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Richard Bend, D.C., rodeo chiropractor

Dr. Richard Bend
Dr. Richard Bend in western attire

Richard Bend, D.C., Davenport ’65, doesn’t just provide care for patients who take a tumble or two now and then. He also cares for people who accept falling as just part of their jobs—specifically rodeo cowboys and cowgirls.

The New Baltimore, Mich., resident has been a chiropractor at the Longhorn World Championship Rodeo in Detroit for the past 15 years, 12 of which he was part of a team of chiropractors who belong to the Michigan Association of Chiropractors (MAC). But before MAC members joined in, there were three years in which three Palmer chiropractors provided all of the care.

“Before that it was just me, Dr. S.S. White from Traverse City, Mich., and Dr. Paul Rumph of Waterford, Mich.,” said Dr. Bend of the 1972 and 1974 Davenport Campus graduates who ventured into rodeo chiropractic with him in the early ’90s.

“Our cowboys and cowgirls have over the years discovered that the improved nervous system function of a chiropractic patient gives them an advantage over the other contestants,” added Dr. Bend. “Our cowboys and cowgirls compete at other venues and have to ask the providers at those places to ‘check my spine before I compete’.”

Dr. Bend’s four children have taken after him by becoming chiropractors and providing care at rodeos, as have the children of Dr. Rumph and Dr. White.

When not a rodeo chiropractor, Dr. Bend is heavily involved with horses. Since 2002, with the help of his horse, Willy, he has been Michigan’s Champion Cowboy Mounted Shooting competitor. He has even found a way to combine his love of horses with chiropractic. Over the past 12 years, he has ridden the Michigan Trail Riders Association Shore-to-Shore and raised $35,000 for Kentuckiana Children’s Center in Louisville, Ky.

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