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Bugenig, Parrott suffer season-ending injuries

by Matt Naber | Sep 23, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS - Steer wrestler Billy Bugenig, a four-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – 2010-2012 and 2016 – suffered a season-ending torn biceps tendon in his left arm while competing at the Santa Ynez (Calif.) Valley Wine Country Rodeo, Sept. 15.

Fellow steer wrestler Rowdy Parrott, who made his Wrangler NFR debut in 2017, finishing 12th in the world standings, had season-ending surgery Sept. 19 to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Dr. Tandy Freeman performed the surgery.

The ProRodeo Sports News also has learned that bareback rider J.R. Vezain suffered a back injury Sept. 22 while competing at the Pasadena (Texas) Livestock Show & Rodeo. The extent of Vezain's injury is unknown at this time, but will be updated when more details become available.

Vezain was 14th in the most recent PRCA | RAM World Standings. He has qualified for the Wrangler NFR five times - 2012-14, and 2016-17.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Vezain at

Bugenig clocked a 4.5-second run when he hurt his biceps and took third, but when the run was done he knew something was wrong,

“It was a weird deal, and it (his arm) didn’t feel right,” said Bugenig, 37. “I started feeling around and I couldn’t feel that tendon. I went and had an MRI done and Tandy (Freeman) did surgery on me Sept. 21 (in Dallas)."

Bugenig, of Ferndale, Calif., was having a solid season. He was 19th in the Sept. 17 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $60,663. Nick Guy was 15th in those standings with $69,911. The PRCA regular season ends Sept. 30.

“I was a little ways behind, but I still had a chance (to get in the Top 15),” Bugenig said. “I was looking forward to these last couple of weeks, but this is just part of the game. It’s disappointing, but I will get healed up and see what happens.”

Bugenig expects to be sidelined for up to six months.

Parrott said he initially hurt his knee at Rodeo Corpus Christi (Texas) in April.

“I kept rodeoing on it and it just kept getting worse and worse, so I just went and had the surgery done,” he said.

Parrott expects to be out of action for 4½ months.

“I think this will make me come back stronger next year,” Parrott said. “I’ve been fighting this knee injury, and I’m looking forward to coming back strong and making the Finals again.”


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