All Inductees

John Routh

Bull Fighter

John’s rodeo career began unexpectedly in 1956 at an amateur event in Mexia, Texas. With the scheduled clown sidelined due to a broken leg, John was drafted to assist the bull riders. This impromptu role led him to seek employment with Roland Reid. Despite initial reluctance, Reid hired John, largely due to a shortage of alternatives.

That fall, John’s academic pursuits took him to East Texas State Teachers College, but his passion for rodeo outweighed his interest in academics. He soon found himself participating in college and amateur rodeos, until he officially joined the R.C.A. in 1962.

John’s professional debut as a rodeo clown took place in Andalusia, Alabama. His career quickly expanded, taking him to Canada to work for Harry Vold and Reg Kessler in his second year. The following seasons saw him collaborate with Tommy Steiner, Neal Gay, and Tim Shoulders, among others. A significant partnership formed with Kajun Kidd; the duo worked together for the remainder of John’s career, appearing in numerous rodeos across the United States and even Honolulu, Hawaii.

Throughout his career, John had the privilege of working for and with some of the most respected names in the rodeo industry. This includes promoters like Neal Gay, Tommy Steiner, and Jim Shoulders, as well as fellow performers such as Kajun Kidd, Jr. Meek, and many others. John’s extensive list of colleagues and locations underscores a rich and diverse career in rodeo, marked by both broad geographic reach and a deep network of professional relationships.