Sammie Groves was born and raised a Texas Cowboy. He entered his first rodeo in 1962, at the age of 15, and became a member of the RCA in 1965. At an early age Sammie competed in Saddle Bronc, Bareback and Bull Riding events. In 1970, Sammie made his first trip to the NFR in Oklahoma City as an alternate Saddle Bronc Contestant. Only earning $59 for the week and competing against bronc riding greats like, Marty Wood, Sammie was determined to make the NFR again.
In 1971 daughter, KayLee, was born to wife, Patti Lamoureaux, and the family moved to Oklahoma. Recovering from a broken ankle Sammie spent time in the saddle shop building saddles like his old Hamley. Barely missing the 1972 Finals, wins like Louisville and Indianapolis in 1973 earned Sammie his second trip to the NFR.
By 1974, Sammie completely dominated the Oklahoma Circuit by winning rodeos such as Tulsa, Woodward, Claremore, Guthrie and Ponca City which qualified him for his third trip to the NFR. Other wins that year included Baton Rouge, Springdale, Indianapolis, Kissimmee, Chicago and Sikeston.
Sammie started off 1975 by winning the National Western Rodeo in Denver. Haunted at the next few rodeos by Beutler’s, Traveler, Sammie never gave up. He won the Oil Circuit Saddle Bronc Championship and qualified for his fourth NFR. He went into the Finals in second place, rode all but one horse and placed in one round giving Sammie his best finish yet – 4th in the World.
His fifth trip to the NFR was in 1977, where Chief Crazy Horse lived up to his name and flipped in the chute, crushing the end of Sammie’s middle finger on his riding hand. Although in pain, Sammie got on his next four horses and even placed in the ninth round.
Sammie’s final trip to the NFR was in 1978, where he finished 15th in the World. He won the Prairie Circuit Finals in 1979 and his rodeo career continued into the 80’s where he placed at rodeos like Denver, Ft Smith, Memphis, Kansas City and San Antonio. He later returned to his childhood home of New Deal, Texas, where he lived with son Cody and wife, Judi Tillema Groves, whom he married in 1981. He later returned to his childhood home of New Deal, Texas. In 1981 he married Judi Tillema Groves, and they raised son Cody.
As his own career faded Sammie began coaching Cody at amateur rodeos. Sammie spent his last few years trading horses and roping steers.
Sammie Joe Groves was born December 19, 1947 in Lubbock, Texas to Edgar and Juanita (Barrington) Groves and passed on June 20, 2002 at his home in New Deal, Texas. He will forever be remembered as a Bronc Rider and a Texas Cowboy.