Check our Latest products!
In the summer of ’89, I was interviewed at a rodeo in Redding, California, along with an Oklahoma cowboy and a bull named ‘Red Rock.’ That would be one of his last interviews; he died at his next rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming on July 30. His name was Lane Frost.
Later, a movie was made about his life and rodeo career called ‘8 Seconds.’ In it, Luke Perry played the young athlete and there was even an appearance by ‘Red Rock.’
News of the accident in Cheyenne spread fast. I was lined up at a rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming, to ride the “circle 8” which is when all the contestants of a rodeo ride out for the audience before the performances begin. Someone said, “Lane’s down at Cheyenne.”
By the time we finished the opening routine, we heard that Lane was dead. Lane Frost had been a friend to many in the rodeo world. In fact, his memorial service was held in an Oklahoma church that held 1200 and close to 3500 showed up to say goodbye. His parents chose his final resting place in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Oklahoma, right next to where his friend Freckles Brown was laid to rest years earlier.
The movie “8 Seconds” tried to do justice to his life but it didn’t touch how deep the friendship between Lane and Tuff Hedeman was. I was with Tuff soon after Lane’s death at another rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa. He showed up, ready to ride and do the press tour. Tuff and I were auctioned off at a benefit for some charity. We both had to dance with someone who had bid on us.
On that fateful day in Cheyenne, after much rainfall, Lane mounted a bull called ‘Takin’ Care of Business.’ The cowboys had their own name for it. They tagged the animal ‘Bad to the Bone.’ Lane rode out and did well, scoring 85 points and earning close to $10,000 in prize money. After the ride, Lane dismounted. That is when the bull turned around and rammed him. Its horn broke ribs, severed a blood vessel and pierced his heart.
He died in the arena although doctors tried unsuccessfully to revive him for hours at the hospital. Tuff was finally allowed to see his newly deceased friend after what “seemed like forever” in the waiting room. Three days later, he served as one of his pallbearers.
Today, there is a statue of the young bullrider at the Cheyenne arena where he lost his life doing what he loved to do. The cemetery where he is buried has constant visitors. Many from the rodeo world and beyond were impacted by this young man’s death.
Dozens, maybe hundreds, have memorialized him by naming their sons after this bullriding hero. A website posts pictures of the multitude of namesake cowkids called ‘Lane Frost, Remembrances of 50 years, 25 of them gone, but not forgotten.”
Lane Clyde Frost was an American professional bull rider and PRCA-Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association member.
write by Damian