The wreck involving Ryan Dirteater was horrible.
But what's starting to become a problem is that more and more guys are getting their spurs hung up in their bull ropes.
I had a long career and rode over 8,000 animals, and I never had that happen to me. I never had a spur rowel get hung in my rope like that, but I did have a flank half-hitch around the shank of my spur one time.
I think the reason we're seeing this happen is that guys, as I did, like loose-braided ropes to the point they're big and really mushy. The tighter plaits get a lot harder and it's not as easy for anything to get hung in them, but they're also a little bit harder to hang on to.
These loose-braided tails along with some of these funky rowels that guys are using have definitely caused a spike in this type of injury. The way this issue can be fixed is by braiding the bull rope loose where you hang onto it and then tighten up the part on either side of it.
This is something that guys need to think about when they have a rope made. You have it braided really tight up to the point where you would hold on and then you tie it off with some wax nylon string then bread it loose for about a foot and a half to two feet — like you prefer it — then tie another piece of nylon wax string around it and finally braid the tail of the rope really tight.
And the PBR is looking at coming up with a standard rowel.
The spurs are already checked to make sure that none of them are going to cut the bulls or puncture them or scratch the bull and, I think, the PBR is doing a great job with that, but some of these guys have rowels with funky designs.
I'm not saying Ryan has one of those because I haven't even seen his rowels yet.
But I think better rowels and your rope braided correctly will take care of this and, perhaps, eliminate the problem from continuing to happen.
It's a bummer to see two horrific injuries happen to such a young, promising guy. Everybody's thoughts and prayers are with him and we hope that he makes a full recovery — physically and mentally — so that he can return to the sport because, I think, he's a superstar in the making.
With a torn ACL two weeks before the Finals, Brian Canter is really going to have his work cut out for him. I think there are now a bunch of questions marks as far as how the World Finals is now going to play out for Brian.
I had the injury that Brian has and I took two months off to rehab it. I got along with it for about four years without much of a problem, but Brian doesn't have the luxury of two months to strengthen it and get all the swelling and pain out of it.
For Brian, it'll have to be an accelerated process so we're just going to have to wait and see how it all shakes out. I wish him luck.
As far as how the top three guys should prepare for the Finals, I don't think there's anything different you can or should do. I'm a big believer in not changing your game.
Hopefully your game plan all year was to take care of your body, eat right, train right, rest right and be physically and mentally prepared as far as your training regimen, practice regimen.
But I'm a big believer in not changing things before an event.
What you're doing has got you into the position where you're one of the top three guys in the world and within a breath of a World Championship, so I think their respective formulas are working.
You can't get too much inside your head and say, "OK, this week I'm going to train and I'm going to lift weights." Well, yeah, that's good but if you haven't been doing that it's going to be a big change for your body, so there might be soreness or tightness or whatever and that's probably going to adversely affect you.
That's why I think it's good to not over-think things and to stick to the same routine, the same pattern and same lifestyle that you've used to get to this point.
We're going to see a great finish and it's probably one of the greatest races the PBR has ever seen. I wish all three of them the best of luck. I hope all three of them are at the very top of their game and they get to have a true battle through all eight rounds at the Finals…and may the best man win.
One last note: just to let everyone know, throughout the Finals I'll be part of a daily Podcast every morning that you can find on www.pbrnow.com. It's called "Final Word with Ty Murray" and I'll be recording it with Keith Ryan Cartwright.
Hope to see some of you in Las Vegas.
To read Ty's previous blog, click here: 'Now we're really getting down to the fun part'