DAYTON - Strong storms put an early end to the Dayton Community Rodeo Sunday night after a tornado warning was issued.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning around 8:15 p.m. Shortly afterward, Dayton Police Chief Nicholas Dunbar was heard on the police scanner requesting the air raid sirens be turned on.
Scanner traffic indicated the strong storms appeared to have passed by 8:55 p.m.
-Messenger photos by Peter Kaspari
Doug Olle, a licensed athletic trainer with the Justin Boots Sportsmedicine Team, helps treat a shoulder injury on Chad Rutherford, of Itasca, Texas. Rutherford, a participant in the Dayton Community Rodeo, was injured at a previous rodeo. Olle said he travels to 31 rodeos a year treating injured riders.
The Wranglers Serpentine Riders sprint around the stadium at the Dayton Rodeo Sunday. Organizers hoped to have the rodeo done by the time severe weather moved through town, but a tornado warning was issued around 8:15 Sunday.
At 7:30 Sunday evening, organizers with the rodeo announced on the loudspeaker that strong storms were approaching and were expected to arrive within 30 minutes.
Shortly before that announcement, organizers said they were going to attempt to speed up the rodeo to get everybody done before the storm hit.
Though rains hit the rodeo grounds earlier in the day Sunday, most of the afternoon had clear skies.
Tom Potter, one of the rodeo participants, said organizers did a great job of making sure everything was safe for them to ride on.
"They've worked on the ground to make it fair for everybody," Potter said. "The committee said we were going to run before the storms, so we kind of go out there and do our best."
Sometimes, during the rodeo, riders get injured or are suffering from an injury they received before the Labor Day weekend event.
When that happens, a team of specialists is well-prepared to deal with anything that might come up during the rodeo.
The Justin Boots Sportsmedicine Team travels to more than 100 rodeos a year to help assist any injured riders.
Doug Olle, a licensed athletic trainer, travels to about 31 rodeos a year.
"We provide all the healthcare," Olle said. "Before the rodeo that might be stretching, hot packs or education. During the rodeo we provide injury care, and after the rodeo we'll give them post-riding care."
He said there's no way to tell how many people will seek out sports medicine care during a rodeo.
"There's times where I can do five treatments before the ride and up to 25 or more during the rodeo," Olle said. "We have three trailers, and all the health care and sports medicine is provided by our team along with local doctors."
The trailers even have closed-circuit TV monitors that are continuously being watched. If an injury should happen during the rodeo, the medical team member can prepare for their arrival and be all ready to treat the injury once the person arrives.
Olle added the trailer is equipped to handle any type of treatment.
"Even if someone needs suturing, we can do that in the trailer," he said. "We do everything in the trailer."
Cody DeMoss, a rodeo participant from Heflin, Louisiana, said he feels a lot safer when the sports medicine team is around.
"We go to 100 rodeos a year, and knowing that this trailer is here gives us a little bit of home," DeMoss said. "It is one of the greatest assets the rodeo has."
He said the staff is what makes the experience great.
"You come in here and they're always friendly," DeMoss said. "They help you to just relax and slow down a bit when we need something worked on."
The rodeo concludes today with a parade through Dayton this morning.