I can’t mention everyone who attended but those I can remember were Phil and wife Sara Lyne, two-time All-Around World Champion and two-time Calf Roping World Champion; Ty Murray, seven-time PRCA All-Around World Champion and two-time Bull Riding World Champ, and fiancee’, Paige Duke, who are getting married Sept. 30th; Joy and Butch Murray, Ty’s parents; Cody and Lee Ann Lambert, PBR Livestock Director; Resistol’s Ricky Bolin, 2017 Ring of Honor recipient at the PBR Finals; Flint Rasmussen, all-time favorite fearless funnyman; Wacey Cathy, bull rider; Larry Mahan, six-time PRCA All-Around World Champion and two-time Bull Riding World Champion; Dr. Tandy Freeman, sports medicine guru that keeps bull riders and rodeo competitors working; Matt West, PBR spokesperson; Chad Berger, PBR stock contractor; Shorty Gorham, bullfighter; Andy Watson PBR photographer; Todd Fox PRCA Steer Wrestler, and so many more. In addition to Bobby, 1973 World Champion Bull Rider, and wife, Jolene Steiner, son Sid, 2002 Steer Wrestling World Champion, and wife Jamie, and family; and singing and performing for everyone was son, Shane, whose family was also in attendance.
Larry Mahan sang “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”, with Shane, which kicked off the program that followed. Flint Rasmussen interviewed some of the competitors of the past which included Larry Mahan, Ty Murray and Phil Lyne.
Ty Murray shared with the group that when he was thirteen-years-old Mahan invited him to come to his ranch in Colorado for the summer. Ty said his trip to Colorado was his first airplane ride. Mahan picked him up and took him in his small plane to their destination. After they got in the air Mahan explained all the knobs, and dials on the airplane panel to Ty, then announced he was going to take a nap, grabbed a pillow from the seat behind them, and told Ty to keep the plane in the air. Mahan put the pillow up by the window and closed his eyes. Ty said he sat there speechless and just waited. About fifteen minutes later he said Mahan woke up and on they went.
Mahan then went on to tell the audience that when Ty was in the third grade his teacher asked each student to write their goal in life. Ty’s goal was to beat Mahan’s eight World Championships. Mahan said, “If I’d only known then . . . “ The laughs and camaraderie between these World Champs was so much fun to witness.
When Flint asked Ty about the ‘characters’ he met in rodeo, Ty didn’t hesitate to recall Larry Sandvick. But Ty went on to say, “I feel like I’ve spent a lifetime trying to explain bull riding. When you are in a sport that can kill you—possibly be a matter of life or death, you have to have a certain amount of mental athleticism, in addition to the physical ability, which is not necessary in other sports. You can get pretty close to your competitors, who are also your friends. That is why bull riding so great. I also know I was a better bull rider because of Phil Lyne and Larry Mahan, who competed before me and raised the bar so high. Every time I crawled up over the chute and got on my bull I knew I was going to try harder than anyone else entered that night. ”
Phil Lyne said about his career, getting on ten bulls and roping ten head of calves requires basics. There are different basics in each event, and if you don’t master those basics you’ll never be a winner.
Flint also said to Ty, “You are kind of hard on those bull riders when you are commentating at a PBR event. Do they ever complain to you that?”
Ty’s response was, “I’m not hard on them. I’m honest.”
This only tells a small portion of the evening as many others were interviewed and made statements, but I hope those who read this will realize that the ‘rodeo family’ is made up of people who have such great respect for those that mastered their craft before them, and truly feel that rodeo, and PBR, today are what they are because of those people and what they accomplished.
True to form, Steiner Ranch Steakhouse, outdid themselves, as always. The Patio was teaming with attendees and as the sun disappeared in the west over Lake Travis the weather was perfect. The wait-staff could not have been more accommodating, and the food was outstanding. As I heard someone say, “No matter how many people are here their steaks are served perfectly cooked.”