Roy “Tuffy” Thompson, the third of six children, was born on March 22, 1933 to Orin and Hazel Thompson in Miami, Texas. Growing up in a ranching family in Stinnett, Texas started his love of horses and roping. As a young child, Tuffy broke horses, cowboyed and competed in junior rodeos with his siblings.
In 1951, Tuffy claimed the NHSRA All-Around Cowboy title along with the calf roping and steer wrestling titles. Thompson credits many with helping him along the way. Nig Reed provided Tuffy with a horse and a practice pen to hone his skills. Tuffy went on to compete in the amateur ranks in calf roping, steer wrestling and team roping. Then he went into the PRCA in calf roping and steer roping.
Tuffy qualified eight times for the NFSR between 1972-1983 winning the World Champion title in 1973 and 1975. Among his wins were San Angelo Roping Fiesta steer roping titles in 1971, 1977 and 1980, Windy Ryon steer roping champion in 1975 and Cheyenne Frontier Days 1983 champion steer roper at the age of 50. That same year he became a Gold Card member. He also competed in the Senior Steer Roping Association. In 1996, Thompson was still a top competitor winning another saddle at the Pitchfork Ranch team roping.
Because of the help he received, Tuffy always wanted to help others, especially kids. Thompson and his family hosted benefit steer ropings for Girlstown during the 1970s. His arena has welcomed many ropers of all levels or someone who wanted to ride a horse. He has always been willing to loan a horse to a young cowboy or seasoned veteran.
Tuffy continues to raise horses and run wheat pasture cattle in Happy, Texas. In his spare time, he still enjoys helping his grandkids and others.