In the world of livestock, no other sport can compare to the exhilaration equivocated from either spectating or participating in a rodeo and bull riding is the premier event. It’s the ultimate challenge between man vs beast. In all the years of this sport, only a few cowboys really stand out as legends.
Bull riders and saddle bronc riders spend hours training and preparing and through it all, there’s still the unknown. With the combination of skill, talent, and training, there’s still quite a bit of luck factored in and during this 8-second ride, anything can happen. For those cowboys who ride out the brutality and punishment, earn great respect.
Did you know the Schneider brothers, from 1929-1937, were the first to win world championship titles in bull riding and bareback riding, but Frank Schneider, a 2012 Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inductee, was a special kind of cowboy, earning titles in both bull riding in 1933 and 1934 in Caliente, CA, and a bareback riding title in 1935.
The year before (1932) Schneider became a world champ, he set the world record while steer decorating with a time of 2.5 seconds at the Los Angeles Rodeo, which stood for many years.
While competing internationally, he won the bulldogging championship at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, Australia in 1936; and in 1941, Frank Schneider achieved his proudest moment while competing at the inaugural Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco, CA accomplishing a task no other rider had ever accomplished, riding saddle bronc on an unridden horse named Starlight.
This past weekend, I was at a Bull Fest and 19 riders compete on some of the rankest bulls in the area. The crowd was fired up as the fireworks outlined each rider in the middle of the arena as they presented the crowd. The bull fighters were pumped up and ready for the challenge. Some riders were thrown right out of the gate and others held on for 4 or 5 seconds, but only 1 rider rode for 8 seconds, scoring an 85 for the night. The crowd cheered with exuberation and the rider threw his hat with joy. In the grand scheme of things, can you imagine traveling from week to week, competing in different venues, and trying to stay atop the leaderboard? These riders are beat up and injured most of the season and only the strong survive when it comes time to compete at the world championships. Just think, Frank Schneider rode in an era when riding was simply the will to win… My question to you is, can the riders of yesteryear be compared to the riders of today?
The 3 time champion rough stock cowboy personality fit the mold as those around Frank Schneider described the legend as a, “prankster, daring, gutsy and talented”! Imagine the level of competition to be the best and to become better during the pinnacle of Franks illustrious career. This cowboy shaped the sport into what it is today and we salute Frank Schneider (1912-1983)…