James Daniel (Jim) Houston was born 2-25-40 in Nebraska City, NE growing up in nearby Omaha. His interest in rodeo began as a youth when visiting the Cheyenne rodeo, but competition in the sport began only after high school. Cody, Wyoming summer rodeos were learning grounds, obtaining his Pro Rodeo card at age 21 in 1961; being awarded top rookie in bareback riding.
His 1st National Finals Rodeo was 1962, placing 9th. At that NFR on his last ride, the horse broke his arm and also his rigging. 1963 saw limited competition but he ended up 8th.
In 1964, he had enough money to win his 1st WORLD title without having to compete, but he did. At the 1965 NFR, he was injured in the 2nd round but completed all 10 rides to win the WORLD on the last horse. 1966- 2nd in world, 1967- 9th, 1968-Bareback average, 2nd in the world and 5th at his first NFR in steer wrestling; 2nd in the All-Around.
Soon after, bareback competition was lessened, and steer wrestling continued for a few more years. At this time, the rodeo equipment business in Burkburnett, Texas was in full force. Creating a hard iron hand hold and all rawhide riggin was the main product. This hold allowed the rider to perform more laid back and giving a wilder spurring style. In the early 1970s, the company was sold to Neil Barstow who continues today in Texas.
During the summers of 1974-1977 in Cody and 1978-1986 in Jackson Hole (in partnership with Mike Cervi) rodeos were produced.
1979 was the inaugural year for the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Jim was recognized. In 2013 he was honored through the Rodeo Historical Society at the National Cowboy & Western Museum in Oklahoma City.