Larry Mahan

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Larry Mahan (born November 21, 1943, in Salem, Oregon) is an American eight-time rodeo champion. He is of Irish descent. Mahan won six World All-Around Cowboy Championships and two World Bull Riding Championships in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). The ProRodeo Hall of Fame inducted him in 1979 in the all-around category. It also inducted him as a Legend of ProRodeo in 2010.

Rodeo career[edit]

Larry Mahan was born on November 21, 1943, in Salem, Oregon.[1] Mahan broke into professional rodeo at the age of 14.[2] He competed in the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA) which later changed its name to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit.[3] He won the title of World All-Around Champion for five consecutive years from 1966 to 1970, and a sixth time in 1973.[2] His 1973 comeback and competition with Phil Lyne was the subject of the documentary The Great American Cowboy, which won the 1973 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.[4]

In 1963 he joined the RCA. He competed in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, and bull riding. He became a steady winner in these events. He was the high money winner in bull riding in 1965. He became first to compete in three events at the NFR. In 1967 he won more than $50,000 in one year, becoming the first to achieve this milestone. In 1970 he had earned more than $280,000 by the end of the year. He had a tough decade in the 1970s, with injuries sidelining him some of the time. However, he did manage to win infrequently, even managing an all-around title in 1973. He entered the rodeo school market by running a few schools himself. He even had his own brand of Western clothing. After he retired from rodeo, he bought a ranch near Phoenix, Arizona.[3]

Mahan earned six all-around titles, but the last one was not consecutive. His consecutive all-around record of five titles was not surpassed until 1979 when Tom Ferguson won his sixth consecutive title.[5] In 1994, Ty Murray broke Mahan's and Ferguson's record of six titles.and tied Ferguson's record of having won six titles consecutively. In 1998, Murray won his seventh title, surpassing both of them and holding the record for all-around titles at seven titles.[5] That's when they started calling Murray "King of the Cowboys."[6] In 2010, Trevor Brazile won his eighth all-around title, surpassing them all. In 2015, Brazile won his 13th all-around title, ensuring that it might be a long time before someone breaks his record.[7] Mahan was also the World Bull Riding Champion in 1965 and 1967.[2]

Rodeo Honors[edit]

After rodeo[edit]

Western Wear Entrepreneur[edit]

After he retired from rodeo 1977, he had already established the Larry Mahan Boot Collection, as well as a clothing line. He also licensed his name to various entities including Tony Lama, Gensco and others. Larry Mahan's Hat Collection has been available from the Milano Hat Company since 1984.[4]

Songs / Singer / Songwriting[edit]

Larry Mahan is one of the title characters in the song Ramblin' Jack and Mahan by Guy Clark.[21]

In 1976, he released an album on Warner Brothers (BS 2959) entitled Larry Mahan, King of the Rodeo. The songs on the album are:

  1. Freckled Face and Pretty Ribbons
  2. There's More to a Cowboy
  3. Stunt Man
  4. King of the Rodeo
  5. Larry's Salty Dog Blues
  6. Mom's Silver Dollar Saloon
  7. Up Jumped the Devil
  8. Rosie's Palace of Pure Love and Fingertip Massage
  9. Smokey Mountain Cowboy
  10. Ha Ha


In 1972, Mahan had a small part in the Cliff Robertson movie, J.W. Coop. In 1975, he appeared in Six Pack Annie.[22] In the 2007 movie No Country for Old Men, Josh Brolin's character buys and wears a pair of "Larrys".[23][24] He also played in a movie called "The Honkers" (1972) with James Coburn and Slim Pickens.[22]

TV Host[edit]

Larry Mahan hosted RFD-TV's Equestrian Nation up until 2009.[25]


  1. ^ "Larry Mahan biography". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Larry Mahan - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 28, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Larry E. Mahan | American cowboy". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Larry Mahan". Archived from the original on January 27, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "PRCA World Champions (Historical)". Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Ty Murray - King of the Cowboys". Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Trevor Brazile | American rodeo cowboy". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 29, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Western Heritage Awards". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Rodeo | Oregon Sports Hall of Fame & Museum". Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Larry Mahan". Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "St. Paul Rodeo Hall of Fame - Larry Mahan". Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Larry Mahan | Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame". Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame". Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Larry Mahan". Western Heritage from the Texas Trail of Fame. 2013-06-10. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame | Fort Worth Texas". Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Legends of ProRodeo - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  18. ^ "The Bull Riders - Larry Mahan". The Bull Riding Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame: Past Inductees". Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Walk of Fame - Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Ramblin' Jack and Mahan". Retrieved May 30, 2007. 
  22. ^ a b "Larry Mahan". IMDb. Retrieved 29 August 2017. 
  23. ^ IMDB quotes
  24. ^ No country for old men page 85
  25. ^ "'Equestrian Nation' a New TV Show for Horse Lovers ~ EquestrianMag". Retrieved May 16, 2017. 

External links[edit]