PUEBLO, Colo. – Buck Dynasty looked like a sliver of his old self when he walked into The Bull Pool facilities in Canton, Texas, this past June.
There was a visible limp in his lower right leg and he appeared far from the bucking bull that boasted a 29-2 record in three years on the Built Ford Tough Series.
It had been a month since he last competed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and owner Bobby Martin decided something had to be done to help his injured bull recover from the lower body injury that was plaguing him.
After talking with longtime stock contractor Tom Teague, Martin, who is still unsure exactly how Buck Dynasty injured himself, reached out to bull pool co-owner and trainer Marty Foutch about bringing Buck Dynasty down to the rehab facility.
A little less than three months later and the final results were amazing.
Buck Dynasty was 100 percent healthy and took care of Kasey Hayes in 0.97 seconds during the Monster Energy Bulls on the Beach 15/15 Bucking Battle on Oct. 18.
“I was glad his career wasn’t over,” Martin said. “I was really concerned about that when he had the injury and we had to do all of that business. He has made a nice recovery.”
Hayes said in October, “He really wasn’t that bad, but I just slapped him right out of there, sat up and pretty much quit. Gosh, damn, I hate putting out that kind of effort. I didn’t ride very good and he did buck me off.”
The bovine athlete looked even better two weeks ago when he bucked off Tyler Harr during the championship round of the BlueDEF Velocity Tour event in San Diego.
Buck Dynasty is being hauled by Jeff Robinson and is set to compete this weekend at the Bakersfield, California, BlueDEF Velocity Tour event.
“He was rank in San Diego,” Martin said. “He is doing really well. We are continuing to let him back into the groove. He is still showing to be extremely strong.”
Once Buck Dynasty began to partake in swimming exercises in late June, you could start to see improved results. In just two weeks, the bovine athlete’s limp had improved vastly.
However, infections that were then discovered in Buck Dynasty’s horns prevented him from swimming for a couple weeks, but once his horns were removed, he started back up his swimming and therapy sessions with even greater improvement.
By the end of August, Buck Dynasty was doing running exercises outside of the pool, showing a regained sense of mobility, and following another month of rehabbing he participated in two practice outs before making his return to the BFTS in Huntington Beach.
Along with the bull pool therapy sessions, there was also a local veterinarian who assisted in Buck Dynasty’s rehab.
Martin would be kept up-to-date with videos during the recovery process.
The Bull Pool is a joint effort by Foutch and retired NFL fullback Mike Warren, and the two have teamed up to create a facility for training and rehabbing bulls.
The facility, which has a training section and a therapy section, is similar to others that have helped treat other animal athletes – such as equine pools. While the pool is located indoors so that stock contractors can bring their animals throughout the year, The Bull Pool also has outdoor facilities to help train bulls.
“When bulls are hurt a lot of times you have to isolate them from others,” Foutch said during the summer. “They are a herd animal and that can take a mental toll on them and even play a role in their recovery. People will be surprised at how bulls will take to swimming. It’s good for them physically, but also mentally. It breaks up the monotony and they will come out of a swim session refreshed—especially during the summer months when it is hot.”
Martin admits he understands there are still questions about The Bull Pool – he even has some as well – but for now he is a supporter of the rehab and conditioning facility, especially when in it comes to the rehabilitation process that helped his prized bull return to action.
“I think clearly for the therapy side, it is outstanding,” he said. “Swimming is a great way for any athlete to recover. Swimming helps build muscle strength and other conditioning – air capacity – and everything else just makes the athlete stronger.
“I credit those guys with the kind of shape that has returned Buck Dynasty to a career.”
Martin also took King Buck to The Bull Pool, while such other bulls as Asteroid, Shepherd Hills Tested, Spotted Velvet, Honey Hush and Blu Grass have also worked out at the facility.
It comes down to the responsibility that comes with being a stock contractor, says Martin.
Stock contractors are not only invested financially in their bulls, but there is also a matter of pride that comes with keeping their bulls in top shape and healthy.
“We look at these bulls as animal athletes,” he said. “Why would we not think every bit of conditioning and performance strength that we can help with the animal athlete is not a good thing?
“Hopefully it gives the bull every opportunity it can to stay strong, perform strong and minimize exposure to injury over the career and life of the bull.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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