Oklahoma born and raised, Derek Clark, was surrounded by rodeo talk growing up. It’s no wonder he chose to be a rodeo cowboy. His dad, Duke Clark, was a roughstock rider, as was his grandfather, Charley Beals. In fact, his great-grandfather, Monroe Veach, was a trick roper, put on rodeos, and learned to make saddles which were considered the best in his era.
Derek was the oldest of three boys born to Duke and Donna Clark in Tulsa on September 3, 1960. He was raised in eastern Oklahoma, near Colcord. He competed in junior rodeos from the age of 12 in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding as well as the roping events. He competed at the High School level and won the saddle bronc title for the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association in 1978, and qualified for the National High School Finals that year held in Huron, South Dakota.
When retiring in 2000, due to an injury, he had qualified for the National Finals Rodeo fifteen years in the saddle bronc riding event, from 1983 to 1999, only missing 1984 and 1997. He was runner-up to the World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider in 1990 and had surpassed the $1,000,000 mark in winnings by year 2000. Derek filled his PRCA permit in 1980 by riding in all three roughstock events. He qualified for his first PRCA National Finals in the saddle bronc riding event in 1983 and won the third round. He attended Texas Tech University at Lubbock and qualified for the College Finals in 1984, winning the National saddle bronc riding title and the average.
Derek has won or placed in the saddle bronc event at most of the PRCA rodeos during his career. Wins included National Western in Denver three times, 1983, 1989 & 1991; and Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1986. His Circuit wins in the saddle bronc event include the Dodge National Finals 1991, plus the Prairie Circuit, Texas Circuit and Great Lakes Circuit in various years. He also won many of the varied PRCA Series in the saddle bronc event. Derek was also the 1993 Coors Fan Favorite Cowboy.
Derek always supported PRCA in various positions from Saddle Bronc Event Representative in 1998 and ’99, to PRCA Board of Directors from 1998-2005. He was a member of the National Finals Committee Board from 1999 to 2005, Vice Chairman of Board of Directors from 1999 to 2004. He was Board Chairman from January 2005 until August 2005, when he had to resign due to injury. He also was on the Great Lakes Circuit Board of Directors in 1998 and ’99, and the Olympic Rodeo Committee, held at Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.
After his competitive years he continued to work in the arena as a pick-up man at various rodeos until he sustained a serious injury at the Springdale Arkansas, rodeo in 2005. As the pickup man his horse flipped over on him resulting in a serious leg injury that has required numerous medical procedures.
Derek Clark has three children, Chase, Chelsea and Dally Kay, and continues to live at Colcord, OK. Please consider voting for this outstanding saddle bronc rider, that gives back to rodeo in so many ways. He truly fits the bill of a cowboy qualified to be inducted in to the Rodeo Historical Society Rodeo Hall of Fame. Vote for Derek Clark!