Ken Roberts – The Legendary Bull Rider
Ken Roberts, the Bull Riders, is one of the many people who have participated in one of the longest pastimes in the history of sports. Bull riding has created a phenomenon that can be traced as far back as the Minoan culture and continues to be a roaring sport in the country.
Fast-Tracking the History of Bull Riding
Before Ken Roberts appeared on the bull riding scene, it was still a sport that was favored by many. During the 16th century, it was found to grow increasingly popular. Back in the day, bull riding consisted of riding a bull until it literally stopped bucking – or you died from it.
This was, of course, taking the sport to an extreme. Fast-tracking through history to the era of Ken Roberts (1918-1975), we can see that there was a dramatic shift in the sport and the activities that transpired. Instead of riding the bull “to death”, the sport measures how long a rider can stay on the bull.
The History of Ken Roberts the Bull Rider
Born on January 22, 1918, Ken Roberts was your typical boy – playing with cowboy action figures and wearing a cowboy hat at all times. It was to no surprise that this young rodeo-lover was going to one day go on to win three consecutive bull riding championships.
Joining his first-ever contest in 1933 at the Clyde Miller Wild West Show, he won it consecutively three times. This phenomenon led him to his first ProRodeo bull riding championship award in 1936 in Chicago. From this point forward, Ken Roberts would be officially a “professional circuit” rider with full-time responsibility to his career.
Even into his 50’s, Ken Roberts was still winning medals for daytime bull riding competitions – placing first in many different competitions.
From 1943 to 1945, Ken Roberts won the World Championship for professional circuit bull riding three years in a row. Using his expertise, he managed to set records that blew past any other previous competitor.
His extraordinary talents have led him to a hall of fame as one of the best bull riders in history. With his tragic passing on September 13, 1975 at 57 years old.
Although Ken Roberts, the bull rider, may not be with us any longer, he will remain a staple in the history of bull riding and has set standards that many people only dream of reaching.