A tribute to the ranching way of life, rodeo supports the dreams of men and women around the United States, while entertaining audiences of all ages. Catch don’t-miss events, and enjoy some fascinating rodeo trivia from the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

  • According to the rulebooks of the Cowboys’ Turtle Association, the Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, saddle bronc riding was a 10-second ride from 1936 to 1947, an 8- or 10-second ride depending on the discretion of the stock contractor between 1948 and 1974, and an 8-second ride beginning in 1975.
  • Between 1976 and 1978, the National Finals Rodeo became a “sudden death” event to decide the world champions. Unlike today, where the world champion is based on yearly earnings, the winner of the 10-performance NFR would be crowned with the title. This led to the only “ride-off” in NFR history. At the end of 10 rounds in 1977, Don Gay and Randy Magers were tied in points. To decide the winner, each drew a bull from the re-ride pen. Gay won the ride-off and claimed his fourth world championship (he would win eight total).
  • Only three cowboys have ever won two or more triple crowns—three world titles in the same year—Everett Bowman, Jim Shoulders and Trevor Brazile. Of those men, Shoulders won the triple crown three consecutive years in the same events: All-Around, Bareback Riding and Bull Riding from 1956 to 1958.
  • A Philadelphia tailor by the name “Rodeo Ben” was hired by Blue Bell denim to create the first pair of Wrangler jeans. Rodeo Ben had gained prominence in the Western attire world by creating shirts, pants and suits for men and women like Casey Tibbs, Gene Autry, Sally Rand and Harry Tompkins. His signature style included smiley pockets, pearl-snap buttons and short jackets. The Wrangler line became so popular that it eclipsed Blue Bell as the name of the company.
  • The youngest contestants to win world titles are Ann Lewis, who won the 1968 Barrel Racing World Championship at age 10, and Jim Rodriguez, Jr., who won the 1959 Team Roping World Championship at age 18. The oldest contestants to win world titles are Mary Berger, who won the 2016 Barrel Racing World Championship at age 68, and Ike Rude, who won the 1953 Steer Roping World Championship at age 59.
  • When ESPN The Magazine featured an athlete from each professional sports hall of fame, the rodeo inductee chosen was Sammy Andrews’ bull Bodacious. The yellow bull bucked off 127 of the 135 riders who attempted the feat. He was retired during the 10th round of the 1995 National Finals Rodeo.

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**Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 implications, both Reno Rodeo and Cheyenne Frontier Days were canceled after the publication of this issue.

1 Comment

  1. DiAnn Griffin Reply

    Tremendously enjoyed the history!
    Love reminiscing.
    Am a retired Barrel Racer and love the rodeo.

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