Past PRCA World Champions   

Postcards From The Past

 All - Around Cowboys
 1929 - 2009

 Bareback Riders
1932-2009

 Steer Wrestlers 
1929 - 2009

Team Roping
1929 - 2009

Saddle Bronc Riding
1929 - 2009

Tie-Down Roping
1929 - 2009

Bull Riding
1929 - 2009

Steer Roping
1929 - 2009

PRCA Hall Of Fame

Complete Listing Of Pro Rodeo Hall Of Fame

Jim Bob Altizer
Three Bars
Everett Bowman
Marvin Brookman
Louis Brooks
Winston Bruce
Jack Buschbom
James Bynum
Clay Carr
Leo Camarillo
Jimmie Cooper
Clint Corey
DNCFR
Roy Duvall
Dr. J Pat Evans
Lewis Feild 
Tom Ferguson
John and Mildred Farris
Bruce Ford
Glen Franklin
John Hawkins

Monty Henson
Les Hirdes

June Ivory
Ben Johnson
 
John W. Jones Jr

Chris LeDoux  
Bill Linderman

Chris Lybbert 
Charles Maggini
Joe Marvel
Harley May   
Ty Murray

Alvin Nelson  
Dean Oliver
    
Bill Pickett
Slim Pickens  
Gene Rambo   
Gerald Roberts

Bob Robinson 
Jack Roddy
 
Gene Ross
  
Charles Sampson

John Schneider
  
Asbury Schell
Jim Sharp
Rob Smets
Dale Smith
Dave Smith
Doc Sorensen
Bob Tallman   
Earl Thode
  
Casey Tibbs
 

Harry Tompkins  
J.C. Trujillo
 
Sonny Tureman 

 Jack Ward 
Fred Whitfield
Marty Wood 
Tee Woolman

 

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Jack Roddy
This week's Hall of Fame profile is steer wrestler Jack Roddy.

Jack Roddy competed in his first RCA rodeo at the age of 14 and won $90 in the wild horse race, the promise of good purses to come.

Early participation in rodeo was not surprising for this youngster who grew up on the family ranch near Colma, Calif., riding and roping with his father's friends in the rodeo world.

In 1956 he joined the RCA and began to rodeo around the country, entering in all events. His lanky 6-foot-5 inch frame didn't fit the usual cowboy mold, but it didn't keep him from becoming college rodeo's all-around champion in 1959.

Adding weight to his height, Roddy became a powerful force in steer wrestling in the 1960s. He went to the NFR for the first time in 1962 and in 1966 won the world championship in steer wrestling, setting a record for total earnings in the event.

He also won a world steer wrestling title in 1968

Everett Bowman
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Everett Bowman, inducted in 1979.
The winner of 10 world championships in nine years, Everett Bowman's dynamic leadership made him one of the great rodeo contributors to the advancement of professional rodeo.
   Bowman of Hillside, Ariz., was an active and outstanding timed event contestant for more than 20 years. When the Cowboys' Turtle Association was founded in 1936 he was elected president, an office he held until reorganization of the CTA to the Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1945.
   Most of the fundamental changes in rodeo that are now the bedrock of the sport came about under Bowman's leadership: adding entry fees to prize money, fair and impartial judging, codified rules and regulations, humane treatment of livestock and minimum standards for approval as a professional rodeo.
Bowman died in the crash of his private airplane in Arizona in 1971.
   Bowman won all-around championships in 1935 and 1937, tie-down roping championships in 1929, 1935 and 1937, world steer wrestling championships in 1930, 1933, 1935 and 1938, and was the world champion steer roper in 1937.

Sonny Tureman
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bareback rider Sonny Tureman, inducted in 1979.
Sonny Tureman of Prairie City, Ore., won the world bareback riding championship only once, but three-time world champion bareback rider Jack Buschbom was impressed enough.
   "Take my word for it," Buschbom said. "This is the greatest bareback bronc rider in the world and I know a few,"
   An Oregon horsebreaker, Tureman won the rookie saddle bronc riding title at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days and the Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup in 1946, and in 1947, he finished fourth in the bareback riding world standings. He finally claimed the bareback riding world title in 1948, beating Buschbom by just $18.
   Among his contemporaries, there is no doubt that had he chosen to compete in rodeo full-time, Tureman could have won the world title in almost any year, until a serious injury in a 1954 automobile accident impaired his ability to compete.
   Tureman, who was born Nov. 4, 1918, died on Oct. 18, 1995.

Les Hirdes
2003 marks the ProRodeo Hall of Fame's 25th year of celebrating the history and colorful legends of professional rodeo. A member of the Hall of Fame will be profiled each week.
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is team roper Les Hirdes, inducted in 2001.
Les Hirdes, born in Tipton, Calif., was 20 years old when, in 1943, he started roping when he traded a calf for a roping horse. At one time, he worked all the timed events ­ steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping ­ plus wild cow milking and team tying. Beginning with the 1959 National Finals Rodeo, Hirdes made 17 trips to the Finals, roping with seven different partners, winning a world title in 1963 to go with two aggregate championships. His skills at the heading end of the steer were legendary with his peers.
   Hirdes never considered that he was in rodeo to make a living. He saw it as extra money to support the dairy farm, where he worked his heart out all week so he could rodeo on weekends. Hirdes continued to rope into his mid 70s when he was forced to give up riding because of Parkinson¹s Disease. But he still went to rodeos and the family practice pen to cheer on the next generation.
   Hirdes died on June 19, 1999.

John Hawkins
2003 marks the ProRodeo Hall of Fame's 25th year of celebrating the history and colorful legends of professional rodeo. A member of the Hall of Fame will be profiled each week.
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bareback rider John Hawkins, inducted in 1979.
The single world bareback riding title won by John Hawkins of Twain Harte, Calif., was one of the most deserved in rodeo history. In steady pursuit of the championship, he was runner-up for three years in a row, once missing the crown by only $18.
   A broken thigh, later mended with a steel rod, kept Hawkins out of rodeo 18 months. He returned to competition only to bend the rod and re-break the thigh. He left the rod bent and won his only bareback riding title the following season in 1963.
   A quarter horse jockey and physical fitness buff long before fitness became fashionable, Hawkins had one of the strongest riding arms in rodeo. Few rodeo fans remember Hawkins also was a bull rider and tie-down roper in his early years as a rodeo competitor.
   Hawkins was born May 30, 1930, in Elk City, Okla

John Schneider
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bull rider John Schneider, inducted in 1992.
John Schneider of Stockton, Calif., had the soul of a poet and the heart of a cowboy. He began competing in rodeo in 1923 and quickly established a reputation as one of the most versatile performers around. He competed in bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and tie-down roping. He also competed in steer decorating and was a consistent winner in Roman riding and pony express.
   Schneider was professional rodeo¹s first world bull riding champion in 1929. He defended his title in 1930 and shared the championship in 1932 before claiming the 1933 and 1934 crowns. He won the world all-around title in 1931.
   By the time the Great Depression set in during the 1930s, Schneider was earning a good living, carefully saving his money so he could by a ranch and some cattle. He retired from competition in 1940 to that ranch and became a highly respected brand inspector for the state of California.
   Schneider was born in 1904 in Stockton, Calif. He died in 1982.

Clay Carr
   This Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Clay Carr, inducted in 1979.
Clay Carr won five world championships while competing in both roughstock and timed events, making him truly one of a rare breed of cowboy.
   Carr learned his profession by working on the family owned Gill ranches in California. A cowboy born to the saddle and rope, he was a natural athlete who competed in saddle bronc riding, steer roping, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping during an illustrious career that spanned 25 years.
   Carr traveled widely during his professional rodeo career, competing in Australia and England as well as throughout North America. Upon his death in Visalia, Calif., in April of 1957, the citizens of his hometown voted him the all-time greatest athlete of that area.
   He won the world all-around championship in 1930 and 1933, captured the world championship in saddle bronc riding in 1930, and was the world champion steer roper in 1931 and 1940.

Monty Henson
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is saddle bronc rider Monty Henson, inducted in 1994.
Monty "Hawkeye" Henson of Mesquite, Texas, had a style and ability that have been compared to the legendary Casey Tibbs. As a boyhood friend of Pete and Don Gay, it shouldn¹t be surprising that Henson¹s first association with rodeo was in Mesquite.
   One the way to qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo 14 times and winning the world saddle bronc riding title three times (1975-76, '82), Henson became one of the most colorful and personable cowboys on the circuit ­ and the master of the flying dismount.
   Henson has been described as the epitome of the new rodeo cowboy, a businessman in boots.
   Henson was born Oct. 22, 1953, in Farmersville, Texas.

Gene Rambo
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Gene Rambo, inducted in 1989.
To those who competed with Gene Rambo of San Miguel, Calif., during the 1940s and 50s, there will never be a more versatile cowboy. A native Californian, Rambo competed in all three riding events, all three roping events and steer wrestling. More importantly, he won consistently in all seven events for more than a decade.
   It was perhaps his versatility that kept Rambo from winning titles that usually go to specialists. However, he ranked among rodeo¹s top money winners for three consecutive years (1948-50). As late as 1957-62, his name appeared each season as one of the top team roping winners. At the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1948, Rambo won titles in tie-down roping and bareback riding and was second in steer wrestling. Later that year at the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco, Rambo finished first in bareback riding, second in steer wrestling, third in saddle bronc riding and fourth in tie-down roping. His personal career highlight was winning the tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding crowns in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1950. Tie-down ropers from the Southwest during that era felt they had a stranglehold on that event, but Rambo beat them all.
   From 1962-65, Rambo served as the team roping event director on the PRCA Board of Directors.
   Rambo, born in 1929, died in 1988 in Parkfield, Calif.
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Roy Cooper
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is tie-down roper Roy Cooper, inducted in 1979.
    Roy Cooper of Childress, Texas, started his career as a full-time rodeo cowboy in 1976 by winning the world tie-down roping title.
   Eight years later, he had already collected eight gold buckles and ensured his spot in rodeo history.
   Cooper claimed a staggering five consecutive world tie-down roping titles from 1980-84, a mark equaled by only Dean Oliver, a tie-down roping legend in his own right. Cooper, nicknamed the "Super Looper" added a world steer roping crown in 1983, and ended that year by capturing the world all-around championship.
   He also finished the season as the world all-around runner-up five times.
   As a child, Cooper, born in Hobbs, N.M., was severely afflicted with asthma. This gave him little promise of becoming a professional roper. By the time he entered high school, however, he had overcome his handicap and dedicated himself to incessant practice of all the elements of tie-down roping ­ roping, getting the calf down and tying.
   Cooper qualified for the Wrangler NFR an event-record 19 times over four decades. In 2000, he became the first person in PRCA history to reach $2 million in career earnings.
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Casey Tibbs
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Casey Tibbs, inducted in 1979.
A cowboy on a bucking horse is a symbol of the West. For a decade, Casey Tibbs of Fort Pierre, S.D., was that symbol in real life. His personality and natural flamboyancy made him the first cowboy name in almost every American home.
   At age 14, Tibbs was breaking horses in his native South Dakota and learning the balance and lightning-quick reactions that were to make him one of the most graceful bronc riders of all time. With a feather-light touch on the rein and perfect timing, he anticipated a bronc's every move.
   Tibbs served on every administrative board in the RCA ­ the precursor to today¹s PRCA ­ during his era. Tibbs, more than any other individual, brought rodeo national attention as an original American sport. Nine world titles ­ including a record six in saddle bronc riding ­ from 1949-59, puts Tibbs in rodeo's history books forever.
   On Aug. 10, 1989, just months before his death from cancer, Tibbs was on hand at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a larger-than-life bronze of him on the famous horse Necktie, called "The Champ" was unveiled in front of 1,200 people. The sculpture was created by Edd Hayes.
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Charles Sampson

   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bull rider Charles Sampson, inducted in 1996.
   A 1993 Timex watch advertising campaign used Charles Sampson of Los Angeles as an example of  "takes a licking and keeps on ticking." His 16-year career became as well-known for wrecks as championships.
   Sampson started riding ponies and steers at a Watts, Calif., stable and stock pens where he met some cowboys who helped him begin a rodeo career. He went on to become a rodeo role model ­ talented and charismatic both in and out of the arena.
   Sampson, the 1982 world bull riding champion, suffered a near-fatal injury the next year at the Presidential Command Performance Rodeo. The doctor's prognosis was good both for recovery and his future in rodeo. Participation in the 1983 National Finals Rodeo was not recommended without special facial protection. That protection became a familiar shot of Sampson coming out of the chute wearing a lacrosse helmet.
   Sampson's career victories included three bull riding titles in the Turquoise Circuit, another in the California Circuit and wins at such prestigious rodeos as Pendleton, Ore., and Salinas, Calif. He also twice won the Calgary Stampede¹s famous $50,000 bonus-round title.
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J.C. Trujillo
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bareback rider J.C. Trujillo, inducted in 1994.
    James Charles Trujillo, born May 10, 1948, began his rodeo career at age 6 in his hometown of Prescott, Ariz. His early prowess resulted in the bareback riding title of the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association. He later participated in the Arizona State University rodeo team and won the 1968 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) championship.
   Trujillo turned professional in 1967 and hit the circuit full throttle five years later, eventually qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo 12 times.
   Long known as one of rodeo¹s most magnetic personalities and a great spokesman for rodeo, Trujillo combines his love of two sports ­ rodeo and skiing ­ in the Cowboy Downhill, held every January in Steamboat Springs, Colo., since 1974.
   Trujillo believes that success depends on the ability to be realistic about yourself and acknowledge your limitations. He is famous for his realistic and ever-positive attitude and a megawatt smile.
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Tom Ferguson

   This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Tom Ferguson, inducted in 1999.
    Tom Ferguson of Miami, Okla., always said his primary career goal was to be the best cowboy of his time. Without question, he accomplished that objective, winning six consecutive world all-around titles between 1974-79.
   The six world all-around titles tied the record set by roughstock champion Larry Mahan and later eclipsed by another roughstock legend, Ty Murray, in 1998. Still, Ferguson claimed the record for consecutive all-around world titles, which today he shares with Murray.
   Ferguson, unlike Mahan and Murray, won his titles at the timed-event end of the arena. He shined in his signature events of tie-down roping and steer wrestling for more than 15 years. Besides the all-around titles, Ferguson claimed two world steer wrestling titles in 1977-78 and won a tie-down roping world championship in 1974, making him one of rodeo¹s most decorated cowboys.
   Excluding his rookie season in 1972, Ferguson earned 20 National Finals Rodeo berths in tie-down roping and steer wrestling. He also qualified for the National Finals Steer Roping in 1979. All told, he earned 23 Finals qualifications.
   Ferguson was the first cowboy to win more than $1 million in his career, and he also was the first to surpass the $100,000 plateau in a single season when he cracked the mark in 1978 with $103,734.
   In 1982, he set the PRCA record for most money won at a single rodeo when he banked $17,225 in Houston.
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Lewis Feild
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Lewis Feild, inducted in 1992.
    Lewis Feild of Elk Ridge, Utah, started his rodeo career as a youngster. He went on to compete in the National High School Rodeo Association and qualified for its championship event three times. He later attended college on a full rodeo scholarship and made the College National Finals Rodeo three years in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and team roping.
   He started his professional career in 1980 and was PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year. In 1985, Feild became the first roughstock cowboy since Larry Mahan in 1973 to win the world all-around title. He also was the first roughstock contestant to hit $1 million in career earnings, taking only 10 years to get there. His prowess in both the roughstock and timed events won him the distinguished Linderman Award in 1981, 1988 and 1991.
   Feild, born Oct. 28, 1956, in Salt Lake City, also won world all-around titles in 1986-87 in addition to world bareback riding titles in 1985-86. He set three records during the 1986 season: most money earned in a single season ($166,042); most money earned in one season in one event ($114,675 in bareback riding); and most money earned in two events at a National Finals Rodeo ($46,620 in bareback riding and saddle bronc riding).
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Jim Bob Altizer

   This week's Hall of Fame profile is steer roper Jim Altizer, inducted in 1979.
Jim Bob Altizer of Del Rio, Texas, was the first man ever to come out of junior rodeo competition to win a world title when he claimed the steer roping crown in 1967. But Altizer never forgot the start that junior rodeo gave him. For years, he conducted free roping schools and clinics for youthful aspirants on his ranch near Del Rio.
   Perhaps as well-known for his skills in steer roping, Altizer won the world tie-down roping title in 1959 following the first National Finals Rodeo in Dallas and later won NFR tie-down roping aggregate titles in 1964-65.
   He spent the majority of his career ranked in the top 10 in the world tie-down roping standings and went on to serve as steer roping event representative for the PRCA. He later served as president of the American Junior Rodeo Association (AJRA).
   As important as his skills and his achievements as a contestant were the loyalty and dedication that Altizer gave to ProRodeo through the years. Add to that the encouragement he gave to youngsters who aspire to follow in his footsteps.
   Altizer was born May 5, 1932 and died Dec. 12, 1997, after a bout with cancer
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Winston Bruce
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is saddle bronc rider Winston Bruce, inducted in 1989.
The son of a stock contractor, Winston Bruce of Calgary, Alberta, grew up around cowboys, bucking broncs and rodeos. He developed his winning style with hours of practice, even in the snow. The 10-time National Finals Rodeo contestant's career hit a pinnacle when he won the world saddle bronc riding title in 1961.
   Bruce was the 1957-58 saddle bronc riding champion at the Calgary Stampede and, in 1959, he won the bronc riding titles in Calgary and the Cheyenne Frontier Days. In 1968, he moved from one facet of rodeo, contestant, to another, as assistant arena director of the Calgary Stampede. From then until 2002, he was the division manager for the rodeo, billed "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," supervising the production of the Calgary Stampede and the rodeo stock breeding program.
   Bruce was born in Stettler, Alberta, in 1937.
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Bill Pickett
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is steer wrestler Bill Pickett, inducted in 1979.
In 1882, 10-year-old Bill Pickett watched a bulldog holding a cow by its upper lip. A few days later, Pickett tried it himself, biting into the lip of a calf and throwing it to the ground with a quick flip of its body. The rodeo event of steer wrestling was born.
   Pickett, born Dec. 5, 1871 near Austin, Texas, moved from ranch work into the show arena in the 1890s when he and his brother began the Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters & Rough Riders Show that toured fairs and rodeos. In 1908, Pickett was hired as a cowhand on the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma. He worked on the ranch when he wasn¹t traveling with the Miller Brothers Wild West Show.
   Pickett was with the Miller Brothers for more than 25 years until his death on April 2, 1932, from injuries sustained when he was kicked in the head while breaking a colt at the ranch.
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Ty Murray
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is roughstock cowboy Ty Murray, inducted in 2000.
Ty Murray, born in Phoenix in 1969, had a childhood goal of becoming the best rodeo cowboy ever and to beat the record of six world all-around titles. By the time he turned 30, his mission was complete.
   Murray's path to roughstock greatness began at age 2 riding calves and progressed through Little Britches and high school and college rodeo. Early on, he competed in every event, but he discovered his true ability in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
   His dominance on the professional circuit began with the 1988 Bareback Riding and Overall Rookie of the Year awards. The next year, he started his string of six consecutive world all-around titles. And after three years of injuries, Murray came back in 1998 to claim his PRCA-record seventh all-around crown. Along the way to his combined nine world titles ­ he won bull riding titles in 1993 and 1998 ­ Murray practically rewrote the rodeo record books. Most of his records still stand, including most money won in a season ($297,896 in 1993); most money won at a rodeo ($124,821 at the 1993 National Finals Rodeo); the most money won at a regula-season rodeo ($31,010 at the 1994 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo); and the most money won during Cowboy Christmas ($37,630 in 1999).
   The cowboy is recognized by his peers as a great all-around champion who made his mark through perseverance, hard work and a positive attitude.
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Dale Smith
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is team roper Dale Smith, inducted in 1979.
Dale Smith of Chandler, Ariz., an all-around timed-event cowboy, won world team roping titles in 1956-57 and missed a third by $13 in 1958. In 1959, he went to the first National Finals Rodeo in three events ­ team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping ­ the first cowboy in professional rodeo history to accomplish that outstanding feat.
   Now a successful rancher, Smith attributes his success in business to professional rodeo. In appreciation to the sport, he has devoted his time and administrative duties to the RCA/PRCA since the 1950s, when he was elected team roping director. Since then, he served as president of the Association longer than any other man at 16 years. A thoughtful, calm and deliberate man, Smith successfully led the Association through some of its darkest hours when under attack by radical humane groups, entertainment unions and organizations determined to take over the sport.
   Smith was born Feb. 6, 1928, in Safford, Ariz.

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Gerald Roberts

   This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around hand Gerald Roberts, inducted in 1979.
    Gerald Roberts of Council Grove, Kan., started his rodeo career at the age of 13. He ran away to join a wild West show and was hooked. Roberts later was riding horses and bulls in the Cowboys' Turtles Association.
   Roberts competed in all three roughstock events. Saddle bronc riding was his favorite, but he continued to ride bulls because he said he won more money in it and he "couldn¹t afford not to." From 1945-55, Roberts finished in the top five in bull riding eight times. In 1950, he won the North American All-Around Championship and the Calgary Stampede.
   Roberts worked several years as a Hollywood stuntman and later became involved in manufacturing rodeo equipment and clothing, starting with bull ropes.    The purchase price of the rope included a tip sheet from Roberts.
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Harry Tompkins
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bull rider Harry Tomkins, inducted in 1979.
   In a span of a dozen years, Harry Tompkins of Dublin, Texas, won five bull riding world titles (1948-50, 1952, 1960) and a pair of bareback riding and all-around world titles (1952, 1960). It took that long, according to all accounts, because he hit a ³dry² spell from 1952-60 as far as championships were concerned.
   Tompkins was born and raised in upstate New York and got his start in professional rodeo at the Madison Square Garden. He was one of the original hard-chargers in professional rodeo. He flew his own plane and made 75 or more rodeos in an average year, a grueling schedule unheard of before that time.
   He was born Oct. 5, 1927, in Furnace Woods, N.Y.
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James Bynum
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is steer wrestler James Bynum, inducted in 1979.
One of only three men to have won four or more steer wrestling world titles, James Bynum of Waxahachie, Texas, claimed his crowns dependant on the weather. "Big Jim," like his father before him, farmed cotton south of Dallas. When it was hot and dry, that usually meant a poor crop, so he would load his horse and hit the road. The good years he spent close to home, taking care of the cotton. His claim is born out of the gaps between his titles: 1954, 1958, 1961 and 1963.
   Born in Danville, Ala., in 1924, Bynum was a pencil-thin 130 pounds until his late teens and first tried his hand at tie-down roping. A older friend suggested that he try steer wrestling, and he placed on the first steer he ever jumped at.
   After a two-year Army stint (1945-47), Bynum spent another two years apprenticed to the late Todd Whatley, the 1947 world steer wrestling champion.
   At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Bynum always was careful in picking his steer wrestling mount. The best he ever owned was a gray quarterhorse registered as Star Web that Bynum called "Ol' Blue" Blue retired to the Bynum farm to spend out his last days.
   Bynum died of cancer on May 28, 1999.  Back To Top

Earl Thode
Admittedly the best of the early-day bronc riders to use the fore-and-aft, full-stroke spurring style now required by saddle bronc riding contest rules, Earl Thode of Belvidere, S.D., may have been the best ever in the event.
   Thode grew up on a ranch in South Dakota and entered his first rodeo at White River when he was 20 years old. He competed in rodeos locally on weekends for seven more years then took up the professional circuit as a bronc rider and steer wrestler.
   In 1927, he won his first saddle bronc riding title title at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days and went on to win three more ­ still an event record. He later claimed world saddle bronc riding titles in 1929 and 1931.
   At age 37, he won the bronc riding championship at the Calgary Stampede and then retired.
   Thode, born on Dec. 7, 1900, drowned when his boat overturned while he was fishing on an Arizona lake on May 18, 1964.   Back To Top

Dean Oliver
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is tie-down roper Dean Oliver, inducted in 1979.
Between 1955-69, Dean Oliver of Boise, Idaho, won eight world tie-down roping titles - 1955, '58, 60-64, '69 - dominating professional rodeo in the event as no other man before or since. He also won three world all-around titles in a row from 1963-65.
   Oliver was a grown man before he had an interest in rodeo, and that derived from the incredible - to him - sight of a man winning $300 in a few seconds of work in tie-down roping at a rodeo in Idaho. Oliver wanted to get in on that kind of easy money. The sacrifices Oliver and his family made for him to become a champion sound unreal, but going hungry to buy a horse and one practice calf and practicing in the dark after a full day's work was real enough to them.
   Oliver served several terms on the PRCA's board of directors. Upon his induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979, he was still roping and still winning.   Back To Top

Bruce Ford
   This week's Hall of Fame profile is bareback rider Bruce Ford, inducted in 1993.
A trademark riding style of feet high up for greater leg extension with his riding arm absorbing the horse's movement separated Bruce Ford of Kersey, Colo., from other bareback riding contestants. That, and shattering every record in the event - all-time bareback riding earnings leader; the first cowboy won win $100,000 in a single season in one event (1982); most Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bareback riding qualifications (19); and a share of the most world championship bareback riding titles (5 - 1979-80, 1982-83, 1987).
   Ford, who joined the RCA in 1972, has been the bareback riding champion at most every major rodeo in North America, as well as the Coors Chute-Out, the Dodge Truck Rodeo Series and the Wrangler Jeans Showdown. He was the PRCA bareback riding regular-season earnings leader in 1978 and claimed the Mountain States Circuit year-end title 10 times.
   He also has served on the PRCA Board of Directors as a contestant representative.
   Ford was born Oct. 7, 1952, in Greeley, Colo.   Back To Top

Harley May  
    This week's Hall of Fame profile is steer wrestler Harley May, inducted in 1979.
In 1952, his first year as a professional cowboy, Harley May of Oakdale, Calif., won the steer wrestling world title. Twenty-six years and two more world titles (1956, 1965) later, he was still a top-rate bulldogger.
    May grew up with rodeo and competed in children¹s events when he was only 11 years old. One of the first college-educated rodeo world champions, he was on the intercollegiate championship teams of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, in 1949-51. May in 1949 won the first National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) all-around title at the College National Finals Rodeo in San Francisco.
    May went on to hold various offices in the RCA, the precursor to today's PRCA ­ steer wrestling director (1953-55); vice president (1956); and president for three terms (1957-59).
    May was born June 2, 1926, in Deming, N.M.  Back To Top

Bill Linderman  

This week’s Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Bill Linderman, inducted in 1979.
Bill Linderman of Red Lodge, Mont., was the first man in professional rodeo history to win three world championships in one season, claim world titles in both riding and timed events and earn more than $500,000. He claimed a total of six world titles: 1943 – bareback riding; 1945 – saddle bronc riding; 1950 – all-around, saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling; and 1953 – all-around.
Always a leader, Linderman was just 27 when he was elected to the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA, the precursor of today’s PRCA) Board of Directors as bareback riding director in 1947. In 1951, he was elected president and was re-elected until he refused to accept the nomination in 1958.
Typical of his dedication, he qualified for the first National Finals Rodeo in 1959, but he withdrew from competition to serve as the event’s arena director to help assure the success of the new venture. He served as secretary-treasurer of the RCA from 1962 until his death in an airplane crash in Salt Lake City in 1965.
The Linderman Award was named in his honor and is one of the most prestigious honors in ProRodeo. It is presented each year to the cowboy who many consider rodeo’s best all-around athlete. To qualify for consideration, a contestant must win at least $1,000 in each of three events, including a roughstock event and a timed event.  Back To Top

Jack Buschbom   

Jack Buschbom of State Center, Iowa, had to survive two severe accidents with horses before he ever got started in professional rodeo, but he went on to win three world bareback riding titles.
    The son of a stock contractor and former rodeo contestant, Buschbom began competing at age 17 as a bull rider. Three years later, he made a serious effort at learning to ride bareback horses. His concentration was so great that within two years he was a world champion.
    He won his first bareback riding world title in 1949, then took top honors again following the first two National Finals Rodeos in Dallas in 1959 and 1960.
    The first home-grown Midwesterner to make it big in professional rodeo, Buschbom was one of the leaders of his event throughout his career. His laid-back, wild spurring style was copied by most contestants. In 1960, Buschbom served as president of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, the precursor to today¹s PRCA

John W. Jones JrBack To Top


    This week's Hall of Fame profile is timed-event hand John W. Jones, Jr.,
inducted in 1996.
Despite a strong family rodeo tradition, John W. Jones, Jr., did not become
interested in the sport until age 15, preferring to spend his time at football, basketball and baseball. When he decided to rodeo, he quickly developed many skills. He was the California High School Rodeo Association tie-down roping and steer wrestling champion in 1977-78 and later the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) West Coast steer wrestling champion in 1979. He competed in the NIRA finals three times.
    Jones bought his PRCA permit in 1980 and was named PRCA Resistol Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year in 1981. Although he reached the National
Finals Rodeo twice in tie-down roping, Jones' signature event was steer wrestling, where he made 10 trips to the NFR and won world titles in 1984,
1988-89.
    His father, John W. Jones, won a world steer wrestling title in 1970 and claimed a PRCA-record four NFR steer wrestling aggregate crowns. He was
inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979.
    Despite his successful period "going down the road," Jones Jr. really never considered a long-term rodeo career. He still competes occasionally, but most of his time is now spent on the family' coastal dairy farm and cattle ranch in Morro Bay, Calif.    Back To Top

Louis Brooks   
    This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Louis Brooks,
inducted in 1991.
    His entire rodeo career spanned only eight years, but Louis Brooks was
known as one of the best all-around cowboys ever. When he started out, he
entered  all three roughstock events and won. Later, he began to specialize,
giving up bull riding.
    "When I quit the bulls, my bareback riding and saddle bronc riding
improved 40 percent in 30 days," he said.
    Some of the tough broncs he covered were Amos (Beutler Brothers); T-Joe
(McCarty & Elliott); Hell's Angel (Colburn); and Hootchie Kootchie
(Creamer). He retired in 1944 without ever having sustained a rodeo injury,
which in itself is probably a rodeo record.
    By that time, he claimed six world titles ­ all-around and saddle bronc
riding in 1943-44 and bareback riding in 1942 and 1944.
    He served as vice president of the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA) in
1945.
    After rodeo, Brooks operated from his Sweetwater, Texas, ranch raising
brangus cattle, quarter horses and thoroughbreds. His horses won the Land of
Enchantment Futurity in New Mexico and the Berkeley Handicap in California.
    Brooks was born Dec. 9, 1916, in Fletcher, Okla. He died in 1983.  Back To Top

Glen Franklin
    This week's Hall of Fame profile is tie-down roper Glen Franklin, inducted in the Hall's inaugural class in 1979.
    Glen Franklin was born to rope.
    As a child still in diapers, Franklin carried a rope and put a loop on any dog, chicken or human that got in range. A natural athlete, he was a member of the New Mexico state champion high school basketball team the same year he won the high school tie-down roping championship.
    His talent aroused the interest of tie-down roping great Troy Fort, who thought so highly of Franklin's ability that he turned over his best horse, the great Streak, to him. Later, Franklin paid $300 for a horse called Red Light, a horse that turned out to be a natural and greatly contributed to Franklin's back-to-back world tie-down roping titles in 1967-68. He won his first world title in 1965.
    Never content with the constant travel required by full-time professional competition, Franklin virtually retired after winning his third title and went into ranching.
    Franklin's son, Shawn, has qualified for five Wrangler National Finals Rodeos in tie-down roping.  Back To Top

Jack Ward
    This week's Hall of Fame profile is bareback rider Jack Ward, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
    Jack Ward began his rodeo career as a bull rider and won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) title in 1969. He qualified for the first of his 11 National Finals Rodeos in 1972 and went on to win world bareback riding titles in 1977-1978 and also won the aggregate title three consecutive times from 1974-1976.
    During his riding career, Ward was known as the kind of cowboy who excelled when the competition was at its toughest. He served as the bareback riding director on the PRCA's Board of Directors from 1977-1979, where he worked diligently to keep professionalism a top priority in rodeo.
   "³My ultimate goal in life is to leave this earth and not have one enemy," Ward said. "I believe if I can do that, I¹ll have been successful."
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Ben Johnson
   

    This week's Hall of Fame profile is team roper and actor Ben Johnson, a part of the original Hall of Fame induction class in 1979.
     The son of a famous early-day roper, Ben Johnson grew up determined to follow in his father's footsteps, and he did, winning the world team roping championship in 1953. He was far from just a rodeo cowboy.
    Johnson acted for more than 50 years and appeared in more than 300 films, but always remained modest about his acting ability. In his opinion, the films were just a way to make a living. But for Johnson, rodeo and working as a cowboy were a way of life.
    The road he traveled was one he could never have dreamed of back home in Pawhuska, Okla. Hired by director Howard Hawks to wrangle horses in the 1939 film The Outlaw, Johnson went to Hollywood with a load of horses, got into stunt work, then into acting.
    In 1947, Johnson saved the lives of three stunt men during the filming of "Fort Apache." As a reward, director John Ford offered Johnson a seven-year acting contract with a salary of $5,000 per week.
    Throughout his life, Johnson remained true to his cowboy roots and upbringing. He even took a year off from acting in 1953 to pursue his dream of becoming a rodeo world champion, and he fulfilled that dream by winning the team roping world title that year.
    In 1971, Johnson won an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role of Sam the Lion in Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show.
    Born on June 13, 1918 in Foraker, Okla., Johnson died of an apparent heart attack on April 8, 1996, in Mesa, Ariz.   Back To Top
  

Gene Ross   Back To Top

    This week's Hall of Fame steer wrestler Gene Ross, a part of the Hall of Fame's inaugural class of 1979.
    Gene Ross was known as a good bronc rider and tie-down roper, but he excelled in steer wrestling, taking the event championship the first year "official" championships were awarded in 1929.
    He started his career at the 1922 Comanche (Okla.) Rodeo and went on to become a familiar sight at rodeos at the Boston Garden, Madison Square Garden, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. In 1934, he was part of Tex Austin's troupe that sailed to England to perform for King Edward VIII. Ross' horse, Chico, recalled by some as one of the best steer wrestling mounts of any era, traveled with the troupe.
    Ross retired from competition in the early 1940s.
    When asked what he thought of present-day rodeo, he said, "My gripe is they don't allow the old timers to go behind the chutes to see the horses. I sure like to look at good horses."
    Born Jan 23, 1904, Ross passed away on Feb. 16, 1988.
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Marty Wood   Back To Top

    This week's Hall of Fame profile is saddle bronc rider Marty Wood, a
Hall of Fame inductee in 1991.
    An early arm and shoulder injury kept Marty Wood from his first love ­ baseball. It, however, certainly didn't keep this native of Bowness, Alberta, from making his mark in a different sport. 
    He turned his attention to riding horses.
    In the fall of 1953, this 20-year-old amateur won the Omaha, Neb., saddle bronc riding title and most of the day monies. That was the United States' introduction to Wood. He probably learned his incredible balance and anticipation he showed by riding the jumping horses his father raised and trained. His style was always described as colorful and sensational, and he was often compared to another famous Canadian rider, the late Pete Knight.     Wood began his rodeo career as a bareback and bull rider. Although good
at both, he decided he didn't like those events and made his mark as a saddle bronc rider. He retired in 1974 as the event¹s biggest money winner. He won world saddle bronc riding titles in 1958, 1964 and 1966 and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 14 times (1959-70, 1972-73). He was a four-time world champion runner-up who claimed his event title in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association three times. He won average titles at every major rodeo in the United States.
   
Roy Duvall    Back To Top

    This week's Hall of Fame profile is steer wrestler Roy Duvall, a part of the original Hall of Fame induction class in 1979.
     Though he never saw a rodeo until he was in high school, Roy Duvall learned fast and ultimately won world steer wrestling titles in 1967, 1969 and 1972.
    Duvall first entered bareback and bull riding when he began competing. He soon discovered that his real talent lay in steer wrestling, where he could take advantage of his strength and size; he was 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds.
    A dedicated professional, Duvall had great concentration when competing. He tried to make every run technically perfect. One of the best horse trainers in professional rodeo, Duvall sold many steer wrestling and hazing horses to other contestants each year.
    Duvall qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 24 times, the most of any steer wrestler in PRCA history. He had an amazing run of 21 in a row (1966-86). He made his final NFR appearance in 1994 at the age of 52.

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Fred Whitfield

Whitfield, 35, is considered by many the greatest tie-down roper in ProRodeo history. With six world titles and an all-around crown on a resume that also includes victories at the Pace Picante ProRodeo Finale in 2002-03, the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (DNCFR) in 2003 and three Wrangler National Finals Rodeo tie-down roping aggregate crowns, it’s hard to argue. He trails only Dean Oliver (8) for the most tie-down roping world titles.

         Whitfield joined the PRCA in 1990 and was his event’s rookie of the year. The next year, he started his streak of 14 consecutive qualifications to the Wrangler NFR and won his first world title and aggregate crown. He added world titles in 1995-96 and, although he didn’t win the crown in 1997, he set the Wrangler NFR aggregate record by roping and tying 10 calves in a stunning 84.0 seconds.

         Perhaps his greatest achievement came in 1999, when he became the first African-American cowboy to claim rodeo’s greatest prize, the world all-around title, in addition to his fourth world tie-down roping title. He also claimed world championship buckles in 2000 and 2002.

         In 2003, he became the third cowboy to reach $2 million in career earnings, joining Hall of Famers Roy Cooper and Joe Beaver.

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Clint Corey

Corey, 42, has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 18 times, just one shy of the record held by fellow Hall of Famer Bruce Ford. He won the world bareback riding title in 1991 after finishing second in 1985, 1988 and 1990. He also was the world runner-up in 1995 and has finished in the top five in the world standings an amazing 14 times.

         Corey, known as one of the most cordial cowboys in ProRodeo, claimed the Wrangler NFR bareback riding aggregate title in 2001 at the age of 40 and has a collection of championship buckles from nearly every major rodeo in North America.

         Besides his dominance in the world standings, Corey also has proved himself close to home. He claimed the Columbia River Circuit year-end title12 consecutive times between 1989 and 2000 and also was the Circuit Finals Rodeo’s bareback riding aggregate champion 11 times. Later this month, Corey will ride in the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (DNCFR) in Pocatello, Idaho, for the 16th time. He won his title at the event in 1989, 1991 and 1997 and is the only roughstock cowboy in event history to have claimed three titles.

 

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Tee Woolman

 

 No one has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo more than Woolman. The 47-year-old holds the event record for team roping qualifications (20) and combined Wrangler NFR and National Finals Steer Roping berths (37).

         Woolman, with three world titles and four Wrangler NFR team roping aggregate titles to go with one NFSR aggregate title and a championship at the 1997 Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, has become nearly timeless in his team roping skills.

         He broke into ProRodeo in 1980 and earned rookie-of-the-year honors en route to the world title. He added world titles in 1982 and 1990 and doubled as the Wrangler NFR aggregate champion all three times, in addition to another in 1987.

         With more than $1.96 million in career earnings, Woolman is on pace to become the next member of the $2 million club and the first to get there primarily by team roping.

         Woolman, was named TeeSquantnee, which is Cherokee for “boy of the woods, ” after Cherokee Chief TeeSquantnee Ballard, a distant relative of his mother.

 

 

Bob Tallman

         Tallman, 56, has endeared himself as one of the favorite rodeo announcers of fame and contestants in North America. He has enjoyed a career that has spanned more than three decades and 15,000 performances.

         His voice, knowledge and delivery have become legendary in the rodeo industry and Tallman has the resume to prove it. In 2003, the native of Winnemucca, Nev., was selected to announce the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the 17th time and eighth time in a row. No one in the 45-year history of the Wrangler NFR has announced the rodeo more times.

         In addition, he was named PRCA Announcer of the Year in 1982, 1987, 1997 and 1999-2001.

         Tallman’s involvement with rodeo began in 1960 when he competed as a tie-down roper and team roper. His competitive career continued into the 1980s.

         Today, Tallman announces more than 100 rodeos each year, including many of the largest events sanctioned by the PRCA.


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Alvin Nelson

         While Nelson, 69, started his career as a three-event roughstock cowboy, he excelled at saddle bronc riding as a professional. He turned pro in 1953 and, during his 13-year career, won a world title, claimed two aggregate crowns at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and qualified for the Wrangler NFR five times.

         He claimed the 1957 world saddle bronc riding title, ending a string of six consecutive titles claimed by fellow Hall of Famers Casey Tibbs and Deb Copenhaver. Nelson went on to claim the aggregate title at the Wrangler NFR in 1961-62 and also was the all-around champion of the 1961 Wrangler NFR.

         Nelson is also a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and North and South Dakota Cowboy halls of fame.

 

Dr. J Pat Evans

         In the 24 years since helping to co-found the Justin SportsMedicine Team, Dr. Evans has undoubtedly helped thousands of cowboys by providing them medical attention. At the 1980 National Finals Rodeo, Evans and Don Andrews, now the executive director of the Justin SportsMedicine Team, launched the program, the brainchild of both men.

         Today, the program ensures cowboys competing are well taken care of. Justin SportsMedicine trailers help provide services to more than 150 PRCA-sanctioned rodeos each year.

         Evans, who had a private practice in Dallas, worked in the 1970s and 1980s as the team doctor for the Dallas Cowboys. He also worked as the team doctor for the Dallas Mavericks from 1980 to 1992.

         Today, Evans is retired and spends his winters in Dallas and summers near Colorado Springs, Colo., with his wife of 48 years, Joanie.

 

June Ivory

         Ivory has spent nearly a lifetime in the rodeo arena, most notably as a secretary, timer and flag bearer at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

         Ivory, 71, was on hand to unload the first horse at the first National Finals Rodeo in 1959. She worked at the Wrangler NFR, first as timer, starting in 1960 and later was arena secretary at the event in 1974 and 1979.

Her involvement in the Wrangler NFR went beyond stopping the clock and signing checks. She has served as a consultant and researcher for various projects related to rodeo and has spearheaded the Cowboy Reunion each year at the Wrangler NFR.

 

Dave Smith

         Smith, who is retiring in April after 23 years as executive sports editor for the Dallas Morning News, helped build a nationally recognized sports section and push rodeo to the forefront as not only a regional, but national sport.

         Since 1983, SportsDay has been honored as one of the top 10 daily and Sunday sections by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE). 

         His career started in 1957, when he was named sports editor of the Marine Corps Air Station’s base newspaper, the Windsock. He later served a similar capacity at newspapers in his native Ohio, South Florida, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Dallas.

 

Three Bars

         Among the legendary late Reg Kesler’s herd in Missoula, Mont., and Rosemary, Alberta, none generated more talk within the rodeo committee than the great mare Three Bars.

         Three Bars was selected the top bareback horse of the National Finals Rodeo in 1967, 1973 and 1980.

         “This horse was probably the rankest horse I was ever on,” said five-time world champion bareback rider and ProRodeo Hall of Fame member Bruce Ford of Kersey, Colo. “She never had a set pattern, but she didn’t want you on her back.”

         Three Bars also had bloodlines to several great horses from Kesler’s ranches that also bucked at the NFR, including Three Cheers, Three Stars and Three Stages, just to name a few.

         Three Bars is the first horse inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame since Bernis Johnson’s great bareback horse Sippin’ Velvet was enshrined in 2000.

 

Asbury Schell

         Schell was born in 1903 in Gisela, Ariz., and began his rodeo career at the age of 17. At his first competition, Schell won prize money riding bulls, but on that day decided never to ride a bull again. Instead he turned his competitive talents to tie-down roping, where he was known for his original style of flanking and tying standing up.

         Schell was a three-time world champion team roper in 1937, 1939 and 1952.

         He regularly defeated many of the larger, stronger cowboys. Schell also influenced the move to heeling from the right side instead of the left that had been the traditional style in his era.

         The secret to Schell’s success, according to rodeo cowboy Dale Smith, was that he “stayed horseback, had the best partners of his day and never claimed to be a good loser.”

 

Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo

 

         Since 1987, the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (DNCFR) in Pocatello, Idaho, has been one of the most prestigious rodeos and is the crowning event of the PRCA’s circuit system of regional competition.

         Cowboys who qualify for the DNCFR compete for nearly $425,000 in prize money and national titles. Annually, sellout crowds at Holt Arena witness this elimination-style rodeo that features season circuit champions and circuit finals winners from each of the 12 circuits, which are based on geographical regions. The circuits showcase not only some of the sport’s top competitors, but also cowboys who hold other jobs during the week and known as “weekend warriors.”

 

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Chris LeDoux
Born Oct. 2, 1948, in Biloxi, Miss., Ledoux got his start in junior rodeo and at the same time became absorbed in music. He joined the PRCA in 1968 and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo five times. In 1976, he won the bareback riding world title. LeDoux of Kaycee, Wyo., retired from competition in 1980, but continued writing and singing about the rodeo life.

He began recording songs in the early 1970s and went on to national stardom with such songs as A Cowboy Like Me, Too Tough to Die and What More Could a Cowboy Need? His songs captured the romance, the freedom, the dirt and the hurt of rodeo. LeDoux had recorded 22 albums of his own, when Garth Brooks mentioned his name in the 1989 hit song, Much Too Young (To Be This Damn Old). As a result, LeDoux's music became more widely known, and he went on to sign with Brooks' record label, Capitol Records. He recorded 36 albums during his career and sold nearly six million records.

In 2000, he was diagnosed with a liver disease and successfully underwent a liver transplant. Within six months of surgery, he was on tour again - throwing himself right back into the hard-driving full-force stage shows that included a mechanical bucking machine.

In 2004, he was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct and began radiation treatment. On March 9, 2005, the singer/songwriter, rodeo champion and acclaimed sculptor lost his battle with cancer at the age of 56 in Casper, Wyo.

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Jimmie Cooper
A resident of Monument, N.M., Cooper was one of the top cowboys in the PRCA for much of the 1980s, finishing in the top five of the all-around world standings for seven straight years (1980-86). Competing in steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping, he won the all-around title in 1981 edging his legendary cousin Roy Cooper by a mere $47.

In August 1980, Jimmie broke the PRCA record for all-time rookie earnings, which was previously held by Roy in 1976 with $43,779. By the end of 1980, Jimmie had earned $74,432.

In 1982, Jimmie won $29,268 at the NFR, becoming the first person to ever make that much money at a single rodeo. He was also one of only 12 cowboys to ever qualify for the NFR in three events. In 1983, he won the NFR aggregate title in the steer wrestling.

Jimmie, a graduate of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, attended college on an academic scholarship and joined the rodeo team "just for fun." He has been quoted as saying, "Roy didn't exactly get me started, but when Roy did something I always figured I could do it better." Jimmie now joins Roy, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979.

A second generation cowboy, he credits his father, Jimmie, for helping him become one of the best in the business. Now his twin boys, Jake and Jimmie, are following in their dad's footsteps. Jake and Jimmie won rookie-of-the-year honors in 2004 in team roping.

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Joe Marvel
In addition to winning the 1978 saddle bronc riding world championship, Marvel finished in the top 10 in the world standings four other times from 1974-79. A five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Marvel won several circuit titles during his career.

Born on June 26, 1955, in Battle Mountain, Nev., Marvel followed in his brother's footsteps. Mike was the first of the Marvel boys to ride saddle broncs in the PRCA, and then came Joe and finally their youngest brother, Pete. Joe got his PRCA card in 1973, the year he graduated from high school. That same year he won the state and national high school all-around championships.

He told his high school sweetheart, Patrice, - now his wife - that he was going to win a world championship. In 1978, he did just that and remains the last Nevada cowboy to win a world title in any event.

Since leaving rodeo, Marvel has immersed himself in the cattle business with property in Spring Creek and Fallon, Nev. He also gives free clinics to high school competitors in northern Nevada and enjoys watching his nephew, Matt, who rides saddle broncs in the PRCA.

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Charles Maggini
Born Aug. 9, 1894, in Hollister, Calif., Maggini made history in 1929 when he became the first PRCA member to hold multiple world titles after winning team roping and steer roping events.

Maggini influenced the careers of two-time world champion steer wrestler Jack Roddy and 1982 World All-Around Champion Chris Lybbert. In fact, Lybbert dedicated his world title to the late Maggini, who passed away earlier that year.

Maggini was also a respected horse trainer and pickup man. The last horse Maggini, then 86, trained went on to win the reined horse classes at California Rodeo Salinas and the Cow Palace. He was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum in 2003.

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Marvin Brookman
A resident of Wolf Point, Mont., he started the Brookman Rodeo Company in 1950 and his company still produces 15 rodeos a year.

Brookman, 91, joined the Cowboys' Turtle Association in 1936 and got his stock contractor's card the same year.

Prior to beginning his own company, Brookman worked with renowned rodeo contractors such as Aber, Linger and Beutler Brothers and Cervi to supply stock.

One of the biggest events his company provides stock for is his hometown rodeo presented during the first part of July in Wolf Point. Brookman began supplying stock for the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede, in 1941, with his bucking stock being driven from his ranch to the rodeo grounds. With the advent of hauling trucks and good roads, the drive became a thing of the past.

As part of the 75th Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede in 1998, that piece of history was revived with "The Brookman Wild Horse Drive of '98." A wagon train formed at Brookman's ranch 32 miles north of Wolf Point. The wagon train, with participants from all over the country, pushed more than 100 head of horses south to Wolf Point.
 

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Slim Pickens
He was born Louis Bert Lindley Jr., in Kingsburg, Calif., on June 29, 1919. He started his rodeo career as a roughstock contestant at the age of 16, and went on to work as a rodeo clown when he wasn't competing. Pickens was discovered by a movie talent scout at a rodeo in 1950 and set off on an impressive acting career.

Pickens appeared in more than 100 movies and television series before his death in 1983 of a brain tumor. His first major role came in the 1950 movie Rocky Mountain with Errol Flynn, and some of his most impressive credits include parts in Dr. Strangelove, Stagecoach with Ann Margret and Bing Crosby, One-Eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando and The Getaway with Steve McQueen.

He is perhaps best-known for his portrayal of "Taggart" in the 1974 comedy hit Blazing Saddles, where he acted alongside Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. Pickens also appeared regularly in the hit comedy television series Hee Haw.

Pickens was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum in 1986

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 Jim Sharp

            Born Oct. 6, 1965 in Kermit, Texas, to a rodeo family, Sharp rode his first steer at the age of nine and never looked back. In 1981, he won his first of four (1981, 1983-85) bull riding championship titles in the American Junior Rodeo Association and went on to win the Texas High School All-Around title in 1984.

            Sharp continued his dominance at the collegiate level, winning back-to-back National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association bull riding titles (1986-87), while attending Odessa (Texas) College.

            As a rookie in the PRCA in 1986, he won the Resistol Rookie of the Year and Texas Circuit rookie of the year titles in the bull riding and set a new record for most money won in a rookie year ($100,160). He also qualified for his first of seven consecutive trips to the National Finals Rodeo.

            In 1988, he rode his way into the history books by becoming the first bull rider to ride all 10 bulls at the National Finals Rodeo. The record-breaking performance earned Sharp his first of two PRCA world titles. The following year, he won the NFR bull riding average for the second consecutive year and in 1990, he won his second world title. His last year to qualify for the NFR was 1992, when he picked up his third bull riding average title.

            Known as “The Razor,” Sharp has been quoted as saying, “(My favorite memory was) when I rode 10 bulls at the NFR and won the world championship.”

 Chris Lybbert

            Born in Ephrata, Wash., on March 14, 1954, Lybbert now makes his home in Forestburg, Texas. A member of the PRCA since 1976, Lybbert excelled in the tie-down roping and steer wrestling, qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo eight times (1979-84, 1986, 1989) in the tie-down roping and five times in the steer wrestling (1979-80, 1982-83, 1986).

            He won his first world title in the all-around category in 1982 and followed that with a world title in the tie-down roping in 1986. In 1982, he was the first PRCA cowboy to earn six-figures prior to the NFR.

            He was also a very consistent roper and steer wrestler capturing back-to-back NFR average titles in the tie-down roping (1980-81) and the steer wrestling in 1982. He also won the California Circuit tie-down roping title four times (1978-80, 1982) and the steer wrestling title in 1979. When he started competing in the Texas Circuit, he continued to collect titles. He won the Texas Circuit tie-down roping title in 1984, and in 1986 he captured his second tie-down roping title and also the all-around title in the circuit.

            Lybbert, who attended Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif., and Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in the all-around category.

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Rob Smets

            Rob Smets has been among the elite professional bullfighters for many years and with his induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, he will forever be remembered as one of the best in the business.

            Smets, born on Sept. 11, 1959, in Palo Alto, Calif., joined the PRCA in 1978 and has been fighting bulls ever since. He was selected to work his first Wrangler NFR in 1983 and did so five additional times (1987, 1989-91, 2000). He was selected as the alternate bullfighter a total of four times (1980-81, 1986, 1995).

            Starting in 1981, Wrangler Jeans and Shirts began sponsoring the bullfighting competition in which a world champion was crowned each year. Smets, who listed Salinas, Calif., as his hometown, won or shared the award a total of five times. His first title came in 1983, and he followed that with back-to-back wins in 1985 and 1986. In 1988, he shared the title with Miles Hare and in 1994, he won his final title.

            Smets and his wife, Carla, now make their home in Merkel, Texas, where he spends time speaking to school, church and civic groups and visiting hospitals. He had planned to retire from bullfighting at this year’s Professional Bull Riders Finals in Las Vegas, but on March 3, a bull hooked him, breaking his neck for the third time. His hobbies include team roping, steer roping and spending time with his kids Corey, Josie, Sammy and Dylan. Smets will be inducted in the contract personnel category.

Bob Robinson

            Born May 13, 1933, in Rockhand, Idaho, Robinson has been a big influence in the sport of rodeo. He joined the PRCA in 1958 and competed at both ends of the arena as a steer wrestler and a saddle bronc rider.

            He competed in the 1959 and 1960 National Finals Rodeo in both events, winning the world steer wrestling title in 1960 and finished runner-up in the all-around category that same year behind Harry Thompkins.

            He competed professionally for 14 years and in 1980, he became one of the first pro officials for the PRCA. In September of 1982, he became the PRCA’s director of rodeo administration, and he and his wife, Emma, moved from Idaho to Colorado Springs. During that time, his responsibilities included negotiating prize money with rodeo committees, overseeing the eligibility of cowboys, interpreting and enforcing PRCA rules and coordinating rodeo listings and approvals.

            He was also instrumental in moving the NFR from Oklahoma City, Okla., to its current location in Las Vegas, Nev., in 1985.

            Robinson, who now makes his home in Hagerman, Idaho, has two kids, Ange and Jade. His son, Jade, followed in his footsteps by serving as a pro official for more than 19 years, working every NFR during that time. He recently retired to run a steakhouse in his hometown of Pendleton, Ore.

            Robinson will be inducted in the steer wrestling category.

 John and Mildred Farris

            John and Mildred Farris have been life-time supporters of the PRCA, and they will be inducted together as rodeo notables on July 15.

            Mildred is a five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo secretary, a five-time Wrangler NFR assistant secretary and a 15-time Wrangler NFR timer. She has been named PRCA Secretary of the Year eight times and served on the PRCA Contract Personnel Executive Council from 1988-2002.

            Mildred, a PRCA member since 1960, carried the American flag at the NFR opening ceremony in Oklahoma City, Okla., for 17 years and carried the flag at the 1997 NFR in Las Vegas for the Cowgirl Hall of Fame opening. She qualified for the NFR 12 times as a barrel racer and served as the GRA/WPRA director, vice-president and president from 1965-71.

            Mildred, who lives with John in Addington, Okla., was inducted into the Sul Ross Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994 and was the WPRA Woman of the Year in 1996 and WPRA Secretary of the Year in 1998. In addition, she served as secretary for the Dodge Texas Circuit Finals for 17 years.

            John, a PRCA member since 1959, competed in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding and tie-down roping from 1959-75. John has worked every Wrangler NFR in one capacity or another since 1967.

            John has staked the barrel racing pattern at the Wrangler NFR since 1967, worked as the NFR saddle horse boss for two years, served as the assistant roughstock event chute boss one year and as the timed-event chute boss for 17 years.

            He was the Texas Circuit Man of the Year in 1997 and has worked as a chute boss for the Dodge Texas Circuit Finals for 20 years. John received the WPRA’s Outstanding Individual Award in 1999 and won the Texas Circuit Best Footing Award in 2001.

            Most recently, John and Mildred were inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Belton, Texas, in 2004.

Doc Sorensen

            The late Doc Sorensen was a man of many hats – football player, veterinarian, politician, mayor, legislator, law enforcement officer, but mostly, he was a cowboy.

            He and the late Everett Colborn founded the Colborn & Sorensen Rodeo Co. in the early 1930s and produced rodeos throughout the Northwest. When Colborn moved to Texas, Sorensen and his family created the Flying U Rodeo Co. and produced rodeos in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon and Arizona. He produced the Las Vegas (Nev.) Helldorado Rodeo for 17 years, the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo for 21 years and provided stock for the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days for many years. After 30 years in the stock contracting business, Sorensen sold the outfit to Cotton Rosser of Marysville, Calif. Rosser has kept the name for 50 years and still provides stock to several rodeos under the Flying U Rodeo name.

            Prior to getting into the rodeo business, Sorensen attended Colorado A&M (now Colorado State), where he played football and graduated with a doctorate of veterinary medicine. He had a vet practice for several years and used his education in his ranching and rodeo endeavors.

            Sorensen stayed very busy by serving as a state brand inspector, an Idaho State Legislator, Idaho State Director of Law Enforcement, Mayor of Roberts, Idaho, and the director and manager of the Idaho State Fair, where he later served as the Grand Marshal of its parade. He was named Jefferson County Senior Cattleman of the Year in 1981, due in part to being the first person to have Black Angus cattle in the state of Idaho and his continued quest for excellence in the breed.

            He was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1988, was honored at the Dodge National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1990 and was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame in 2000.

            Sorensen married his high school sweetheart, Mabel Poole (Mimi), and they had six children: Theda Sorensen Bellin, Dick Sorensne, Hadley Sorensen, Marie Sorensen Hunter, Billie Dee Sorensen Ekberg and Berva Dawn Sorensen Taylor.

            Sorensen passed away in May of 1984 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame as a rodeo stock contractor.

 

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Leo Camarillo

The son of a working cowboy and ranch foreman, Leo Camarillo knew what discipline and hard work were all about when he embarked on his professional rodeo career. His upbringing helped him win four world team roping titles and a world all-around championship in the 1970s and 1980s. An intense competitor, he created and perfected a polished style of heeling steers (catching both back legs). An excellent horseman, Camarillo, born Jan. 25, 1946, in Santa Ana, Calif., roped off his horse named Super Stick, which many pros thought unsuitable for professional competition. Camarillo was also an excellent tie-down roper and steer wrestler. In his first 11 years in ProRodeo, Camarillo won $180,466 in team roping. World Championships: 5 (Team roping, 1972-73, 1975, 1983; all-around, 1975) PRCA Season Championship: 1976

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