The late Jim Shoulders will be honored in Tulsa and at the ’07 World Finals
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 26, 2007) – The world of rodeo and professional bull riding continues to mourn the greatest rodeo legend of all time. Jim Shoulders, who passed away at his home in Henrietta, Okla., early the morning of June 20th, is remembered by the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) and its top bull riders.
Jim Shoulders remains, without a doubt, one of the most influential individuals in the history of professional rodeo and bull riding. His record 16 World Championships, claimed between 1949 and 1959, continue to dominate the history books of professional rodeo. His influence on the sport continues to resonate through the ranks of today’s professional bull riders, while his legacy lives on in the PBR.
One of the most highly regarded bull riders of today, 2005 PBR World Champion Justin McBride (Elk City, Okla.), who recently added himself again into the history books of bull riding by claiming his seventh Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) presented by Wrangler event title in a single season, took a minute to reflect on the career of Jim Shoulders – a cowboy hero that helped shape his career.
“Jim Shoulders definitely holds his own page in the history books of our sport. He not only was, but will always be a legend in rodeo and bull riding. I mean 16 World Championships-that record may live on forever,” said McBride. “Personally I think the young guys today should go back and look at Jim’s career to see what it takes to be a world champion. He won 16 titles through his grace and skill. He’s somebody that will absolutely be missed and always remembered.”
One of the most decorated bull riders in the PBR, three-time PBR World Champion, Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, Sao Paulo, BZ) praised Shoulders’ professional accomplishments in the rodeo arena, “His impact on the sport was very influential. He was the first celebrity that came from rodeo, and of course, bull riding grew from the sport of rodeo.”
Moraes continued his remembrance of Shoulders’ with several personal anecdotes from recent PBR events which Shoulders attended, “I was proud to have met Mr. Shoulders and talk to him as a friend. When I would see him and his wife, I could approach them and they always seemed happy to see me.”
Adriano continues, “In Oklahoma City in 2003, I had Pandora’s Box and Jim said to me ‘Hey boy, go back and get on the bulls that jump and kick all the way down the pen. You need to think about every position of your body from your feet to your free hand.’ After my third World Championship, I saw him again in Oklahoma City and I told them his advice worked. It meant so much that he was watching me enough to help with my mistakes and give me a tip that would change my career. I’ve heard it [the advice] before but it’s got to be said in the right way at the right time.”
PBR’s “Ironman,” J.W. Hart (Overbrook, Okla.) who is the only man to have qualified for all 13 of the PBR’s World Finals commented, “Jim Shoulders was the greatest cowboy that has ever lived. It’s kind of hard to dispute 16 World Championships. It’s unfortunate that another page of our history has been closed.”