All Inductees
J.R. Akridge

J. R. Akridge

I was born June 13, 1927, at Megargel, Texas. We soon moved to Pampa, Texas, where in my early teens I began riding colts for the Hooks’ Ranches in Texas and Kansas.

In December of 1943, I joined the Navy and served for three years during World War II and saw combat in the Marshall Islands, Sipan, & Guam which included encounters with many kamikaze planes and having a ship sunk out from under me.

I was discharged in 1946 and began my rodeo career by working amateur rodeos in Texas and Oklahoma In 1949 I joined the RCA and rodeoed in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico and Canada.

In 1954 at Davis Oklahoma, I drew a new horse of Butlers called Bob Dodge who went backwards over my head and shoulders, jack knifing me together in the chute slipping eight vertebras and completely severing my spinal cord in three places. Jiggs Butler said no one else would have to get on him after the career ending fit he threw with me.

I worked the bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding and steer wrestling events.  One of the highlights I remember was throwing a steer in 2.8 seconds behind a four-foot barrier in Dixon California.

Some of the rodeo I worked were:
In Texas: Amarillo, Archer City, Borger, Breckenridge, Brownfield, Dalhart, Electra, El Paso, Fort worth, Gruver, Littlefield, Lubbock, Monahans, Paducah, Pampa, Perryton, Post, Seymour, Snyder, Spur and Stamford.

In California: Angel Camp, Bishop, Blyth, Chico, Clovis, Dixon, El Cajon, Fortune, Fresno, Kernville, Lone Pine, Long beach, Los Banos, Merced, Modesto, Paseo Robles, Redding, Riverside, Shafter, Sonora, Stockton and 29 Palms.

In Canada: Black Diamond, Cardston, Carnation, Hanna, High River and Holden (all in Alberta) & Cloverdale in British Colombia.

Other: Fort Smith, Arkansas, Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma, Arizona, Denver, Colorado, Caldwell, Idaho, Kalispell and Missoula, Montana, Las Cruces and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ada, Davis, Enid, Guymon and Stockyards Coliseum at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Grant Pass, Klamath Falls, Myrtles Point, Portland and Roseburg, Oregon