about lane frost
"His memory is alive today in all the young bull riders
that strive to be like him."
lane's story begins:
the early years
Lane was born on October 12, 1963. At that time, his parents lived in Lapoint, Utah.
However, Lanes Father Clyde was rodeoing at the time
and Lane's mother, Elsie went to stay with her parents in Kim, Co., while she waited for Lane to arrive.
Lane was born in the hospital at La Junta, Co., the closest hospital to Kim. His full name is Lane Clyde Frost.
Lane has an older sister, Robin, and a younger brother, Cody. When Lane was killed in Cheyenne he was 25, he was 5' 11"and weighed 145 lbs Lane, at the early age of 5 months, was interested in the bull riding events at the rodeos his parents attended.
Mrs. Frost is fond of the memory of Lane awakening during the bull riding event, and he would cry when his parents stood up to leave early, If they returned to watch the bull riding he would quiet down.
His mom made his first pair of chaps for him. She admits to hoping he "would out-grow this bull riding thing."
Lane started riding little dairy calves on the family dairy farm in Randlett, UT when he was 5 or 6. He was 9 when he first got on a bull.
However, to the relief of his family, he met Don Gay around that time, and Don told Lane that he should just ride calves and steers until his bones were more fully developed.
Mrs. Frost says that they had been telling Lane the same thing, but of course he listened to Don! At the age of 15 Lane started to ride bulls on a regular basis. Before that, he had been competing on calves and steers.
Lane's first rodeo awards were won in 1974, when he was 10, at the "Little Buckaroos" Rodeos held in and around the Uintah Basin of UT.
Lane stayed on a bucking Shetland Pony to win first in bareback, took second in calf roping and rode a calf in the "bull riding" event to place third.
While rodeoing wasn't the way of life his parents exactly wanted for him, (especially the bulls!)
they never discouraged him, and helped him whenever they could.
Lane spent his first 14 years in Utah, doing chores on the dairy farm his parents owned, and later competing in various rodeo events. When Lane was in junior high school (7th & 8th grade), in Vernal, Utah he was very good in wrestling.
He wrestled at about 75 pounds. During these two years he had 51 matches with 45 wins, 4 losses and 2 tied matches.
Lane also continued competing in the "Little Britches Rodeos", and any other rodeo he could enter, until his parents moved the family to Lane, OK. in 1978 to escape the harsh Utah winters.
Lane Liked the fact that there were more youth rodeos in Oklahoma then in Utah. Lane's mom says that, while they did not encourage Lane to ride bulls, they did support him in his decision.
Lane began his freshman year at Atoka High School, his sister Robin began her senior year there, and Cody was in 4th grade at Lane Elementary.
high school years:
1978 - 1982
When Lane was in Jr High School in Vernal, UT , he was in the wrestle program
Lane wrestled at about 75 pounds. During these two years he had 51 matches with 45 wins,
4 losses and 2 tied matches.
In addition to help and schooling by his father, Lane now had the help of his father's friend Freckles Brown, the 1962 Bull Riding Champion, who lived not far away in Soper, OK. Freckles became a life time mentor to Lane, who followed Freckles's advice and spent hours watching Freckle's rides on home movies.
In 1978, at the age of 15, Lane was the Bull Riding Champion of the Small Fry Rodeo Association. In 1980, when Lane was a sophomore, he was the Bull Riding Champion of the Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association, and the runner-up Bull Riding Champion of the National High School Rodeo Association.
Also in 1980, while competing at the National High School Rodeo Association Lane met two people that he would know the rest of his life, Kellie Kyle and Tuff Hedeman.
One year later, in 1981, when he was a junior, he won the Bull Riding Championship in the National High Schools Final Rodeo Association, held in Douglas, Wyoming, and kept the Bull Riding Championship of the Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association.
Lane graduated from Atoka High School in 1982.
He retained the Bull Rider Championship for the third year in a row of the Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association.
He also was the Bull Riding Champion of the American Junior Rodeo Association, AND the Bull Riding Champion of the 1st Annual Youth Nationals Finals.
prca rodeo years:
1983 thru 1987
Lane graduated from Atoka High School in 1982.
In high school Lane was offered rodeo scholarships, but he decided to pursue a professional bull riding career.
In 1983, he received full membership in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, (PRCA), at the age of 19. He finished 16th in the standings. The top 15 finishers are qualified to compete in the National Finals Rodeo. The 15th qualifier was Jacky Gibbs, Lane's traveling partner at that time.
Lane was named 1983 runner up "Rookie of the Year". Lane also competed in the 1983 "Super Bull" competition in Del Rio, TX. At "Super Bull" he received the "Tough Luck" award for his bone-jarring, but unsuccessful efforts. And also in 1983, Lane was the PRCA Prairie Circuit Bull Riding Champion.
In 1984 he talked his dad into letting him build a bull riding arena on the family's ranch. Lane and his father designed the area, to be both an arena and a place to work cattle. 1984 was the first year Lane qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. He would qualify every year from now until his death in 1989.
On January 5, 1985, he married Kellie Kyle at the United Methodist Church in Quanah, TX. The reception was held at the church also. Lane also taught his first bull riding class, a class of 10, at the arena he built. Lane not only loved to ride bulls, he loved to help others that wanted to learn how to ride. On January 5, 1985, he married Kellie Kyle at the United Methodist Church in Quanah, TX.
The reception was held at the church also. In 1985 he also taught his first bull riding class, a class of 10, at the arena he built. Lane not only loved to ride bulls, he loved to help others that wanted to learn how to ride.
Lane gets hung up on the famous Mr T.
What Lane had to say about trying Mr. T! "Shoot...I just got hung up on his neck and he just kept working on me before I could get out of there. It's been three weeks since then, and my teeth feel a little better. My whole head feels a little better. It wasn't that bad the first three days, you know, my face just swelled up and my eyes got shut on me. But as soon as I got my eyes opened where I could see...I was feeling a lot better.
What Mr. T's owner, Pete Burns, was quoted as saying: "At the Casper Pro Tour Rodeo last fall, Lane Frost rode Mr. T for about four or five seconds. Then he bucked him off. It looked as if the bull bucked harder those last few seconds than he had ever bucked in his life."
In 1985 Lane earned the Championship at the "Super Bull" event, also known as the "George Paul Memorial Bull Riding Competition". On September 6th, 1985, Lane was honored to be one of the 136 top rodeo competitors chosen for the newly-formed "Winston Tour Rodeo". The "Winston Tour Rodeo" was something different than ever tried before. It was a national series of competitions showcasing only the top athletes of pro rodeo.
The events were held for 4 days, (Thursday through Sunday), and gave fans a chance to meet and get to know the contestants. ESPN carried telecasts of events around the country. Major sponsors endorsed 8 member "teams". Lane's team was endorsed by Copenhagen-Skoal. The tour created new enthusiasm and excitement for pro rodeo, as fans began to know the competitors and develop loyalties. In the 1985 National Finals Rodeo, Lane finished 3rd in world standings and 2nd in NFR earnings. He rode 8 out of 10 bulls, Red Rock being one of the bulls that bucked him off.
In 1986 Lane was the "Winston Tour" Bull Riding Champion runner up. He also was co-champion of the "Super Bull" event along with his friend Tuff Hedeman. In March, he competed in "The World's Toughest Rodeo" in Oklahoma City, along with Ted Nuce and Tuff Hedeman. Lane successfully rides the Pete Burns' bull "Phantom" at the 1986 Cheyenne Frontier Days, even though he had a badly bruised right arm. And, in the 1986 National Finals Rodeo, Lane rode 9 out of 10 bulls. Had Lane rode all 10, he would have won the World Championship in 1986, and would have been the first bull rider to ride all 10 bulls in the Finals. The name of the bull that bucked him off? Red Rock. So, in 1986 Lane was the NFR Average Winner, and placed 3rd in the world standings. His friend Tuff Hedeman won the championship.
Lane moved to Quanah, TX. (Kellie's home town) although for awhile he continued to use Lane, OK. as his "official" home address. His parents still lived there and he was working with his Dad there. Lane was working on building his own ranch with Kellie. They had picked out a piece of property near Marietta, OK, almost half-way between Lane's parents and Kellie's parents. It was important to Lane to continue to be able to help his father with their ranch.
In September of 1987, Lane won the bull-riding at the "Pendleton Round Up", even though he had broken his collarbone in August at the Elks PRCA Rodeo in Seminole, OK. He also competed in the "Oklahoma State Fair Rodeo" in September, and was the Texas Circuit Bull Riding Champion of 1987. But the moment Lane worked for all his life came when he became the "World Champion Bull Rider" in Dec. of 1987 at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, NV. Lane rode 8 out of 10 bulls, and placed second in NFR earnings.
Unfortunately, his good friend Freckles Brown did not live to see this, he died in March of 1987, after a four year battle with cancer.
Lane Frost at the 1987 National Finals Rodeo Lane was the last one to ride in the 10th Round of the Finals. If he stayed on for the 8 seconds, he won the Championship.
Lane won the World Championship, despite being off for three weeks in August, 1987 when he broke his collarbone on August 20th at the Elks PRCA Rodeo in Seminole, OK. Although he slightly re-injured the collarbone several times near the end of the season, he felt he couldn't take anymore time off without hurting his chances for the Championship.
"The last few years I set a goal of finishing in the top five. This year it was to be World Champion. I always told myself that if I could be a World Champion, I'd be a good one. And that's what I've got big plans to do." Lane also credited three men for his success: "Freckles (Brown) and my Dad are the greatest teachers I ever had. They got me started the right way. Donnie (Gay) came along and put the icing on the cake."
The new World Champion didn't rest though. Before December was over, Lane competed in the seventh annual "Heart of America Bull Riding Championship" in Shawnee, OK.
prca rodeo years
1988 thru 1989
This was a busy year for Lane. In February, he competed with the U.S. Rodeo Team at the only exhibition
rodeo ever held at the Olympics. (Winter Olympics, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.) He won the bronze bull riding medal, and the U. S. Team won the gold.
In early 1988 Lane accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
April, May, June and July of 1988 he participated in the "Challenge of the Champions" with the bull Red Rock.
It was a seven event match-up between Lane, the 1987 World Champion Bull Rider and Red Rock, the 1987 World Champion Bucking Bull.
Red Rock was retired after the 1987 Finals. He never had a rider stay on for the full eight seconds in 309 attempts in his professional rodeo career.
In 1988 Lane and Tuff Hedeman were invited by Copenhagen/Skoal to try unridden bulls at the Hawaiian Professional Championship Rodeo held in Waimanalo, Hawaii on June 17, 18 and 19.
Both Lane and Tuff rode their bulls.
March 1988 found Lane winning the Dodge National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Id.
April, May, June and July of 1988 Lane was in the "Challenge of the Champions" with Red Rock. Lane still continued to compete in the regular rodeos, during the The Challenge of Champions.
* Lane & Red Rock~Redding, CA.*
At the 1988 National Rodeo Finals, Lane rode 7 out of 10 bulls and finished fifth in NFR earnings and sixth in the world standings.
1988 - $ 74,700 - #6
1987 - $105,697 - #1
1986 - $104,128 - #3
1985 - $ 87,100 - #3
1984 - $ 50,688 - #9
Lifetime PRCA Earnings: $489,736
Lane felt that he lost his focus in 1988, and in the 1989 PRCA's handbook, next to his picture and statistics, he states:
In early 1989, Lane was proud to help organize "Bullmania A Tribute to Freckles Brown", a bull riding event held in Guthrie, OK. in honor of his friend.
The arena was sold out for the bull riding only event. It was around this time that Lane and Tuff and a few others started thinking about creating what would eventually become the "Professional Bull Riders"
Clint Branger, a traveling partner of Lane's, won that inaugural "Bullmania". Clint still competes today.
In the event, Lane wore the #2.
No one could predict that, the very next year, 1990, #2 would be retired in Lane's memory, and hung on a chute gate.
And the event would be renamed:
"Bullmania, A Tribute to Freckles Brown and Lane Frost."
However, because there was a problem with the name "Bullmania" (it might have been a copyright problem), in 1991 the event name was changed to:
"Bullnanza, a Tribute to Freckles Brown and Lane Frost".
In July of 1989, Lane and his wife Kellie were going to work as stunt doubles on the movie, "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys", about a bull rider that comes home to Oklahoma.
Lane was also to have a small speaking role in the movie.
But first Lane took some time to go to Cheyenne, Wyoming to compete in the
"Cheyenne Frontier Days" Rodeo.
Kellie stayed behind to start work on the movie.
After Lane rode his second bull at Cheyenne Frontier Days, sportscaster George Michael, a frequent interviewer and friend of Lane, spoke with Lane, in what sadly would become Lane's last interview.
George said to Lane, "But you just had to give the crowd a thrill with that dismount!"
(Lane had somersaulted over the tail of the bull at the end of his ride.)
And Lane replied, in words that would become truer than anyone could imagine in only four days, "Well, I don't always ride that good, but I can usually get off pretty exciting or do something afterwards."
Four days later, on Sunday, July 30, 1989, Lane drew the bull named "Takin' Care of Business".
After successfully completing his ride he dismounted.
Lane was then hit by the bull, breaking his ribs and severing a main artery.
He died within moments.
Lane's last ride was on "Takin' Care of Business" Cheyenne Frontier Days July 30, 1989.
The same grey skies
that were over Lane in Cheyenne
seemed to have followed him south to Oklahoma.
Only this time it was like the heavens wept
along with the mourners, as rain poured down the day of his funeral.
On August 2, 1989, Lane's funeral was held at the First Baptist Church in Atoka, OK., and then Lane was laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, OK., near his good friend Freckles Brown.
Oklahoma's paper, "The Oklahoman", estimated that 3500 people attended Lane's funeral on Wednesday, August 2, 1989, at the First Baptist Church in Atoka, OK.
1200 filled the pews and aisles of the church and its adjacent auditorium, and the rest of the mourners stood outside in the rain, listening to the service over loudspeakers.
The former state legislator and rodeo announcer Clem McSpadden, in his eulogy about Lane said, "He had one great quality that separates him from much of this generation today.
He knew no greed. He also remarked on the vast age differences of the mourners at the service who were Lane's acquaintances. "Lane knew no age limits or boundaries when it came to making friends."
Lane's friends, Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp, Cody Lambert, Clint Branger, Wes Ward, and Guy Sartin served as pallbearers.
Lane was Laid to rest next to his friend and mentor, Freckles Brown. "When I have to think of Lane there, I like to think of Freckles there with him."
Lane's funeral was held at First Baptist Church in Atoka, OK.
Lane is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Oklahoma. His good friend and mentor Freckles Brown is buried in the next row, corner to corner with Lane.
Because of Lanes salvation, he now has an eternal home in Heaven