Rodeo Insider: As 2013 draws to a close, bygone feats are remembered

Posted Monday, Dec. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Forty years ago, in 1973, legendary bull and bronc buster Larry Mahan earned a record sixth world all-around title in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, breaking Jim Shoulders’ record of five that was set in 1959.

As 2013 closes, the anniversaries of numerous remarkable feats must be acknowledged.

Fifteen years ago, Ty Murray broke the record of six world all-around titles that was shared by Mahan and Tom Ferguson (a roper/steer wrestler who won PRCA world all-around titles from 1974 through 1979). Like Mahan, Murray qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.

Today, Murray lives near Stephenville, and Mahan resides near Bowie.

In 1983, Roy Cooper grabbed attention when he won world titles in the all-around, tie-down roping and steer roping categories. Today, Cooper lives in Decatur.

In 1988, Dave Appleton of Arlington became the first Australian to win a PRCA world title. Appleton, who competed in bronc riding events, clinched the world all-around title after rallying on the final day of the National Finals in Las Vegas.

During the 1988 National Finals, Jim Sharp became the first cowboy to stay on all 10 bulls at the PRCA’s championship show. Today, Sharp lives in Stephenville.

In 1993, Charmayne James clinched a record 10th Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world barrel racing title aboard her legendary barrel racing horse, Scamper. James recently announced she will come out of retirement to compete in the RFD-TV’s The American, a $2 million rodeo that will be March 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

In 2003, Dan Mortensen clinched a record-tying sixth world saddle bronc riding title at the National Finals in Las Vegas. He’s tied with 1950s legend Casey Tibbs. Mortensen also is coming out of retirement to saddle up for The American.

In 2003, Guy Allen clinched his 17th steer roping world title, but more importantly, Allen broke Jim Shoulders’ record for the most gold buckles. Shoulders won his 16th world buckle at the inaugural National Finals Rodeo at Dallas’ Fair Park Coliseum in 1959.

Allen earned an 18th world steer roping title in 2004, and he held the PRCA record for the most gold buckles until this year. On Nov. 9, Trevor Brazile of Decatur tied Allen’s record of 18 world championships when Brazile clinched the PRCA’s 2013 world steer roping title at the National Finals Steer Roping in Guthrie, Okla.

Brazile surpassed Allen for the most gold buckles when Brazile mathematically clinched the 2013 world all-around title on Dec. 10 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, which pushed his total of championships to 19. Brazile, who turned pro in 1996, has 11 world all-around titles, four steer roping gold buckles, three tie-down roping championships and one No. 1 finish for the year in team roping heading.

On the National Cutting Horse Association circuit in 2003, Chiquta Pistol and Tag Rice won the Triple Crown (the Fort Worth-based Futurity, Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular). And on the Professional Bull Riders circuit, organizers began awarding the world champion a $1 million bonus in 2003, and two-time gold buckle winner Chris Shivers became the first cowboy to cash in.

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