Bodacious (bull)

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Bodacious the Bull.jpg
Country United States
Breed Charbray
Brand J-31
Sex Bull
Color Yellow
Weight 1,900 pounds (860 kg)
Born 1988
Merrick Ranch, Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma, U.S.
Years active 1992—1995
Breeder Merrick Ranch
Owner Andrews Rodeo Company
Notable riders
Died May 16, 2000(2000-05-16) (aged 12)
Addielou, Red River County, Texas, U.S.
ProRodeo Hall of Fame 1999
Bull Riding Hall of Fame 2017
1992, 1994-95 PRCA Bucking Bull of the NFR
1994—95 PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year
1995 PBR World Champion Bull

Bodacious #J-31 (1988—May 16, 2000) was a bucking bull who was known throughout the rodeo sport of bull riding as "the world's most dangerous bull." He was also known as "the greatest bull ever to buck." In 1999, Bodacious was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, and in 2017 into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame. During his rodeo career he was the 1995 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Champion Bull plus the 1994 and 1995 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) Bucking Bull of the Year. He and Bruiser are the only bulls who have won both titles. Bodacious won his titles in 1995, and Bruiser won his in 2017. Bodacious is most well known for his serious injury to bull riding icon Tuff Hedeman, by which he smashed Hedeman in the face with the back of his head and nearly broke every bone in his face. Hedeman required two reconstructive face surgeries which totaled 13 hours and required six titanium plates. Not long after Bodacious seriously injured Scott Breding, also in the face. His owner, Sammy Andrews, then retired Bodacious, where the bull lived out the remainder of his days on the Andrews Rodeo Company ranch. He died at age 12 in the year 2000 after the medication for a hoof infection caused kidney failure.

Early life[edit]

Bodacious, born in 1988 on the Merrick Ranch in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, was a Charolais/Brahman crossbred known as a Charbray.[1][2] Bodacious was born a unique yellow color,[2] which was the only thing that distinguished him from the rest of the herd, most of whom were gray-blues and creams.[2] Bill McCann, co-owner of Geary Livestock Auction, near Okeene, Oklahoma, regularly bought cattle from the Merrick Ranch and resold them at auction. In one of the loads he bought, he remembered a yellow calf that stood out from the others.[2]

Later, McCann expressed amusement when he recalled selling the most famous bull in bull riding history for a pittance.[2] In the winter of 1991,[3] when a rancher named Jess Kephart came by McCann's auction yard in [2]Kenton, Oklahoma,[3] looking for herd and bucking bulls, the yellow calf that McCann had culled appealed to him. Kephart purchased the calf from McCann and took the bull home to Longdale, Oklahoma. He branded the then-unnamed Bodacious with "J" for his first initial. When the young bull was three years old, Kephart decided Bodacious wasn't what he wanted in a herd bull. When Phil Sumner, a rodeo stock contractor, showed up to see another bull, Kephart offered to throw in "the yellow bull," as he could use some extra cash. Sumner paid Kephard about 50 cents a pound, the going rate for beef on the hoof.[2] It worked out to $700.[4] Unlike McCann, Kephart didn't find it humorous that he sold the bull that would be worth so much for so little.[2] Sumner took Kephart's "J" brand and extended it to J-31: the 3 stood for the month of March, and 1 stood for 1991, the year he bought the bull.[2] He also weighed young Bodacious at 1,200 pounds (540 kg). Sumner never named the bull either due to not feeling sure his bucking ability would give him a good chance at a rodeo career.

Early bucking career[edit]

Sumner brought the skinny three-year-old bull to buck in some local rodeos in northern Oklahoma, but was not impressed with the results.[5][2] At first, the bull could jump high but had no clue what to do with the cowboy on his back. The first three riders easily rode until the whistle on him. "I was thinking, Dude, you’re going to have to step up your game plan or you’re going to be going to McDonald's," Sumner said.[2][5] But one Sunday afternoon, at a rodeo outside Okeene, Oklahoma, things turned around for the young bull. A rookie got his hand caught in his bull rope at the top of the bull's back. When the rider started flailing around the side of the bull, trying to dislodge his hand, Bodacious panicked. The bull spun, jumped, and kicked, trying to get free of the rider flopping at his side. He kicked so high he almost flipped over. He almost jumped over the fence by the time the rider pulled his hand free.[5] "After that, he had a goal: airmail those cowboys."[2] Something happened to Bodacious after that, and he decided he could no longer tolerate anybody on his back or near him anymore.[3]

Most prey animals do not tolerate other animals on their back since that is where they are attacked in the wild or because they do not want to be dominated. When it first occurs, they try to stop it. Usually, it's not a level playing field against humans, and they give in at the end. However, bull's brains are wired differently, and many never tolerate submission. When Bodacious decided he didn't want anyone on his back, he dedicated himself to that goal. He learned more effective and crueler ways to buck people off. Old videos of Bodacious taken from age 3 to age 5 show Bodacious practicing these methods.[5] It didn't take long until bull riders at the local amateur rodeos refused to take on the yellow bull, due to his new-found goal which made him extremely difficult to attempt for amateurs.[2]

1991 amateur season[edit]

Sumner took the bull as an amateur to a few rodeo events at the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA)[6] and the PRCA in 1991. D&H Cattle Company is a well-known and respected stock contractor. However, both father Dillon Page, and son H.D. Page were both professional bull riders prior to being stock contractors and bull breeders. Later the Pages bred and hauled Bodacious' progeny.[7] In 1991, H.D. attempted Bodacious three times, making him the only person familiar with Bodacious from the standpoint of both rider and breeder. The first time Page attempted Bodacious was in Edmond, Oklahoma, in an IPRA sanctioned rodeo when Sumner hauled Bo up there.[3][8] According to Page, Bodacious smashed his face on the way up. Then Page drew the bull a second time at his hometown in Ada, Oklahoma, in a $1,000-added PRCA event. His friends convinced Page to wear a helmet this time. Page maintains that the bull got him in the face again but on the way back down instead, right through the helmet. The very next weekend at Athens, Texas, he drew the bull again. Page said, "You've got to be kidding me!" Page developed a game plan this time, but sure enough the bull hit him in the face again. However, this time Page managed to stay on for the requisite eight seconds, but one of the judges disqualified him for a slap. A slap or any other touching of the bull with the free hand is against the rules and disqualifies the rider, even if he stays on for the required time.[8]

In 1991, at a PRCA event, two-time World Bull Riding Champion Terry Don West rode Bodacious for West's first of two qualified rides. His ride went down in history as the first qualified ride on the as yet unknown bull, and the prize money bore that out, as West won only $181. His ride was the first qualified ride, yet it was not the first qualified professional ride.[9][4]

One day when Sumner was watching the bull roam around his pasture near Goltry, Oklahoma, he realized he might have a major league bull. Sumner figured Bodacious was too much bull for the local rodeo circuit, so he contacted his friend Sammy Andrews of the Andrews Rodeo Company in Addielou, Texas,[1][2] a third-generation stock contractor.[10] Like McCann and Kephart before him, Sumner had no idea just how high-caliber a bull he was passing on.[1][2] Sumner sold him to Andrews in 1992 for $7,500.[4] Andrews gave Bodacious his name, and hauled the bull to buck at rodeos for his entire professional career.[1]

Professional PRCA and PBR career[edit]

Under Andrews' ownership, Bodacious bucked professionally on both the PRCA and PBR circuits. Bodacious bucked for two years in the PBR, in 1994 and 1995.[11] He bucked for four years in the PRCA, from 1992-1995.

1992 season[edit]

Bodacious only bucked on the PRCA circuit in this season. In 1992, soon after he bought the bull, Andrews took Bodacious to Houston, Texas, to one of the PRCA's biggest rodeos, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Hall of fame bull rider Cody Lambert was matched with Bodacious, who knocked him unconscious.[2][12] Later in 1992, Bubba Dunn drew the bull at Lufkin, Texas. Since Dunn had never heard of Bodacious, he asked the bull's owner what to expect. Andrews told him the bull had a lot of down, which meant Dunn should watch out for the bull's head meeting up with his own. Dunn made the whistle at eight seconds and became the first rider to make a professional qualified ride on Bodacious.[2] Two months after Dunn rode Bodacious, Canadian Greg Schlosser drew Bodacious in San Antonio, Texas. Earlier, Lambert had warned Schlosser about Bodacious, saying that the bull was one of the baddest bulls he had been on. Schlosser had flown in all the way from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and was undeterred after traveling so far. Schlosser made the whistle and scored 82 points on Bodacious.[2]

Meanwhile, Bodacious had grown into his full adult weight of 1,900 pounds (860 kg). He had gained several hundred pounds since starting his career on the PRCA, and developed massive muscles including bulging neck muscles. Most bulls at this weight become slower, but Bodacious never slowed down or ran too fat. When he jumped up and jerked riders against his head, it was with the full force of his adult weight.[2]

Tuff Hedeman's first attempt to ride Bodacious was in Memphis, Tennessee. Hedeman described the experience as "unbelievable," explaining, "when he left the chute his front end came up so high. I was right in the middle of him, and riding him like you have to ride a bull with a lot of downdraft. But my chest was touching his horns, and my head was right over the top of his. I couldn't keep my hand in the rope." His first attempt failed. Hedeman drew the bull a month later at a rodeo in Tampa, Florida. That time, Hedeman's hand came loose from the bull rope at five and a half seconds and though he hung on a bit longer, Bodacious threw him just before the eight-second mark.[13]

Andrews took Bodacious to the 1992 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) that year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Andrews was nervous about the night that Jim "Razor" Sharp had drawn Bodacious. At that time, Sharp was already a two-time world champion. Sharp expected to ride this bull who was much better than average, but whose full reputation had not been established yet. After Bodacious came out of the chute, he turned back, then he threw Sharp off pretty hard because Sharp made two-and-a-half flips in the air during his dismount. This was when Bodacious started to become famous.[3]

1993 season[edit]

Bodacious only bucked on the PRCA and BRO circuits in this season. In 1993, Terry Don West attempted Bodacious again, and Bodacious got his revenge, bucking him off and bruising his ribs.[4] In 1993, Hedeman participated in a 1993 Bull Riders Only (BRO) event, in Long Beach, California. Hedeman remained resolute in his determination to get a qualified ride on Bodacious.[13] "He was like a monster once he matured. Even the good guys were super scared of him. You’d see world champions ride him for a jump or two and then get off."[5] This time, Hedeman scored 95 points on Bodacious in his third attempt on him. Hedeman felt this ride was the best in his career. He explained the judges wished he had been the first rider. The judges were saving room for more points in the instance there was a better ride. After the event, they said he would have been scored higher if he had ridden last. Bodacious' owner Andrews told him it was the best ride he'd ever seen.[13] There are those who consider it the greatest ride in history, "a near perfect exhibition of balance and anticipation."[5] At the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, Colorado, Ben "Legs" Stevenson scored 93 points on Bodacious. It was the last qualified ride on the bull until West scored on him in 1995.[14]

1994 season[edit]

Bodacious bucked on the PRCA and PBR circuits in this season. In 1994, Terry Don West attempted Bodacious a third time, and it nearly killed him. It was at a PRCA event at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, Texas.[4] He opted out of wearing any protection during the ride. Bodacious battered West with his head and shoulders as West was falling off him. West received broken ribs, a broken wrist, and a punctured lung.[9] West's wife, Michelle, revealed that West didn't want to get on Bodacious that night, and she had made light of his fears. However, once she saw him lying on the ground and gasping for air, she resolved never to put her "two cents" in again.[4] Bodacious received national attention for this incident.[15]

Also at that rodeo in Houston, World Bull Riding Champion Cody Custer attempted Bodacious for the first time. The other bull riders teased him all day leading up to the ride. Before his turn, Custer stared at the bull, who appeared calm. His ears were the only sign he was paying attention. Custer called the bull by name, and he turned to look at the rider with a deceptively detached gaze. There were 57,000 people in the Astrodome, though, and Custer knew the bull would give a show once the chute opened. Custer acknowledged he was nervous and said this was the biggest challenge he had ever faced. He lowered himself onto Bodacious, readied himself, and nodded for the gate. Bodacious burst out of the chute, and then he jumped to the side once. Then he charged forward once, which sent his rear legs over Custer's head. For a second, Custer looked like he might withstand the move. But then his whole body pitched forward and to the side. One of Bodacious' horns nicked his cheek on his dismount. Custer only made two seconds on the bull. "I don't know," Custer said later, stunned, "He does something to get your feet behind you."[16]

1994 also marked the first year that Bodacious also bucked on the PBR circuit. At an elite Bud Light Cup (BLC)[17] event in Nashville, Tennessee, Scott Breding bucked off Bodacious just short of the 8-second whistle.[18] Then later that year at a PBR event in Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1994 PRCA World Champion bull rider Daryl Mills bucked off Bodacious.[19] Later on at the inaugural PBR World Finals,[20] in the Championship round, Clint Branger bucked off Bodacious just shy of the requisite eight seconds.[20] This buck-off ultimately cost Branger the 1994 PBR World Champion title.[21]

1995 season[edit]

Bodacious bucked on the PRCA and PBR circuits in this season. In February 1995, according to the cowboys, Bodacious learned something new. This move was a vacillating hop on his front legs, followed by a quicker and more forceful lift of his head. In Lufkin, Texas, at a PRCA event, Bubba Dunn took Bodacious on for a second time, and he scored 93 points. During this ride, Bodacious managed to crease the brim of Bubba's hat and bruise his cheek. Dunn felt lucky those were his only injuries that day. "Bo was psychotic. He didn’t like people." says Lambert. "If you were on his back, he wanted to hurt you."[2] Dunn only attempted Bodacious two times, and he rode him both of those times. In fact, he said, "In 1995, (heck), I had to ride Bodacious to get invited to the PBR."[22]

In 1995, at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, West of Henryetta, Oklahoma, took on Bodacious for a fourth time at a PRCA event.[14] Despite his injuries in the past, he made his second qualified ride on the bull. This time he wore a protective vest, and he rode him through to score 87 points.[4] He earned a much larger amount of $10,365 versus $181 for the first ride.[4][14] His qualified ride on Bodacious won him the round.[14] The score between them now was 2-2.[4] The qualified ride on Bodacious marked the first time the bull has been ridden in two years.[4][14]

In June 1995, at a PBR event in Nashville, Tennessee, Australian bull rider Rodney Lidgard drew Bodacious in Round 1 and bucked off the bull in 1.30 seconds. The judges decided that was enough time to give the bull an outstanding bull score of 48 points, which is very rare.[23]

In May 1995, at a PBR event in Charlotte, North Carolina, multiple hall of fame cowboy Ty Murray drew Bodacious in round 1. He bucked off the bull in 1.70 seconds. Bodacious was given a bull score of 44 points, a low score for this high performer. Also in May 1995, also in the same round, a cowboy recorded only by his last name of Willard drew Bodacious. He bucked off the bull in 1.60 seconds. Again, the judges decided this short buckoff qualified for an outstanding bull score of 48 points.[23]

In September 1995 at a PBR event in Guthrie, Oklahoma, in the championship round, Clint Branger got even with Bodacious who cost him the world title in 1994. At the Bullnanza event held at the Lazy E Arena, he rode the bull for a score of 92 points.[21][23][24] Bodacious was given a bull score of 46 points for the outing.[25] In an earlier round of the event, Jerome Davis drew Bodacious. He bucked off the bull in 6.60 seconds, who was given a bull score of 46 points.[23]

In October 1995 at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena,[26] Hedeman drew Bodacious. Hedeman was feeling no fear of the bovine that no one else wanted to ride. His confidence was high, his riding percentage was high, and he was the point leader by an insurmountable 300 points[13][5] Hedeman felt sure he would ride the bull this time. However, from 1993 to 1995, Bodacious had been out of competition for long periods due to an injury. Despite the absence, the bull was returning to the arena as a more dangerous bull. Bodacious used his time off to develop a more deadly bucking move. The bull brings up his rear end with his head to the ground. This action entices the rider to shift his weight forward. Then Bodacious thrusts his head up and uses it to bash the rider in the face.[13]

Bodacious was ready for this meeting. The second the chute burst open, he bucked forward with all his force. Hedeman reacted the way all bull riders should do—he leaned high over Bo's shoulders and slung his arms back to counteract the effect. As Hedeman came forward on his seat, Bodacious tossed his head backwards so that it bashed Hedeman in the face. Hedeman stayed on the bull a bit longer, his hand twisted in his bull rope, and Bodacious bashed him in the head again, threw him in the air, and he bounced off Bodacious' back on his dismount "like a rag doll."[5]

Hedeman lasted four seconds. Looking back at the ride, Hedeman feels he was overconfident and underprepared. "When I nodded for him, the first jump felt fine," he said. "Then, all of a sudden, whack! When I hit the ground, I felt numb." What Hedeman could not see was how his face really looked; how much blood was on it. "When I was walking out of the arena I bit down and my teeth didn't come together, so I figured my jaw was broken," Hedeman recalled. "I didn't realize my whole face was smashed. But when I looked at people looking at me, they looked like they'd seen the devil." At the hospital, doctors diagnosed Hedeman and said every major bone in his face was broken. Hedeman went through two surgeries which totaled 13 hours. The doctors installed six titanium plates to reconstruct his face. When he went home, his head was so swollen his four-year-old son Lane did not recognize him.[13]

In December 1995 at the NFR, Hedeman drew Bodacious for the last time in the seventh round of the finals, part of the championship round. It was approximately two months after Bo had nearly killed him. Hedeman had lost nearly 25 pounds, and his body was not yet completely healed. Hedeman toughed it out to qualify for the NFR anyway. And yet, when it was Bodacious he drew, Hedeman knew what he had to do. He climbed onto the bull's back in the chute. When the chute opened and Bodacious burst out, Hedeman let him go out without him.[5] He had to put a leg over the bull to be eligible to ride the next night.[17] He tipped his cowboy hat to the bull and left the arena.[5] He called Bodacious, "the baddest bull there has ever been."[27]

Then, in the 9th round of the NFR two nights later[citation needed], bull rider Scott Breding drew Bodacious. Breding had attempted Bodacious two times before.[2][5] Scott Breding gave him his final professional ride.[2][5] He tried wearing a hockey mask for the ride. It took less than four seconds for Bodacious to use the same move that he did on Hedeman to fracture Scott's left eye socket and cheekbone. He also broke his nose and knocked him unconscious. After treatment, he was released from University Medical Center and attended the remainder of the NFR but did not compete further.

In round 10 of the next day, December 11, 1995, the gate opened to reveal Sammy Andrews and then a yellow bull flashed out of a chute without a rider. Andrews, an unassuming man, stepped into the spotlight to announce that his famous bull was officially retired. The crowd was both shocked and relieved.[17] Bodacious was 7 years old at the time, still in his prime.[27] "I didn’t want to be the guy who let him kill someone," he said. "We're going to put him out on top," said Andrews, who added that retiring the bull made that Sunday a tough day. "I was hoping Scott would get by him. If the bull ever needed ridden it was last night. But these boys (bull riders) have made me." Andrews said Bodacious would be used for breeding purposes.[24]

1996 season[edit]

Though officially retired, Bodacious did buck at a few non-sanctioned PRCA events such as BRO events in 1996 before being permanently retired. One such out came at the now defunct Original Coors Showdown Rodeo in Phoenix, Arizona, against bull rider Bryan Barker, whom the bull proceeded to buck off in under 3 seconds, earning a bull score of 48. This was his last known appearance at a rodeo.[28]

End of career[edit]

Bodacious was to be brought out of retirement one final time in the spring of 1997.[4] On Thursday, April 3, 1997, Terry Don West planned to take on Bodacious for a fifth and final time in Las Vegas in an attempt to break their 2-2 tie. Fox Television talked West into it, with the $10,000 purse being donated to Sunrise Children's Hospital.[9][4] This event was to cap off the $1 million Wrangler Bull Riders Only (BRO) World Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center.[4]

"I hope this is the last time they buck that bull. He will kill somebody," said West, who was the reigning PRCA World Bull Riding Champion at the time. West nervously climbed into Bodacious' pen for a photography promotion at Harrah's. The bull was accompanied by a familiar cow and two calves to keep him calm because Bodacious does not like to be alone. "He'll tear the pen up," West said. "When I got in there, he gave me a look, saying 'Don't get no closer. You'll pay for it.'"[4]

West, now 31 years old, was slated to wear a chest vest and a face mask. He also pre-purchased additional insurance. Bodacious may have been inactive for almost two years, but "Bo hasn't forgotten how to buck," said West.[4] However, two nights before the match scheduled with Bodacious, West had a match with a bull named Bananarama.[29] Bananarama fell back against the chute while West was getting ready.[29] The bull pinned West against the chute and caused West to have a concussion.[29] He also received two black eyes and a broken ankle.[9] West declined to compete the next night, Friday, and was still in no condition to take on Bodacious by Saturday night at their scheduled time.[29] Thus, West's fifth ride with Bodacious never took place.[9] Fox nevertheless donated the money to the children's hospital.[9]

Career summary[edit]

Bodacious bucked under two other names during his career. For a time, he bucked as "Skoal's Bodacious" when a tobacco company was sponsoring him. Later he bucked as "Dodge Bodacious" when he was representing an automotive company as a "spokesbull." The name Dodge Bodacious even appears on some of his PRCA awards and media material. In GQ Magazine, in a profile piece, he was described as, "the fiercest competitor of his generation...lethal, a legend, the Michael Jordan of barnyard brutes." He was compared to other sports celebrities as a combination of "Babe Ruth, Secretariat, and Sonny Liston." Also, he definitely almost killed Hedeman. It is expected and tolerated for some bulls to come after fallen riders. But Bodacious ended his career the same way a few other bulls have by seemingly trying to injure mounted riders.[30]

Bodacious bucked on the PBR Premier Series at least five times, and scored over 45+ points all but one of those times.[23] His average is 46.4 which puts him second in the ProBullStats Historical Ranking, with Dillinger still being in first place.[31] He has an 80% buck off rate on the Premier Series alone.[23][31]

Records were not kept as scrupulously in Bodacious' time, but the majority of sources say riders attempted Bodacious at least 135 times. Of those 135 attempts, around ten qualified rides were made on the bull by approximately seven different cowboys. Bull riders who rode him twice include Bubba Dunn, Clint Branger, and Terry Don West. Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp, Greg Schossler, and Legs Stevenson each made a qualified ride on him once.[27][32][12][33]

Since Bodacious' death, fans and journalists debate whether Bodacious was really the best bucking bull or a creation of publicity. However, there is plenty of evidence in existence that shows the bull scared cowboys into allowing themselves to be bucked off early. One of a bull rider's greatest fears is being yanked down onto a bull's head. And most riders who stayed on Bo longer than two jumps got hurt. Of the bull's 127 buckoffs, a sizeable portion of those were riders letting the bull win. And there is no question that the famous incident where Bodacious almost killed Tuff Hedeman made Bodacious into a story that no one gets tired of telling or hearing. Apparently, "the hype got hooked to a bull that deserved most of it." The cowboys say it best though.

“I don’t have fond memories of him, but Bodacious was the best ever,” says Cody Lambert. Hedeman, who attempted the bull four times, and rode him the third, and almost died the fourth, calls Bodacious one of the rankest, even though “by the end he was basically a cheap shot artist who would Sunday punch you.” Andrews says that his fame was due to timing. Bodacious was a first-rate athlete, but even more importantly, his prime coincided with the time television was providing sports more broadcasting time. He faced down the best riders. He was a huge bull who wasn't supposed to move and jump that quickly. “Lord only knows, rodeo needs heroes,” says Sammy. Andrews says it found one in Bodacious.[2]

Retirement and death[edit]

Andrews retired Bodacious on December 11, 1995, after he finally decided the bull had become too dangerous. Bodacious spent his retirement on the Andrews Rodeo Company Ranch.[17] He could be found relaxing in the pasture or mating under natural cover to produce his progeny when he was home. He mated with a total of 120 cows in his retirement.[27] Otherwise, he might be on a tour. Initially, Andrews stored his semen. However, when the breeding organization, Buckers, Inc., was formed, Bodacious was its first client in the beginning. Buckers stored and distributed Bo's semen.[15] The organization's goal were to keep Bo's legacy alive and improve bull breeding.[15] Buckers also became the manager of Bo's marketing.[15]

During Bodacious' retirement life, his owner obtained a New York agent to manage public appearances.[10] He was taken on tour to state fairs, rodeos, and casinos around the United States.[10][34] He appeared as a celebrity guest at Harrah's Las Vegas and the Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.[10] Articles about him appeared in Sports Illustrated, GQ, and Penthouse.[10] He appeared in advertising for Bud Light.[35] He also was featured on merchandise, including items such as belt buckles and watches from Montana Silversmiths, a limited commemorative edition Winchester Rifle by A&A Entraving, and T-shirts.[15][35] Prior to his death, Wrangler had just released a new Bodacious T-shirt. Also, Bo had just been featured, along with Tuff Hedeman, in advertising for Bud Light.[15][35] The most recent merchandise is the Bodacious figurine toy. Created in 2017, Bodacious the bull comes with bull rider, bull rope, and stand. It was approved with 5 stars by Andrews Rodeo Company on March 5, 2017.[36]

His television appearances included a profile on the Fox TV program "Guinness World Records Prime Time."[10] He was profiled on BRO telecasts on the Cowboy Lifestyle Network.[34] After his death, the NBCSN (formerly Outdoor Life Network) program "Fearless" visited the Andrews Rodeo Company Ranch in 2004 and filmed a documentary titled, "Fearless Bodacious."[10]

Many made tributes to Bodacious over the years. Some examples include alternative rock band Primus, who dedicated a song to Bodacious on their 1999 album, Antipop. It is called "Ballad of Bodacious."[27] There was the Austrian ski company Blizzard Ski, who named their big mountain ski after Bodacious.[37] Lastly, Short's Brewing Company named a double-Black IPA "Goodnight Bodacious" after Bodacious.[38][39]

Bodacious developed a hoof infection when he was 12 years old. The medication used to cure the infection damaged his kidneys, and as a result, he died of kidney failure at 12 years of age in 2000. He died in his holding pen at the Andrew Rodeo Company Ranch on May 16, 2000.[27][35] In 2004, The Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show had a bucking chute manufactured and gave it to Andrews for Bodacious' grave.[10][40]


Bodacious sired many progency that competed in the PRCA and PBR. These included bulls such as Bo's Excuse, Erks Me, and Fender Bender. On June 6, 2008, four of his sons performed throughout the weekend at the Rodeo Killeen, in Killeen, Texas, in its 61st year at the time. Those sons included Red Onion, Pull the Trigger, and Fender Bender. Each of those bulls lived at Andrews' ranch at the time.[41] Bodacious also sired Bo Howdy, who debuted in 2005 as a PBR bull.[34]

One of Bodacious' most successful sons is a bull that Andrews bred who is competing as of 2017. His name is Midnight Bender, and Andrews is bucking him on the PRCA circuit.[42] The bull won the PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year title in 2016.[43] The bull does not have his sire's reputation for injuring riders. However, he does have attitude and altitude when bucking. According to Andrews, the bull spends a lot of time in the air and kicks hard. The bull gives quite a show when he bucks, and the riders all like him. At times the bull does remind Andrews of Bodacious in some of his movements, even the difficult ones. But he claims this bull is rideable.[42] ProBullStats as of May 2017 shows the bull has 32 attempts with 6 rides.[44]

Another successful son of Bodacious is Beaver Creek Beau, owned by Chad Berger Bucking Bulls and partners, who has been bucking on the elite BFTS circuit since 2013.[45][46] He ranked in the top 20 on the BFTS in 2016 and was very close to being a world champion bull contender. At all levels, he's been ridden 8 times of 98 attempts.[47] At the BFTS level, he's been ridden 6 times out of 60 outs as of mid-2017.[47] Beau is a sizable bull, like his sire, weighing in around 1,900 pounds (860 kg). He isn't quite as fast as his sire, but he's fast enough to be a championship round bull.[48]

In 2002, the PRCA awarded the Andrews Rodeo Company the Stock Contractor of the Year award. His ability to produce quality stock is earmarked by his hall of fame bull, Bodacious, and his history of producing great bucking stock, both bulls and broncs.[10][49] In 2008, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inducted Sammy Andrews.[10][50][12]


H. D. Page rode, bred, and hauled Bodacious' progeny. This gave him a bit of unique insight into the bull. He was initially unimpressed, but then he saw some very good progeny, especially from his daughters. Like other industry opinions, he agrees that from the sizeable amount of Bo's blood in circulation, are some successes. Page also has a good handle on what it takes to promote a sire, and points out that Bob Tallman promoted Bodacious better than anyone. Some of Page's bulls which he has bred from Bo's daughters have been BFTS bulls, for example, 77 Hustler.[8]

Bodacious's name is trademarked, but Andrews is not responsible. Tallman is the man who trademarked the bull, and he says he did it because he believes in the bull. He says "We registered his likeness and created an icon." That icon still exists present day. The caliber of bulls like Bodacious and other bulls had changed bull riding. When Bodacious retired, stock contractors and Tallman started pondering the question of how to continue raising that quality of bulls.[51]

In 1992, basically, Tallman and Andrews were venting about dishonest bull breeders who advertising their bulls as sons of famous sires of bulls like Red Rock and Oscar. But the reality was that the bulls actually hailed from some obscure sale barn. Naturally buyers were refusing to pay top dollar for bulls whose sires and lineage could not be verified. Andrews believed a credible market needed a verifiable bloodline. Tallman knew what was needed: DNA. He had studied it and other related topics. He had even incorporated this knowledge into his own breeding program for 20 years; he was a fifth generation cattleman.[52]

So in 1996 he and a partner started Buckers, Inc. It used DNA testing to verify a bull's bloodline. And the company's solution to void the skeptics was Bodacious. Tallman had to convince Andrews at first, but every stock contractor wanted to breed this rank bull, especially if they could be guaranteed the calf was legitimate through the use of DNA and a registry. They hauled Bodacious to West Texas. The semen collection agent took care of him there. They also started collecting other top bulls' semen too. The numbers multiplied. And by 2003, Buckers had 11,000 cattle registered. Over at the PBR, Randy Bernard was so impressed that he bought out Buckers and renamed the company to American Bucking Bull. He got his investment back by selling 19 shares of the ABBI for $25,000 apiece.[52]

The first bucking bull registered on the ABBI is Bodacious which makes sense as he is the first bull in the Buckers, Inc., database. His ABBI registration number is 1000078. When Bodacious died in 2000, he had 23 sons who had professional outs. This earned him the top spot on the all-time producing sire's list at that time.[8]


Bodacious became infamously known as "the world's most dangerous bull" throughout the sport of bull riding and beyond due to his reputation for injuring riders. In particular, Bodacious developed a maneuver responsible for injuring many rider's faces. The bull would throw up his rear end while holding his head to the ground, which forced the rider to shift his weight forward. At that time, he would then bring up his head with his full strength to smash it against the rider's face.[34] Bodacious is responsible for several bull riders ending up in the emergency room regardless of them wearing protective equipment including headgear such as face masks and protective vests.[53] Hedeman is the bull rider known to have received the worst injuries from Bodacious, with Breding and West being runners-up. Hedeman and Breding were injured towards the end of Bodacious' career in 1995.[34] But at the same time, he became known as "the greatest bull ever to buck."[13] "Of all the bulls I've ever seen, he's the most dangerous," Hedeman once told a Sports Illustrated reporter.[54] Throughout Bodacious' career, hall of fame rodeo announcer Bob Tallman referred to him as "the yellow whale" due to his color and enormous size.[54]

Hedeman once said “even top-ranked guys who weren’t afraid of anything were definitely afraid of Bodacious.” Any attempt on Bodacious that ended without an injury was a success. The bull was so strong that many times you could get a glimpse of his belly from the top of the back of the chute on his way out. He bucked off many riders in the chute before they could nod their heads that they were ready to go.[53] The key to this was that Bodacious was such a skilled jumper he could jump higher than the top bar of the chute, and he did this reliably. So when he came down, he would kick higher than the chute. "Bo's first jump when he left the chute resembled a roller coaster ride," says Andrews' wife Caroline. Bodacious unseated most riders on his first jump out of the chute. "Bodacious could kick and roll and he learned how to unseat a rider. Bodacious really liked to get in the air. And every time he jumped, he usually brought a bull rider forward." Which is how he put riders in position to injure them with his head.[55]

On January 23, 2013, the PBR published an article about the greatest bulls where they took a survey of the most hardcore bull riding fans and the two most mentioned bulls were Bodacious and Little Yellow Jacket.[37] On June 29, 2015, the PBR published an article about the memorable bulls of the PBR and listed Bodacious "as one of the most famous bulls of all time." He and iconic bull Bushwacker are similar in terms of popularity.[56]

The ProRodeo Hall of Fame chose Bodacious in 1999 as their sixth member; there are only seven bulls inducted as of 2017.[57] Bo joins such exceptional bulls as Skoal Pacific Bell, Red Rock, Oscar, and Jim Shoulders' Tornado. Mostly, those bulls had long careers. However, Bo's short professional career lasted only four years. In that time, he bucked off 127 of 135 riders. Bryan McDonald, the PRCA bull riding director who sets the pens for the NFR, commented that Bo was ranker than any of those bulls. They were more performance type of bulls. "Pacific Bell could hook the crap out of you. Mr. T and Red Rock, they were both smart and wouldn't hurt anyone. Bodacious, he was murderous."[54] In 2017, the Bull Riding Hall of Fame inducted Bodacious, joining Tornado in another hall of fame and the bull known only by his brand, V-61.[58] In 1994 and 1995, the top cowboys voted him as the PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year. In 1992, '94, and '95, he was elected Bucking Bull of the NFR.[57][54]


  • Two-time Dodge Bull of the Year[24]
  • 1992, 1994-95 PRCA Bucking Bull of the NFR[59][54][60]
  • 1993-94 PRCA Texas Circuit Bull of the Year[10]
  • 1994-95 PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year[61]
  • 1995 BRO Bull of the Year[34]
  • 1995 PBR World Champion Bucking Bull[43]
  • One of two bulls to win both the PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year and the PBR World Champion Bull, which he did in the same year[43][57]
  • 1999 Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame[62]† ††
  • 2017 Inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame[58]

† "I always hoped he would get in (the Hall of Fame) because I always thought he did a lot for the sport of rodeo,' said Andrews of his famously feared bull."[54]

†† "The bull the cowboys didn’t want to draw, but the fans loved."[27]


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