Midwest rancher recognized for years of rodeo

in Agriculture/arts and culture/Community

A Midwest rancher and longtime rodeo cowboy has been inducted into the Rodeo Historical Society’s Hall of Fame.

Frank Shepperson, who capped his years in the rodeo with a world championship steer wrestling title in 1975, was inducted in ceremonies held Nov. 8 and 9 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Shepperson said he got involved in the rodeo while working on his family’s ranch.

“When you live on a ranch and you break horses for a living and you’re trying to get a little extra money, it just is natural,” he said. “My father also rodeoed.”

In his school years, Shepperson claimed the national high school title for bronc riding and went on to be a member of the University of Wyoming rodeo team in 1961, when the team won the national college championship.

Shepperson said it was his mother who encouraged him to compete in as many rodeo events as possible.

“When I was a freshman in high school, I filled out my (rodeo) entry form and showed it to my mother,” he said. “The high school rodeo was in Gillette, 90 miles away. She said ‘If we’re driving 90 miles for a damn rodeo, you better get in the bullriding, too.’ That’s the only thing I hadn’t entered.”

Shepperson said he was flattered to have been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame.

“I’m humbled and honored to join a lot of my friends and family and heroes that are already in this,” he said.

1 Comment

  1. RODEO: THE COWBOYS SPEAK

    “Cowboys, sensing–like gorillas–that their time has passed, cling ever
    more desperately to anachronistic styles, not willing to admit that the
    myth has degenerated, the traditions eroded to a point where attempting
    to sustain them falls somewhere between silliness and the outright
    ridiculous.” (–Larry McMurty, rancher and author of “Lonesome Dove,”
    in the book, “RODEO,” Aperture Books, NYC, 1994)

    “No one on a working ranch would ever have any reason (or desire) to ride
    a bull, Brahma or otherwise. No one would ever be required to race a
    horse around three triangularly placed barrels, an activity that quickly
    ruins the horse for more productive activity. Bull riding and barrel
    racing are rodeo kabuki–their relation to anything that might happen
    on a ranch is confined to costume.” (–Ibid., #15)

    “Women should not rodeo any more than men can have babies. Women were put
    on earth to reproduce, and are close to animals. Women’s liberation is on
    an equal to gay liberation–they are both ridiculous.” (–a Wyoming steer
    wrestler, in the book, “RODEO: An Anthropologist Looks at the Wild and
    the Tame,” by Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, Univ. Tenn. Press, 1982)

    “The eighteen-year-old rodeo queen and her princess told me that rodeo
    people, including themselves, ‘hated Democrats, environmentalists, and
    gays.’ I was astonished that their political and social outlook could be
    reduced to such simple platitudes of hate. And why?” (–from “Rodeo
    Queens and the American Dream,” by Joan Burbick, Public Affairs, NYC,
    2002)

    “Do I think it hurts the calf? Sure I do. I’m not stupid.” (–Keith
    Martin, CEO, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In the February 6,
    2000 SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS)

    “I keep 30 head of cattle around for practice, at $200 a head. You can
    cripple three or four in an afternoon.” (–Dr. T.K. Hardy, a Texas
    veterinarian and sometime steer roper, quoted in NEWSWEEK, 10/2/72)

    “Do animals feel fear? Nyaah, they don’t feel fear. They’re an ANIMAL!”
    (–Russ Fields, rancher and chair, Rowell Ranch Rodeo Committee, in a
    5/19/18 KGO-TV Channel 7 news segment, San Francisco)

    “If it gets to the point where people think rodeo is inhumane or cruel,
    they quit coming, and then we’re out of business.” (–Tom Hirsig, CEO,
    Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, in the July 27, 2018 WYOMING TRIBUNE EAGLE)

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