Tuff Hedeman

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Tuff Hedeman
Born Richard Neale Hedeman
(1963-03-02) March 2, 1963 (age 55)
El Paso, Texas, USA
Residence Morgan Mill, Texas
Alma mater Sul Ross State University

Rancher and team roping

Retired rodeo performer
Years active 1980-1998 (as a bull rider)
Spouse(s) Tracy Hedeman (née Stepp)
Children Three sons

Richard Neale "Tuff" Hedeman (born March 2, 1963, in El Paso, Texas) is an American retired three-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Bull Riding Champion as well as the 1995 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Champion. Hedeman is a ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Bull Riding Hall of Fame inductee. He is also one of the co-founders of the PBR. In 1999, the PBR honored him with the PBR Legends and Heroes Celebration: Ring of Honor. He is known for having been one of rodeo icon Lane Frost's closest friends. Hedeman and the infamous bucking bull Bodacious had a few historic clashes. He has since served as the President and Ambassador of Championship Bull Riding (CBR). In 2018, he formed his own bull riding tour: Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.

Professional career[edit]

Hedeman won many junior rodeos in his youth. In 1980, he won the high school rodeo bull riding and All Around titles in New Mexico. He won the team roping title and All Around designation again in 1981. After high school, he attended Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. At Sul Ross, he was a member of the rodeo team, competing in bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding.[1]

Hedeman filled his PRCA permit at one rodeo in 1983 as a bronc rider.[2] He was known for riding bulls that often had not been ridden. He often traveled with fellow bull riders and close friends Lane Frost, Cody Lambert, Jim Sharp, Clint Branger, and Ty Murray to save travel expenses. He married Tracy Stepp in May 1986. He qualified for eleven National Finals Rodeos (NFRs).[2] By 1993, he had surpassed $1 million in career earnings and won the 1986, 1989, and 1991 world titles in the PRCA.[2] A neck injury at the NFR in 1993 kept him out of the arena for the entire year of 1994. In 1994, he was portrayed by actor Stephen Baldwin in the Hollywood feature film 8 Seconds[3] about the life of Lane Frost. He was actually a stunt double for Baldwin.[3]

Hedeman was instrumental in starting the Professional Bull Riders.[1] In 1995, he won the PBR World Championship despite an encounter with legendary bull Bodacious that resulted in numerous broken bones in his face.[1] He just missed winning the PBR world title in 1996, losing to Owen Washburn as he came in second. He then finished third in the world during the 1997 PBR season. His last ride was at the PBR Bud Light Cup Series (now the Built Ford Tough Series BFTS) event in Odessa, Texas, in 1998, when he landed on his head after getting thrown off and herniated a disc in his previously injured neck. After some consideration, he officially retired in 1999.[4] He was leading the PBR World Standings in 1998 at the time of his injury.

Hedeman is one of the estimated seven to ten riders to have ever ridden Bodacious for the qualified 8 seconds, with the stand-out ride being a 95-point ride at a 1993 Bull Riders Only (BRO) event in Long Beach, California.[5] However, his more familiar encounter with Bodacious happened in the championship round of the 1995 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.[6] He was jerked down by Bodacious upon exiting the chutes so the bull could thrust his head up and smash Tuff's face with it, shattering every major bone in it. He managed to walk out of the arena, albeit a bloody mess. He required several hours of reconstructive surgery for his face, and less than two months later, he was riding again.[5] At the NFR later that year, he drew Bodacious again, this time in round 7. He decided to turn him out – getting off him when he left the chute. He then tipped his hat to him and received a standing ovation for his decision. He did this at the request of his son because Bodacious had smashed his face earlier that year.[6]

End of career, retirement, and after[edit]

After having been President for CBR, Hedeman then served as ambassador [1] after abruptly leaving the PBR in 2004 for undisclosed reasons (Ty Murray has since replaced him as the PBR's president.) He served as president of the PBR from 1992-2004, then as president of the CBR from 2005-2011. He remained with CBR as ambassador and chute-boss from 2011 to early 2018. In early 2018, Hedeman left that organization to start his own league: the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He, Tracy, and their two sons live on a ranch in Morgan Mill, Texas, outside of Fort Worth. Their oldest son, Lane, is named after Lane Frost. He also added color commentary for both PBR and CBR event broadcasts on television when he was involved with those organizations. He spends his free time traveling to bull riding and team roping events.


  • 1986, 89, 91 PRCA World Bull Riding Champion[8]
  • 1987, '89 NFR Average Champion[1]
  • 1993 First $1,000,000 Bull Rider[1]
  • 1995 PBR Touring Pro Division Champion[1]
  • 1995 PBR World Champion Bull Rider[9]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Championship Bull Riding :: Staff". Championship Bull Riding. ww.cbrbull.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Richard "Tuff" Hedeman - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Rebhorn, James; Finley, Cameron; Snodgress, Carrie; Mayfield, Dustin (1994-02-25), 8 Seconds, retrieved 2017-05-10 
  4. ^ "Rodeo Star Tuff Hedeman Up Close ⋆ Redneck Yacht Club". Redneck Yacht Club. 2015-09-27. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Buck Of Legends: Tuff Hedeman vs. Bodacious 21 Years Later". FloRodeo. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "The Ride of Their Lives". The New Yorker. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Tour, Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding. "Bull Riding Icon Launches Tour and Website". PRLog. www.prlog.org. Retrieved January 31, 2018. 
  8. ^ "PRCA World Champions (Historical)". prorodeo.com. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "PBR World Finals History". www.pbrworldfinals.com. Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Walk of Fame – Cowboy Capital of the World". www.cowboycapitalprcarodeo.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "Members | El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame". elpasoathletichalloffame.com. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Professional Bull Riders - Tuff Hedeman". Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame | Fort Worth Texas". texascowboyhalloffame.org. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame". www.oldwestmuseum.org. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame: Past Inductees". www.texasrodeocowboy.com. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  16. ^ "The Bull Riding Hall of Fame Inductions 2016". The Bull Riding Hall of Fame. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "Walk of Fame - Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce,OR". www.molallachamber.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 

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