Lane Frost

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Lane Clyde Frost
Lane-frost.jpg
Lane Frost at a rodeo event
Born (1963-10-12)October 12, 1963
La Junta, Otero County
Colorado, USA
Died July 30, 1989(1989-07-30) (aged 25)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Resting place
Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Oklahoma
Alma mater Atoka High School
Occupation Professional bull rider
Spouse(s) Kellie Kyle Frost (married 1985-1989, his death)

Lane Clyde Frost (October 12, 1963 – July 30, 1989) was an American professional bull rider and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) member, who died in the arena at the 1989 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo as a result of injuries sustained riding the bull Takin' Care of Business.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

At the time of Lane's birth, his parents lived in Lapoint, Utah. However, his father, Clyde, was on the rodeo circuit as a saddle bronc and bareback rider. His mother, Elsie, went to stay with her parents in Kim, Colorado, while she waited for him to arrive. He was born in the hospital in La Junta in Otero County, Colorado, the closest medical facility to Kim. He has an older sister, Robin, and a younger brother, Cody.

Lane started riding dairy calves on the family dairy farm when he was five or six. When he was nine, he first got on a bull. However, to the relief of his family, he met Don Gay about that time; Don told him that he should just ride calves and steers until his bones were more fully developed. Elsie says that she and Clyde had been telling him the same thing, but "Of course, he listened to Don."

At age fifteen, Lane started to ride bulls on a regular basis. Before that, he had been competing on calves and steers. His first rodeo awards were won in 1974, when he was 10, at the "Little Buckaroos" Rodeos held in Uintah Basin. He stayed on a bucking Shetland Pony to win first in bareback, took second in calf roping, and rode a calf in the "bull riding" event to place third. While rodeoing wasn't the way of life his parents exactly wanted for him, they never discouraged him, and helped him whenever they could.

Lane spent his first fourteen years in Utah, doing chores on the dairy farm his parents owned, and later competing in various rodeo events. When he was in junior high school (seventh and eighth grade), in Vernal, Utah, he excelled in wrestling. Although he never did so before entering junior high, as many of the other boys had done, because of his interest in rodeo, the coaches still had high expectations for him. He, then weighing only 75 pounds, won 45 matches, lost four times, and had two ties.

Lane also continued competing in the "Little Britches Rodeos", and any other one he could enter, until his parents moved the family to the town of Lane in Atoka County, Oklahoma, in 1978 to escape the harsh Utah winters. He attended Atoka High School in Atoka.[2]

He was taught the art of riding by Clyde and his good friend, Freckles Brown, who was a World Champion Bull Rider. In Oklahoma, he was the National High School Bull Riding Champion in 1981. He was the Bull Riding Champion of the first Youth National Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1982.

On January 5, 1985, he married Kellie Kyle (born 1965), a barrel racer then from Quanah in Hardeman County, west of Wichita Falls, Texas.

Professional career[edit]

Lane joined the PRCA and began rodeoing full-time after graduating from high school in 1982. In 1987, he realized a lifelong dream when he became the PRCA World Champion Bull Rider at age 24. That same year, the great bull Red Rock, owned by Growney Bros. Rodeo Company, was voted Bucking Bull of the Year. In 309 attempts, no one had ever ridden him, and in 1988, at the Challenge of Champions, Lane rode him in seven exhibition matches and was successful in four out of seven tries. He went on to compete at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This was the first time an exhibition rodeo was held at the Olympics.

Death[edit]

On July 30, 1989, at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, after completing a successful 91-point ride on a Brahma bull named "Takin' Care of Business", Lane dismounted and landed in the dirt. The bull turned and hit him in the side with his horn, breaking several of his ribs. He initially rose to his feet, yelling at Tuff Hedeman for help. As he was running and signaling for help, he fell to the ground, causing his heart and lungs to be punctured by the broken ribs. He was rushed to Memorial Hospital. On the discovery that his heart injury was irreparable, the doctors pronounced him dead. No autopsy was performed. He posthumously finished third in the event. Takin' Care of Business went on to appear in the 1990 National Finals Rodeo. He was retired in the 1990s and put out to stud until he died in 1999.

Lane is buried next to his hero and mentor, Freckles Brown, at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo in Choctaw County, Oklahoma.[3]

Legacy[edit]

After Lane's death, Cody Lambert of Merkel near Abilene in Taylor County, Texas, one of his traveling partners, and a founder of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), created the protective vest that all professional cowboys now must wear when riding bulls.[1]

In 1994, the biopic based on Lane's life, 8 Seconds, was released, with Luke Perry cast as him. Stephen Baldwin played his best friend, Tuff Hedeman, now of Morgan Mill in Erath County, Texas.

The medical team for the PBR league is named after Lane, as is the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award, given for the highest scoring ride at the PBR World Finals.[4] The Lane Frost Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hugo is dedicated to his memory.

Country music star Garth Brooks paid tribute to Lane in his music video for the hit single "The Dance". Others also believe that Brooks' song "Beaches of Cheyenne" was a tribute to him. Randy Schmutz paid tribute in the song "A Smile Like That." In addition, the song "Red Rock" by The Smokin' Armadillos is about him, and he is mentioned at the end of Korn's "Hold On" music video.

In August 1990, Lane was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1999, he was named to the PBR Ring of Honor as well as the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, and the Oklahoma Sports Museum.

Lane's parents have authorized Cowboy Bible: The Living New Testament, with a sketch of him on the cover. They reside in Lane, Oklahoma and travel to many rodeos giving speeches in his memory. His widow, Kellie, is now married to Michael Edward Macy (born 1962), a former rodeo performer and a rancher near Post in Garza County, Texas. They have a son and daughter.

A documentary entitled called "The Challenge of the Champions: The Story of Lane Frost and Red Rock" premiered in 2008. It covers the match between him and Red Rock.[5]

In 2012, Texas country music artist Aaron Watson released an album, Real Good Time, which contains a track about Lane's death, "July in Cheyenne".

In 2014, on the 25th anniversary of Lane's death, the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle published as part of its coverage of Cheyenne Frontier Days an article recalling the highlights of his career and his character. His friend, Cody Lambert, is quoted: "I'm a John Wayne fan, and I don't mean any disrespect to John Wayne, but he played the characters that Lane really was."[6]Sage Kimzey (born 1994), the champion bull-rider from Strong City, Oklahoma, said of him: "He's the guy every young bull rider wants to grow up and be like. It's very rare to find a great champion like he was who cared about people so much and made them feel really special."[6]

Tuff Hedeman compared Lane's death to that of the young actor James Dean: "gone way too soon. There was just something special about Frost. Luckily, for me and the people who knew him during that time, we knew that. I appreciated that more than anything. Knowing I was getting to hang out and be great friends with a guy who I knew that we would be great friends forever. Forever just wasn't for that long. I just know in my life he made a significant impact on how you're supposed to do things. How you're supposed to go about it?[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eric Schmoldt, "Lasting Legacy: Lane Frost and the rodeo community", Casper Star-Tribune, July 11, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Bull rider dies after being gored", Tulsa World, July 31, 1989.
  3. ^ "Cowboy's funeral draws throng", AP in Tulsa World, August 3, 1989.
  4. ^ "PBR Bull Riding Dictionary". PBR. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Challenge of Champions: The Story of Lane Frost and Red Rock Premiere", National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (accessed 2013-12-12).
  6. ^ a b c Ian St. Clair (July 19, 2014). "Lane Frost: His legend rides on". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 

http://www.lanefrost.com/Cheyenne.htm

External links[edit]