With summer in full swing, it’s time to hit the road and experience one of the American West’s most cherished traditions: rodeo. Whether you’re wanting to check out a local ranch rodeo or experience the bright lights of the biggest and richest events, rodeo has something for everyone.

The sport of rodeo has been around for more than 100 years, and its heritage is preserved in many forms. One excellent venue that highlights this exciting competition is the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Megan Winterfeldt, Exhibits and Collections Coordinator for the museum, shared a few facts to wet your whistle for the summer cowboy events we’re highlighting in this section.

  1. The Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which was inducted July of 2021, featured rodeo secretary and timer Sunni Deb Backstrom. Sunni joined her mother, Ellen, to become the first mother-daughter pair inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. Ellen was inducted in 1995.
  2. In 1993, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame inducted bareback horse High Tide of the Flying U Rodeo Company. High Tide is noted for his longevity in the sport. His first selection to the National Finals Rodeo came in 1967. He repeated the nomination for 20 years. He was twice featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not for his accomplishments.
  3. The 2003 National Finals Rodeo saw Billy Etbauer set an NFR saddle bronc riding record with a 93-point ride on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Cool Alley Dip. A year later, he tied the record on the same horse. This record still stands for the top score in Saddle Bronc Riding at the NFR.
  4. Saddle Bronc Rider Deb Copenhaver is credited with the removal of the horn from bronc saddles. The story goes that Copenhaver had loaned his saddle to Sonny Tureman, who had drawn a particularly tall sorrel horse. As the horse was going through the unsaddling chute, the horn cap caught on a low bar and peeled it back. Copenhaver asked Bud Linderman what he should do with the ragged piece of metal that used to be the horn. Linderman told him to take it off. That saddle – with the filed-down bronze horn – is on display at the Pro- Rodeo Hall of Fame.
  5. Tad Lucas rode bulls to raise money for the American Red Cross during the first World War, rode broncs in Mexico for a Wild West Show, and trick-rode in London at Wembley Stadium. This all-around cowgirl rode her last bronc in 1964 at the age of 62.
  6. According to the PRCA Media Guide, Stetson Wright is the only Rookie to win the All-Around title, which he claimed in 2019. He repeated his All-Around win in 2020 and added the 2020 Bull Riding World Championship title as well. This makes Wright the youngest back-to-back winner of All-Around titles.
  7. There are three cowboys who have won world titles in four events. Everett Bowman won All-Around, Steer Wrestling, Steer Roping, and Tie-Down Roping titles. Bill Linderman won All-Around, Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, and Saddle Bronc Riding titles. Trevor Brazile won All-Around, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping, and Steer Roping titles.
  8. Clown Andy Womack used to haul his mule in a bright pink trailer with a sign across the back that read “Haulin’ Dynamite.” The little mule’s name was Dynamite. The trailer and sign garnered a lot of turned heads and honks as he was going down the road.
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