Postcards From The Past
PRCA Hall Of Fame
Complete Listing Of Pro
Rodeo Hall Of Fame
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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
He also won a world steer wrestling title in 1968
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
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
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.
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
"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
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.
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
Hirdes died on June 19, 1999.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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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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
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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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
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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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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
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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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
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
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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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
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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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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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
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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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
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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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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
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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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
He was born Oct. 5, 1927, in Furnace Woods, N.Y.
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ford was born Oct. 7, 1952, in Greeley, Colo. Back To Top
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
This week’s Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Bill Linderman, inducted
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 –
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
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 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 Jr. Back To Top
This week's Hall of Fame profile is timed-event hand John W.
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
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,
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
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
This week's Hall of Fame profile is all-around cowboy Louis
inducted in 1991.
His entire rodeo career spanned only eight years, but Louis
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
giving up bull riding.
"When I quit the bulls, my bareback riding and saddle
improved 40 percent in 30 days," he said.
Some of the tough broncs he covered were Amos (Beutler
(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
riding in 1943-44 and bareback riding in 1942 and 1944.
He served as vice president of the Rodeo Cowboys Association
After rodeo, Brooks operated from his Sweetwater, Texas,
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
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
This week's Hall of Fame profile is bareback rider Jack
into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
Jack Ward began his rodeo career as a bull rider and won the
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
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
enemy," Ward said. "I believe if I can do that, I¹ll have been
Back To Top
This week's Hall of Fame profile is team
roper and actor Ben Johnson, a part of the original Hall of Fame induction class
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
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
heart attack on April 8, 1996, in Mesa, Ariz. Back
Gene Ross Back
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,
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
Roy Duvall Back To
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
Duvall first entered bareback and bull riding when he began
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
A dedicated professional, Duvall had great concentration when
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.
Back To Top
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.
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.
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.
2003, he became the third cowboy to reach $2 million in career earnings, joining
Hall of Famers Roy Cooper and Joe Beaver.
Back To Top
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.
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.
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.
Back To Top
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).
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.
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.
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
was named TeeSquantnee, which is Cherokee for “boy of the woods, ” after
Cherokee Chief TeeSquantnee Ballard, a distant relative of his mother.
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.
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.
addition, he was named PRCA Announcer of the Year in 1982, 1987, 1997 and
involvement with rodeo began in 1960 when he competed as a tie-down roper and
team roper. His competitive career continued into the 1980s.
Tallman announces more than 100 rodeos each year, including many of the largest
events sanctioned by the PRCA.
Story Continues Below
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.
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.
is also a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and North and South Dakota
Cowboy halls of fame.
Dr. J Pat Evans
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.
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.
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.
Evans is retired and spends his winters in Dallas and summers near Colorado
Springs, Colo., with his wife of 48 years, Joanie.
has spent nearly a lifetime in the rodeo arena, most notably as a secretary,
timer and flag bearer at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
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.
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.
1983, SportsDay has been honored as
one of the top 10 daily and Sunday sections by the Associated Press Sports
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.
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
Bars was selected the top bareback horse of the National Finals Rodeo in 1967,
1973 and 1980.
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.”
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.
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.
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
was a three-time world champion team roper in 1937, 1939 and 1952.
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.
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
National Circuit Finals Rodeo
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.
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
Back To Top
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.
Back To Top
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
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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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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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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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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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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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)
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.”
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,
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.
Story Continues Below
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Robinson will be inducted in the steer
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
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
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.
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
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.
Story Continues Below
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