All Inductees

Dr. Tandy Freeman

Western Heritage

Injuries and rodeo have always been closely linked, with pain being a familiar adversary to the rodeo cowboy. Historically, cowboys often disregarded medical advice, as competing was their livelihood and physicians typically lacked an understanding of the rodeo profession. This dynamic shifted with the arrival of Dr. Tandy Freeman in the professional rodeo scene. Dr. Freeman has become a trusted figure among cowboys and cowgirls, who value his medical advice so highly that he is often the first person they contact after sustaining an injury. Many travel from across the country to seek his counsel and treatment.

A Baylor University and University of Texas Medical School alumnus, Dr. Freeman was introduced to rodeo medicine during his residency under Dr. J. Pat Evans, co-founder of the Justin Sports Medicine Team. This team represented a significant advancement in rodeo, offering medical support comparable to that provided to athletes in other professional sports.

In 1994, Dr. Freeman became a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, embarking on a career that spans across various sports. He has served as a team physician for the Dallas Mavericks, an orthopedic consultant for the Dallas Burn, and team physician for the Dallas Freeze of the Central Hockey League. Dr. Freeman, who also joined the physician pool for the U.S. Ski Team, specializes in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgeries of the knee and shoulder.

However, rodeo is undoubtedly Dr. Freeman’s passion. He has held roles as the medical director for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and medical chief of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). His involvement has made him a recognizable figure at major PBR events and the National Finals Rodeo, as well as a featured expert in television programs and documentaries such as Rank and Beyond the Bull.

Dr. Freeman’s influence extends globally, attending rodeo events in Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil, and offering medical advice to cowboys and cowgirls worldwide, whether or not he was present at the time of their injuries. When top rodeo competitors like Fred Whitfield, Cody Ohl, and Adriano Moras require surgery, Dr. Freeman is not only consulted but often selected as the surgeon. His deep understanding of rodeo intricacies has significantly impacted the treatment of injuries within the community and has crucially influenced cowboys’ attitudes towards seeking medical care.