Who is the best in Bull riding professional sport? Bull riding is not a sport but a part of the American tradition, the rodeo. Since 1910, Bull riding has become a traditional event for bull riders. Events like rodeos push cowboys to give their best effort to score points on bucking bulls.
Many of the best Bull Riders in history have shown dominance over wild bucking bulls. Keep reading to know more details about who is going to get a rank in this list of the best bull riders in our list.
|10. Guilherme Marchi||2012 – 2018|
|9. Mike Lee||2001 – Present|
|8. Ty Murray||1994 – 2002|
|7. Adriano Moraes||1998 – 2008|
|6. Larry Mahan||1963 – 1977|
|5. James A. Shoulders||1943 – 1962|
|4. J.B. MAUNEY||2005 – Present|
|3. Chris Shivers||1997 – 2012|
|2. Lane Frost||1982 – 1989|
|1. Tuff Hedeman||1980-1993;1995-1998|
10. Guilherme Marchi
Guilherme started his journey in 2004 by competing in the Championship Bull Riding. Four years after his debut, Guilherme won his first PBR World Championship title. He was one of the most consistent riders of his generation with a 15-year-long bull riding career.
After winning his first PBR World Championship, he was near to winning his 2x PBR Championship. He stood in the way of Justin McBride’s dream of becoming a PBR World Champion. But the competition resulted in Marche getting the second position.
All his outstanding achievements brought Guilherme the PBR Ring of Honor in 2019. It’s an Honor given to Bull riding Heroes and Legends. In 2022, Marche got inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame.
But does Guilherme Marchi deserve a place in the list of Best Bull Riders In History? There is no doubt that Guilherme is one of the greatest living legendary cowboys alive. With a solid core, thighs, and hold skills, Guilherme impressed us for 15 years by riding mad bucking bulls.
Although he announced his retirement in 2018, he has his influence in rodeo events.
9. Mike Lee
The American professional rodeo cowboy Mike Lee is a specialized Bull rider. Beginning his journey on the PBR Challenger Tour in 2001, Mike soon start to compete in the PRCA.
Mike, with his flexibility and quick reflexes, achieved many awards in a short time. He was the first bull rider to win the World Championship and the PBR World Finals event at the same time in 2004. With effective technique and composure, Lee was in the PBR World Finals from 2002 to 2017.
Despite winning many championships and awards, Mike also suffered many life-threatening injuries. But he didn’t back off and competed in the regular PBR season. In a press conference, PBR president Ty Murray stated, “Mike Lee put forth a superb effort throughout this event. I could see that Mike felt he could cover any bull here, which is inspiring because that’s what this sport is all about.”
Mike is an outstanding cowboy who doesn’t care how much bull bucks. He deserves a place in the list of the best bull riders in history.
8. Ty Murray
The 53 years old ProRodeo Hall of Famer Ty Murray was one of the top rodeo contestants of his time. Before joining the PRCA, Ty won the Arizona NHSRA All-Around Championship and the NHSRA Championship. With significant experience in riding bucking bulls, Ty pursued his dream by joining the PRCA in 1988.
Ty furthered his passion by enrolling in school at a young age and competing in the PRCA. In his first official year in the PRCA, he was with the former professional rodeo cowboy Cody Lambert.
In his career, Ty Murray became one of the greatest cowboys of all time, earning 7x PRCA All-Around World Champion and 2x PRCA World Champion. His established career as one of the best bull riders got him 14 significant honors. Finally, Ty Murray deserves a rank on this list of the Best bull riders in history.
7. Adriano Moraes
The Brazilian Cowman, Adriano Silva Morães, is a former professional rodeo cowboy from Brazil. In his professional career, he was one of the world’s leading bull riders for ten years, during 1990 – the 2000s. Despite starting his career at small rodeo events, Adriano became prominent after moving to the United States to take part in PRCA, BRO, and PBR.
In Moraes’s professional NFR career, he became the third man to ride 10/10 bulls. Adriano Moraes has had a successful bull riding career, bringing him the ultimate honor – the Ring of Honor in 2018 from the PBR.
6. Larry Mahan
At a young age, Larry Mahan started competing in professional rodeo. He started competing in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1963. In his successful rodeo career, he won x6 all-around world championships and 2x Bull riding world championships.
In 1979, Larry got inducted into The ProRodeo Hall of Fame’s general category and Legend of ProRodeo in 2010. Larry’s successful career earned him several championships and 17 Rodeo honors.
5. James A. Shoulders
Since we are talking of the best bull riders in history, we must consider the American professional rodeo cowboy James Shoulders. Unlike most other Bullriders ranked in the list, James is among the most respected cowboys. Starting by winning his first bull riding competition in Oilton at 14, James continued his passion until he faced an injury at the age of 42.
In 1959, James set a record for 16 world championships and became the only person to achieve it. Yet, his record was matched by steer roper Guy Allen in 2001. Besides winning several titles and achievements, James has received 17 significant honors, including the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame in New York City.
4. J.B. MAUNEY
J.B. Mauney is one of the highest-paid bull riders on this list. In comparison, it may be too early to place J.B. Mauney. But he is for sure one of the best bull riders in history, based on his accomplishments and skills. In 2005, J.B. joined the PBR and PRCA in 2009.
In his generation, J.B. Mauney was among the best riders. In 2018, J.B. became the 3rd bull rider to reach 500 rides in the Elite Series. He is very close to breaking the record for 90-point rides.
On his successful career, Justin McBride said, “He’s in a class of his own, the best bull rider of his generation. The day he decides to do that is the day he goes straight to the Ring of Honor… he’ll forever be in the conversation as the greatest the PBR has ever seen.”
3. Chris Shivers
The 43 years old Chris Shivers is an American former professional rodeo Cowboy and 2x PBR world champion. He’s also the first PBR bull rider to win over $300,000 in a single year.
After Adriano Moraes, Chris is known to be the second cowboy to win multiple PBR world titles. In 1998, Chris became the first bull rider to register 13x 90-point rides. From 1998 to 2015, Chris Shivers won 36 Championships and 8 Awards.
Based on skills and courage, Chris is one of the best to go down in the history of best bull riders. Unlike his fellow friends in a professional bull riding career, he didn’t like to wear a helmet before riding a bucking bull. He rode most of his career with the Cowboy hat until 2009 when he encountered a fractured nose.
In 2013, Chris received the PBR Ring of Honor and got inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame in 2017.
2. Lane Frost
The late American professional rodeo cowboy was one of his era’s fan-favorite best bull riders. In his exciting bull riding career, he rode the unrideable ProRodeo Hall of Fame Red Rock on May 20, 1988, at the Challenge of the Champions. In Frost’s professional career, he became the PRCA World Champion in 1986 at 24.
Unfortunately, Lane Frost had a short run as Best Bull Riders in his time until he ended up dead on July 30, 1989, at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. He had a successful 85-point ride on a Brahma bull called “Takin’ Care of Business.” Lane did ride the Bull for a successful 8 seconds, but it became the last competition of his life.
Although he died in the competition by a Brahma bull, Lane Frost had a successful Professional bull riding career. In 1994, 5 years after Lane Frost’s death, a movie was released about his life called 8 Seconds.
1. Tuff Hedeman
Born in 1960, Tuff Hedeman is your 4x World Champion, ProRodeo Hall of Famer, and a living legend. He is one of the few cowboys to get recognized by the most. Starting his riding in 1980, Tuff has a bull riding career of over 13 years. He has managed to impress the audience with his dominating grip over bad bulls.
Hedeman’s powerful tricks and techniques to ride mad bulls were quite impressive. He has won championships such as the PBR World Championship and Touring Pro Division Champion.
Despite winning, Tuff missed out on his 2nd consecutive PBR World Title in 1996. Tuff Hedeman had a remarkable and influential Bull Riding career in the long run. Winning 5 Awards and 10 Honors, Tuff Hedeman deserves a place in the list of the best bull riders in history.
Best Bull riders in history is a controversial topic. We could discuss which cowboy should get ranked in the top 10 list. Although in conclusion, we would love to clarify that we organized the riders in the list based on their honors and titles. If you disagree with our rankings, let us know who you think is the best bull rider of all time.
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