Dan Fisher competed in his first rodeo at age 6. His accomplishments include: PRCA record for being the oldest man to qualify for a NFR event (2013, age 62); second father to qualify for NFSR with his two sons in one year (2010); sixteen NFSR qualifications; two WNFR qualifications in team roping; Reserve World Champion in steer roping (1996); and Texas Steer Roping Circuit Champion (1995). He set an arena record at Loving NM with an 8.7 run (1997) and an arena record at West of Pecos Rodeo with a 10.3-second run (2000). At 65, Dan continues to rope competitively in the PRCA.
Clint Johnson began rodeoing at age 10 and competed throughout high school and college, starting his professional career in 1975. His many accomplishments include: qualifying for the NFR twelve times (1978-1989); four-time PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider (1980, 1987, 1988, 1989); three-time Calgary Stampede Rodeo $50,000 Bonus winner in saddle bronc riding; 1988 Winter Olympic Rodeo gold medal winner in Calgary; 1989 NFR Average winner in bronc riding; and championships at many Texas rodeos, including Houston, Fort Worth, Austin, Amarillo, San Angelo, Gladewater, and El Paso. Clint was inducted into the PRCA Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame (1992), the Casey Tibbs Foundation (1996), and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame (1999).
Denny McLanahan won numerous bareback, bull riding, and all-around titles in high school and college competitions. As a PRCA member, he was a twelve-time Texas Circuit Finals Qualifier (1988-2000), Texas Circuit Finals Bareback Champion (1993), three-time Pocatello Dodge National Circuit Finals Qualifier (1993, 1995, 2000), Pocatello Dodge Bareback Champion (2000), eight-time Original Coors Rodeo Showdown Qualifier (1992-1999), Original Coors Rodeo Showdown Bareback Champion (1992), and Coca-Cola Pro Rodeo Winner’s Circle Series Bareback Champion (1994). Denny was the PRCA Regular Season Bareback Riding Champion (1997), Coors’ Fans’ Favorite Cowboy (1988), and an eight-time NFR Qualifier in Bareback Riding (1992-1999).
Buddy Reynolds began his rodeo career in the AJRA. He was 1975 Reserve World Champion Bareback Rider and 1976 World Champion Bareback Rider. Buddy was also a member of the NIRA and the PRCA. Among his major victories were 1982 Cheyenne Saddle Bronc Riding Champion, 1983 Pecos Centennial Rodeo Bareback Riding Champion, and 1981 New Mexico State Fair Bareback Riding Champion. Buddy is a two-event NFR qualifier—bareback riding (1980, 1981, 1984) and saddle bronc riding (1982). He won NFR go-rounds in bareback riding (1981) and saddle bronc riding (1982). Buddy remains active in the rodeo world as a PRCA official.
John "Shoe" Schueneman
During his forty-year career, Shoe Schueneman successfully competed at the highest levels in team roping and calf roping, winning several all-around titles. He was 1978 Texas Circuit Rookie of the Year and 1994 Texas Circuit Champion. Shoe and his horse, Kid, still hold the Texas Circuit Finals average record of 15.9. He won the 1978 Southern Region title in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, and was steer wrestling director for the Texas Circuit for eight years and a member of the executive committee for eighteen years. Through his steer wrestling school, Shoe has made many kids into steer wrestlers and many steer wrestlers into winners.
Vern Smith was raised in a rodeo family in Burkburnett, Texas. He attended Eastern New Mexico University on a rodeo scholarship and then finished college at Southeastern Oklahoma State, where he was part of the 1978 NIRA National Champion Men's Team. Vern was 1980 Lone Star Circuit Champion Bull Rider in Fort Worth, Houston, Cheyenne, Albuquerque, Dallas, Gonzalez, Prescott, plus many more. In 1980, he qualified for the NFR in 14th position and came out sitting seventh in the world. Vern was a multi-event cowboy, but bull riding was his favorite.
Debbie Garrison competed in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, and women’s bull riding and bareback riding events during high school and college. She was a fourteen-time qualifier in the WNFR team roping event (1989-1999 and 2009-2012), WPRA Timed Event and Team Roping Rookie of the Year (1990), WNFR Team Roping Average Winner (1993, 1996), PWRA Reserve World Champion Team Roping Header (1997, 1998), to name a few. She is a member of the U.S. Team Roping Association, World Series Team Roping Association, and WPRA. Debbie was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (1999) and Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame (2000). Her contributions to her community and the rodeo profession are too numerous to mention.
Bonnie McPherson competed in Little Britches and Gymkhanas events as a girl, followed by college rodeos. After college, she settled in Burkburnett and taught school. Weekends and summers, she entered GRA (now WPRA), all-girl, and amateur rodeos, winning championships in bareback riding, bull riding, steer undecorating, goat-tying, and barrel racing. Bonnie’s titles include a goat-tying championship (Cheyenne, 1966) and GRA World Championship in Bull Riding and Bareback Riding (1970, 1972). From 1973-1984, she was a rodeo stunt women in such movies and television shows as “Bite the Bullet,” “CHIPS,” “BJ & the Bear,” “Bronco Billy,” “Every Which Way You Can,” and “Two Minute Warning.”
Charlie Thompson has contributed significantly to the rodeo industry through 50 years of livestock and rodeo production. He started as a contestant in rough stock events in 1964 and was solely contracting rodeos and events across Texas and surrounding states by 1978. Charlie owned/operated Lubbock-based C-T Rodeo Company for 35 years. He was a frequent stock contractor at the North American Rodeo Commission Finals and the World’s Largest Bull Riding in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Charlie founded and produced the World’s Oldest Annual Bull Riding in Lubbock for 37 years. He is known for training top hands, championship livestock, and his passion for preserving rodeo and western culture.
Terry Walls produced his first rodeo in Glen Rose in 1971. Since then, the Terry Walls Rodeo Company has provided bucking stock for and produced more than thirty rodeos per year. Terry received his PRCA stock contractor’s card in 1996 and has provided bucking horses and bulls for every major rodeo in the U.S., including the PRCA NFR and PBR World Finals. For 44 years, his bucking horse breeding program, “Born to Buck,” raised numerous NFR-caliber bucking horses, including Ginger Snap, who is still bucking today, and Jawbreaker, who in 220 trips allowed no qualified ride.
A cowboy’s cowboy, 84-year-old Jim Calvert has succeeded in the arena, as a contestant, judge, and committee member; at the racetrack; in the cattle industry; and in the animal health industry. Working four events, Jim was a member alongside Harley May and Texas Martin of the 1951 and 1952 Sul Ross National Championship teams. This gold card RCA/PRCA member competed for 27 years, winning Cheyenne twice, Greeley twice, San Angelo, and Pecos, and placing at Madison Square Garden and the Cow Palace. His run to the NFR was cut short when he cut off his thumb in a roping accident. Jim rode the great bulldogging horses of his era, from Baby Doll to Catfish. He trained eleven timed-event horses that competed in the NFR.
At age 7, Red Doyal began helping with calf roping at the Crosbyton, Texas. After riding the roping calves several times, he was hooked on rodeo for life. Red won bull riding at his first FFA rodeo in 1959, and continued competing throughout high school and college, winning numerous titles. He joined the PRCA in 1966 and traveled with Larry Mahan until an accident at Pendleton forced him from the finals. In 1967-1968, Red changed his riding style and worked hard to win again. In 1968, he was 10th for the year, sometimes hitting three rodeos per day. He stopped competing in 1969, but still furnishes bucking stock for high school/junior rodeos and teaches classes for young riders.
Colby Jay Goodwin
Colby Jay Goodwin had a rope in his hand from the time he started walking and died at age 32 when his horse rolled over him while competing in the 1999 NFR Steer Roping Finals. Colby’s accomplishments include NLBRA Calf Roping Champion (1975-1982), NHRSA three-time finals qualifier in calf roping (1983-1987), and HS State Champ and runner-up for the national title (1987). He joined the PRCA in 1990 and won first Go with a 10.8 run in his first rodeo. He was ISRA Average Champion (1995, 1999), ISRA Year-end Finals Champ (1998), PRCA Steer Roping Champ (1998-1999, and NFRSR Finals qualifier (1995, 1998, 1999, and won 2nd Go, with 10.3.
Best known for his act featuring a dog-riding monkey named Whiplash, Tommy Lucia originally competed in bull riding and bareback riding, then realized he could make people laugh and became a rodeo clown. Tommy and Whiplash performed not only at rodeos, but also during NBA playoffs and Major League baseball games. They were named PRCA Act of the Year three times and Texas Circuit Act of the Year three times. Tommy was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame (2015) and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (2011). He was named PRCA Entertainer of the Year in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Roy Lee (RL) Richardson
R.L. Richardson was a contestant, judge, pick-up man, and arena director at rodeos in Texas and surrounding states from the 1950s to early 1970s. For years, he was chute boss for the Double R Rodeo and Kowbell Rodeo, working bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, and steer wrestling. His wins include 1954 Bremond Rodeo Bareback Champion; 1954 Terrell Rodeo Champion Steer Wrestler; 1956 Arlington Rodeo Bareback Champion; 1956 Kueckelhan Ranch Rodeo Champion, Steer Wrestler; 1956 Central Rodeo Association (CRA) Champion Steer Wrestler; 1956 CRA All-Around Cowboy; 1957 CRA Saddle Bronc Champion; 1959 CRA Bareback Champion; 1959 CRA Saddle Bronc Champion; 1959 CRA Champion Steer Wrestler; 1960 Champion Steer Wrestler; and 1963 Kowbell Rodeo Champion Steer Wrestler.
Tom Taylor began professional rodeoing at about 20, entering bronc riding and roping events in the tough rodeo days of the 1930s and 1940s. Tom won or placed in all the major rodeos of the day, including Madison Square Gardens, Cheyenne, Calgary, Boston, Fort Worth, Carlsbad, and Chicago (an unprecedented three times). Coyote roping was a featured event at a rodeo in Oklahoma, and Tom won against 24 other contestants. Tom was a member of the Cowboys Turtle Association and served as its calf roping spokesperson for several years. He was a charter member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Brownie has been called “one of the greatest roping horses that ever lived.” Ray Wharton, the 1956 World Calf Roping Champion, bought him in 1951 when he was a three-year-old stud. Ray and many other 1950s- and 1960s-era cowboys rode Brownie into rodeo history, including several Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees. In a June 1956 article for The Cattleman, William Porter described Brownie: “He’s so tough and … sort of small … but … he makes up for this with guts and spirit and heart and the desire to win.” At Madison Square Garden in 1956, eleven cowboys rode Brownie, six of them to the top ten.
“Skeeter,” King Surgeon
Skeeter was a steer wrestling horse owned and ridden by Whitey Bob Walker and others. His name came from a match race that required each horse to carry live weight. His owner at the time was said to have taped a live mosquito to his back and the name stuck. Skeeter’s titles include World Champion (1981), PRCA Season Champion (1978), three-time Texas Circuit Champion (1978, 1979, 1981), seven-time NFR Qualifier (1977-1981), seven-time Circuit Finals Qualifier, and three-time Cheyenne Frontier Days Champion. His PRCA accomplishments include championships at Cheyenne, Houston, and “Arena Record Fort Worth” (1981). Skeeter was good over any length of score line, short or long, and his riders experienced great success.
Tarleton State University
- 1967 Mens Rodeo Team
The 1967 Tarleton State University NIRA National Champion Rodeo Team and founders of Tarleton’s NIRA Rodeo Program were Bobby Hungate, Charles Bitters, Lionel Lane, Terry Walls, Johnny Kirk Edmonson, Billy Albin, and Randy Magers. At its first southern region competition in 1965, the team finished second regionally and fourth nationally. In 1966, they placed first regionally and third nationally. After changing to the southwest region, the 1967 Tarleton team won their region and went on to win the NIRA National Championship. They qualified all four years for the nationals as individuals and as a team. Because of their initiative, Tarleton State University developed an outstanding rodeo program and winning tradition. The team was inducted into the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ted and Marcia Smalley
Ted Smalley, a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, participated in three events, calf roping, steer wrestling, and bareback riding. He was born December 10, 1930 in Alamosa Colorado.
Marcia Minor Smalley was born December 6, 1937 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Marcia was a self-taught trick rider, contestant, and rodeo queen. Ted and Marcia were married in 1958 and two years later established their home in Burkburnett, Texas where they lived until her death March 11, 2012 and Ted’s on May 18, 2014.
In 1948 at the age of 18, Ted joined the Rodeo Cowboy Association (now PRCA). He served as flag judge at the 1969 NFR in Oklahoma City. In 1972, he won the calf roping at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. Ted served on the RCA Board of Directors and was a PRCA Gold Card holder. In his later years, he competed in team roping as a member of the Coors Team Roping Association and the United States Team Roping Association. At 83, Ted was still active, serving on the board of the Rodeo Cowboy Alumni Association.
At the age of 19, Marcia joined the Rodeo Cowboys Association (now PRCA) and in 1957 went to New York City with the Gene Autry/Everett Colburn Rodeo Company participating in the Quadrille. She competed in the Women’s Pro Rodeo all-girl events: barrel racing, goat tying, and steer un-decorating. In 1973, Marcia placed third in the WPRA standings in steer un-decorating. She also worked as a professional rodeo secretary and timer. Marcia held two Gold Cards, in the PRCA and in the WPRA. She was also a member of the Rodeo Cowboy Alumni Association.
Don Ward grew up in Houston but was raised around horses and rodeos. His father, a veterinarian, was active in the Harris County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse and kept horses at his clinic. As a kid, Don, attended many performances of the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo in the old coliseum. His heroes were guys like Jim Shoulders, Harry Tompkins and especially Casey Tibbs who he met once while riding in the grand entry carrying the 4-H flag…Don not Casey.
Don tried his hand at riding bulls and bareback broncs in the late 60’s mostly at little “open” rodeos around Houston. Once he asked Myrtis Dightman, a local legend even then, for advice and Myrtis said, “Son you ought to quit before you get hurt”. He did not (what cowboy would?) and he did and shortly but family obligations ended his brief career as a contestant.
Regardless, he never lost his love for rodeo and is a Life Member of both Rodeo Houston and Rodeo Austin. He served for over 10 years on the Austin Calf Scramble Committee and was Chairman in 2000. In the spirit of TRCHF founder, Johnny Boren, Don is dedicated to the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2006, was Chairman from 2008 to 2013 and currently serves as Executive Secretary. He was instrumental in the move from Belton to the Fort Worth Stockyards in 2011 and re-writing the Bylaws in 2013. Don and his wife Leslie live in Austin.
Oscar the bull fighting buzzard
Oscar, currently 49 years young, is reportedly the oldest buzzard in captivity and is also a cancer survivor. She is actually a female Black Vulture having laid two eggs at age 17. She is owned and trained by Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame 2009 Inductee Ralph “Fizzy” Fisher. Oscar has entertained thousands of rodeo fans throughout the years with her ability to perch on Ralph’s hat and spread her wings while studying a bull rider in the chute. This delighted the crowd but was understandably unnerving for many a young cowboy. She also traveled and performed with ZZ Top. A multi-talented buzzard.
Preserving Rodeo History
Honoring Rodeo Achievement