PRETTY PRAIRIE—Sometimes a job takes one to places they never expected. Last year, rodeo vet Dr. Kathleen Flanagan worked one shift as the doctor on premises at the Kansas Largest Night Rodeo in Pretty Prairie. In 2020, she came back for another shift to tend to the sheep, bulls, calves and horses in the events.

Some of the horses used in the rodeo can cost more than $100,000. If there is the slightest fear that something might be wrong, the rider will not ride their horse. However, the same is not true for the cowboy, who sometimes rides with a fracture or a healing bone.

"It’s people that look like they get more beat up than the animals," she said. "These animals are well cared for by their owners."

Flanagan, who works at Ninnescah Veterinary Services of Hutchinson, is originally from Texas, but received her training from Kansas State University. The practice she works at focuses 50% on small animals, 25% on cattle and another 25% on horses.

"If it has a pulse and it’s not human, we work on it," she said.

Flanagan said she enjoys watching the rodeo and taking care of the animals. Last year, during her shift, she did not need to help any injured animals. But during the rodeo this past Tuesday, her services were needed and she was able to tend a calf back to health.