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Westyn Hughes, Reese Riemer dealing with possible season-ending injuries

by Tracy Renck | Aug 22, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A pair of PRCA tie-down ropers who were in the mix to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo had their respective seasons sabotaged by injuries last week.

Westyn Hughes, who was 13th in the Aug. 19 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $71,109, is battling two herniated discs in his back. Reese Riemer, who was 22nd in the world standings with $57,521, has been diagnosed with possible tears in his medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. 

“I’ve been dealing with these (disc) problems since the Fourth of July last year,” said Hughes, 21, who is trying to qualify for his first Wrangler NFR. “I hurt my back in Colorado Springs (in July of this season), and I doctored-released for two-and-a-half weeks. I started rodeoing again the week of Dodge City (Kan., July 31-Aug. 4). Then, I hurt my back again in Canby (Ore., Aug. 13-17) and rodeoed again in Kennewick (Wash., Aug. 19) and they had to carry me out over there. I was done. I got off my horse and went about three strides down the rope and my right leg went numb.”

Hughes had an appointment with Dr. Tandy Freeman in Dallas, Aug. 23. He confirmed to the ProRodeo Sports News that he will have back surgery next week and is expected to be sidelined for four months.

“I will wait to hear from Tandy to see if I’m done for the season,” Hughes said. “Last year I was sitting good in the standings and I broke my arm, and this year I hurt my back. It makes it worse (to be 13th in the world standings), but at the same time at least I've been winning and roping good. Injuries are just part of sports. I just have to come back stronger and come back a better roper.”

Riemer was injured Aug. 15 while competing at the Gooding (Idaho) ProRodeo. He has qualified for the Wrangler NFR three times – 2014, 2016 and 2018. From June 30 to July 9 of this season, Riemer earned $27,019 to capture the honor as the Cowboy Christmas timed-event champion.

“I've injured the MCL in my right knee a couple of times before, and (the doctor who saw me in Gooding) thought I had something recurring with the MCL and said my ACL was loose,” said Riemer, 29. “It was a hard pill to swallow, it really was. But I knew I had to get home to get an MRI and get the surgery done so I can start the rehab so I can come back at the beginning of next year.”

Riemer is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Freeman.

Riemer has had knee problems the entire season. He injured his left knee in a non-rodeo related accident the first week of February. That injury made him noncompetitive, and he had arthroscopic surgery to repair an MCL sprain and tears to his meniscus. He had the surgery March 23 and was out for six weeks.

“To get close to the end of the season and to be in the hunt for the Top 15 and go down with an injury is just sickening,” Riemer said. “Then I fought back from where I was to be in that position, and it was going really good, and in one run it all just tumbled back down to the bottom. I stepped off (at Gooding), and when I planted my right leg in the ground my knee popped, and I dropped to the ground.”



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