helps protect bones from being crushed by a 2,000 pound bull. At the 1993 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Lambert was the only cowboy wearing such a vest. Years later, the idea has caught on and today most riders wear them. Bareback rider Clint Corey used to wear a self-made leather vest with padding in the back. He was one of the first riders to adopt Lambert's vest.

Since bull riding is the rodeo event with the most injuries, the protection of a bull riding vest is essential. However, it is still a personal choice in adult events. Riders can either wear a protective vest, helmet, and face shield, or risk spinal cord injuries that could end their careers.

Since vests came into fashion, spinal injuries from bull riding have decreased. However, face injuries have increased. Hopefully, face gear will gain in popularity, too. Then riders won't risk having their cheekbones crushed, eyes poked, or having their teeth knocked out when a bull kicks them.


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