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By Peter Huoppi and Rick Koster - Oct. 25, 2010
We were granted unusual and unlimited access to the “backstage clinic” on the Professional Bull Riders tour when they held one of their three-day events in the Mohegan Sun Arena. As such, the story became about the resilience, toughness and specific abilities of these athletes contrasted to other sports and the evolution of treatment and readiness of Dr. Tandy Freeman's traveling medical corps — rather than a focus on the competition itself. The per capita high tolerance of pain by these cowboys is astonishing and a little spooky, and that they only get paid if they're successful means they're often willing to ride when it's perhaps inadviceable. Watching Freeman and company finesse each individual case with empathy and wisdom was a truly rare and impressive opportunity. -Rick Koster