All Inductees
Smurf Horton

Michael "Smurf" Horton

Rodeo Personnel

Michael “Smurf” Horton was born February 5, 1962 in Conway, Arkansas. At the age of 10, he moved to Florida. While growing up on ranches in central and southern Florida, Michael discovered he was pretty good at dodging the angry cows and bulls in the working pens and became quite comfortable at it.

As soon as Michael was old enough to drive and could slip off without his mother knowing, he would head straight to Mr. Pat Hansel’s rodeo arena. There he participated in bull riding as well as honed his skills as a bullfighter, saving the cowboys.

Riding bulls brought much satisfaction, but not always a check. Smurf liked the fact that after every rodeo, when working in the capacity as clown and bullfighter, a check would be waiting and decided clowning was the way to go. Two years after receiving his contestant card, Smurf received his rodeo clown and bullfighter card. His friend Lynn Barlow introduced him to Bob Barnes in 1982, and this became the first opportunity outside of Florida for Smurf to showcase his talents. Two years later, Mack Altizer gave him a chance to work the George West, Texas PRCA Rodeo. After a one year hiatus, due to a knee injury, Smurf returned to Texas and Bad Company, never to look back. The exposure gained while working for Bad Company Rodeo later landed him a position on the Wrangler Bullfighting Tour. Smurf made it count, becoming the 1987 Wrangler World Champion and 1987 Cheyenne Frontier Days Champion.

Smurf has enjoyed working some of the greatest rodeos and bull ridings ever, such as the Calgary Stampede; Ft. Worth Stock Show Rodeo; San Angelo; El Paso, Albuquerque, New Mexico; George Paul Memorial Bull Riding; Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo, and the National Finals Rodeo in 1987 and 1988.