Australian-bred Dave Appleton rode his first bareback bronc at 16 and went on to compete in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, and bull riding. At 18, he joined the Australian Rough Riders Association (ARRA) and qualified for the ARRA National Finals in bareback and saddle bronc. In 1980, Dave came to America to rodeo and attended Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. In 1982, he started rodeoing professionally. Dave qualified for the PRCA National Finals Rodeo 11 times and, in 1988, became the first Australian to win a world rodeo championship when he was named 1988 World Champion All-Around Cowboy. Nicknamed “The Lone Roo,” Dave’s outgoing personality made him popular on and off the rodeo circuit.
East Texan Jeff Chapman has had a rope in his hand since age 4. He won several youth rodeo championships, including the National High School Rodeo Finals in calf roping in 1989. He received his PRCA card in 1990 and qualified for the National Finals five times, with six go-round wins in his career. In 1997, he set the arena record at the National Finals in the 9th go-round with a time of 6.8 seconds. Jeff qualified for the Canadian National Finals five times and won the Canadian World Championship in 2005. He also won the Calgary Stampede in 1997 and 2008, and many PRCA rodeos, including Dodge City, Kansas; San Antonio, Texas (twice); San Francisco; Jackson, Mississippi; Napa, Idaho (twice); and several others.
A PRCA Gold Card holder, Les Cochran started riding and roping at 6, joined the AJRA at 12, and won several AJRA championships. He received his PRCA card in 1978, after winning many Texas open rodeos and calf ropings. Les was 1978 Lone Star Circuit PRCA Rookie of the Year in calf roping and qualified for the LSC Finals every year from 1978-1988, also winning or placing in numerous PRCA rodeos. In 1987, Les won Jackson, MS; Industry, CA; set the arena record at Phoenix; and won the second round in Calgary. He qualified for the NFR in 1987, placed in the first round, and won the ninth. Today, he still coaches kids, trains horses, and dedicates his life to preserving rodeo culture.
Brady Crumpler began riding bulls in high school. By his senior year, he had accumulated many wins and branched out to bareback and saddle bronc riding, winning all-around and bronc riding titles throughout college. Brady bought his PRCA permit in 1973 and was runner-up for Rookie of the Year in saddle bronc in 1976. In 1977, he was in the top 15 standings in bronc riding. In 1978, Brady won bull riding at Denver and won rodeos in Edmonton, placed at Calgary and placed ninth in the world bull riding standings until he was gored by a bull at Calgary. The last 10 years of his career, he rode saddle broncs and was in the Texas Circuit’s top 15 in 1990.
Dave Samsel, may have been born in Kansas and raised in Nebraska, but this self- taught bull rider moved to Stephenville, TX as soon as he could. Late in the fall of 1994 Dave started a bull riding career at the age of 23 that would span an amazing 20 years and earn him over $1.3 million earnings. In 1996 Dave headed for the Cowboy Capital in search of new traveling partners and to follow a dream of becoming a Professional Bull Rider that would take him across the US, Canada, Australia, and Brazil... Dave soon qualified 6x for the PBR Finals 1999-2004, CBR Finals 5x’s and the NFR in 2007. Career highlights consisted of PBR International Champion in Australia 2000, Bullnanza PBR Champion 2001 and PRCA Wrangler Tour Champion 2007 and the only bull rider to have won the Bull riding title in Salinas, CA in both the PBR (2001, 2003) and the PRCA (2007). A consistent top 15 rider at every level Dave retired in 2012 only to make a return to competition in 2014, to win the world Bull riding championship in the Professional RoughStock Series at the age of 43. Since then Dave stays active in the rodeo industry by hosting his own charity events, benefiting injured rodeo contestants, judging, and teaching bull riding clinics across the USA.
From a young age, LeeAnn Guilkey dreamed of being one of the best barrel racers in the world. When a big chestnut stud horse named Rackum On Man, aka “Kid,” came into her life, she took her family and Kid on the road. LeeAnn and Kid spent 15 years rodeoing. She qualified for the NFR four times, was one of the top five barrel racers in the world four times, was a two-time Winston Rodeo Series Champion Barrel Racer, qualified for the Texas Circuit finals multiple times (1983-1995), was Houston Rodeo Champion Barrel Racer (1982), set the Arena Record for the NFR (1981), was Texas Circuit Finals Average Champion (1983), and won WPRA Reserve World Champion (1984).
Delia Walls has been a rodeo secretary for 47 years, including AJRA and Junior Rodeo, UPRA, CPRA, and PRCA-approved rodeos. She has been secretary for the CPRA Finals, timed the UPRA Finals, and timed the Texas Circuit Finals twice. Delia has been a PRCA Gold Card member since 1998. In 2016, she worked for five different rodeo contractors and 14 rodeos, while working full-time at United States Team Roping, where she has worked for 16 years. Delia lives on 360 acres north of Stephenville, where she raises cattle and bucking bulls.
Doug began a long and productive rodeo career at 19 by joining the SRA in 1952 and RCA in 1955. Honors are: 1954 SRA All Around Champion, 6th place calf roping; 1952-54 Burwell, Nebraska Bareback Champion; 1952-54 Cheyenne Bull Riding Champion. He continued to win and place in major rodeos in Houston, Denver and Cheyenne, making the 1961 Dallas and 1964 Los Angeles finals. Doug currently holds a PRCA Gold card and is a PRCA permanent member. He trained and sold barrel racing horses while competing. He and wife created the first barrel racing school in the Brazos Valley in 1961. He mentored many adults and youths by supplying an arena and teaching bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing for many years.
Steve Fryar competed in calf roping and steer wrestling for Tarleton State University (1971-1977) and was inducted into its Alumni Hall of Fame. He was the 1976 Southwest Region Champion Steer Wrestler at the CNFR in Bozeman, won the CNFR and National Championship in steer wrestling in 1977. Steve’s PRCA career lasted 21 years (1974-1995). He placed at many rodeos and was seventeenth in the world in 1976. He qualified for the NFR in 1980 in steer wrestling and finished twelfth in the world standings. Steve was the champion steer wrestler at the 1975 Stephenville PRCA Rodeo and the 1976 Odessa PRCA Rodeo. After retiring, he continued to participate in calf ropings and serve the rodeo community. Steve passed away in January 2017.
James Francis “Jim” Dougherty
Jim Dougherty began competing in youth rodeos in 1953 at age 14 and won the national calf roping title in 1956. He was on the rodeo teams at Sul Ross and Texas A&I universities. After college, Jim was a winning calf roper and team roper in many RCA rodeos. In the 1970s, Jim and his son competed successfully on the South Texas team roping rodeo circuit. In the 1980s, Jim competed in steer roping. He served as president of the Texas Youth Rodeo Association and president of the George West Roping Club, ensuring it became PRCA-sanctioned. Jim’s rodeo career ended November 4, 1984, when he sustained a head injury while competing in the steer roping short round at the San Angelo Roping Fiesta.
James R. “Bud” Walker
Bud Walker began rodeoing at 12, winning the tie-down at the Cotulla Youth Rodeo in 1961. He won his first all-around saddle in the Texas Youth Rodeo Association at 16, and continued rodeoing through high school and Southwest Junior College, where his team won region many times. Bud was a member of the 1968 Southwest Texas State College team that placed third at the National College Finals. As Bud aged, team roping became a hobby. The last team roping saddle he won was just months before he became terminally ill. Bud shared his love of roping and riding with his children and grandchildren, and many others. He was a humble man of exceptional character who epitomized the cowboy life.
Stormy Weather owned by Tommy Steiner
Stormy Weather became one of the top bucking horses in the PRCA. He was selected for the National Finals Rodeo in bareback riding in 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978, and in saddle bronc riding in 1982 and 1983. Stormy was voted the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year in 1975. He was bucked 48 times that year, and only four cowboys managed to ride him to the whistle. In 1976, Stormy Weather carried Chris LeDoux to his first world championship with a second-place score of 78 in the tenth round. The silhouette of this duo during that ride is used on all Chris LeDoux memorabilia. In 1978, Stormy was voted Lone Star Circuit Saddle Bronc of the Year.
West of the Pecos Rodeo
The West of the Pecos Rodeo, home of the world’s first rodeo, dates back to 1883, when two cowboys met on July 4 to best the other at roping. Today, West of the Pecos draws about 14,000 fans and more than 400 contestants over its four-day span. It is one of the PRCA’s top 40 prize money rodeos and earned its place in the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2008. West of the Pecos stays true to its roots, allowing locals to compete in various events, including the Cloverleaf Classic Barrel Race, West of the Pecos Classic Team Roping, Hide Race, and Wild Cow Milking. With its Play Day series, the rodeo aims to keep the rodeo tradition alive and raise up the next generation of cowboys and cowgirls.
It’s hard to imagine where the world of barrel racing would be without Vickie Adams. Her list of accomplishments in the arena is as impressive as it is long; NFR Qualifier, 2x Texas Circuit Finals qualifier, Lone Star Circuit Year End winner, and champion barrel racer of some of the top rodeos in the country. But, it is her contributions outside of the arena that have made her a legend in the industry.
Vickie is the owner and manager of Firewater Creek Ranch in Collinsville, Texas, and is one of the leading breeders of barrel horses in the world. Her love of Flit Bar bred horses has become the foundation of some of the most amazing barrel horses to ever run down the alley. A partnership with the late Celie Whitcomb-Ray resulted in the breeding of Flit Bar to the great mare, Slash J Harletta. The result was the great stallion, Fire Water Flit. Mention that name to anyone in the barrel racing world, and their eyes will light up. Besides being a champion competitor himself, his offspring have been setting records for decades and show no signs of slowing down.
Vickie has used her business sense and her expertise to shape the industry in more than just the breeding barn. The Gold Card member has been a spokeswoman for the Women’s Professional Barrel Racing Association for many years. She is the current manager of the WPRA’s Pro Elite Sire Incentive Program. She is on the advisory board of the Future Fortunes Barrel Stallion Program and has been a director for over 10 years for the Barrel Futurities of America.
J. Pat Evans
Rodeo is, without a doubt one of the most dangerous sports in the world. So, it is hard to believe where the entire sport of rodeo would be without Dr. J. Pat Evans.
J. Pat, a native of Texas, was playing football on a scholarship for Whitworth College in Spokane, WA, when an injury to his knee ended his football career but started his medical career. He became a Physical Therapist and was then accepted to the University of Texas Southwest Medical School. He became a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery. J. Pat was one of the first surgeons to limit his practice to sports medicine. He was the Team Physician for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970 to 1989, and the Dallas Mavericks from 1980 to 1992.
It wasn’t until he found a rodeo cowboy waiting on the doorstep of his office in the mid 1970’s that J.Pat found his legacy. He had become disillusioned with the attitude of sports athletes, who seemed to care more about financial benefits of their sport than the true aspects of the sport itself. Most rodeo athletes had no guaranteed paycheck and little to no access to medical care. J. Pat began working, usually free of charge, to rodeo contestants throughout the country. In 1979, he presented his idea of a rodeo health care system to a fellow athletic trainer, Don Andrews. With the help of the Justin Boot Corporation, the Justin Sports Medicine Program was born.
The Justin Sports Medicine Program provides a network of emergency physicians, orthopedists, trauma specialist, athletic trainers, physical therapists, massage therapist, hospitals, and clinics around the country to provide comprehensive medical coverage to the professional rodeo contestant. The Justin Sports Medicine Program covers over 125 rodeos a year, handles over 6,000 injury cases, and has 3 custom designed Mobile Sports Medicine Centers that cover over 87,000 miles a year traveling from rodeo to rodeo.
J. Pat was recently asked if he ever thought his idea of medical care for rodeo cowboys would have ever gotten this big. He just simply smiled and replied, “It was my dream all along.”
T. E. Beck
T. E. Beck is a husband, father, grandfather, rancher, horseman, cattleman, sheep and goat man, cedar chopper, banker and a COWBOY.
He has lived on the family ranch since 1948 where he still resides today. He presently serves on many committees both civic and school oriented and is a member of the Texas Senior Pro Rodeo Association. He also serves as Treasurer of the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame board of directors since 2006.
Preserving the Past
Promoting the Future