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Lane Frost


Lane Clyde Frost (October 12, 1963 – July 30, 1989) was a professional bull rider and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) member, who died in the arena at the 1989 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo as a result of injuries sustained riding the bull "Takin' Care of Business".[1][2]

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Early life

Lane was born on October 12, 1963. At that time, his parents lived in Lapoint, Utah. However, Lane's father, Clyde Frost, was on the rodeo circuit as a saddle bronc and bareback rider, and Lane's mother, Elsie, went to stay with her parents in Kim, Colorado, while she waited for Lane to arrive. Lane was born in the hospital in La Junta, Colorado, the closest medical facility to Kim. Lane has an older sister, Robin, and a younger brother, Cody.

Lane started riding dairy calves on the family dairy farm 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 according to his mother, "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. His first rodeo awards were won in 1974, when he was 10, at the "Little Buckaroos" Rodeos held in Uintah Basin. 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, they never discouraged him, and helped him whenever they could.

Lane spent his first fourteen years in Utah, doing chores on the dairy farm his parents owned, and later competing in various rodeo events. When he was in junior high school (seventh and eighth grade), in Vernal, Utah, he excelled in wrestling. Although he never wrestled before entering junior high, as many of the other boys had done, because of his interest in rodeo, the coaches still had hight expectations for him. Lane, then weighing only seventy-five pounds, won forty-five matches, lost four times, and had two ties.

Lane also continued competing in the "Little Britches Rodeos", and any other rodeo he could enter, until his parents moved the family to the town of Lane, Oklahoma, in 1978 to escape the harsh Utah winters. He attended Atoka High School in Atoka, Oklahoma.[2]

He was taught the art of riding by his father and also his dad's good friend, Freckles Brown, who was a World Champion Bull Rider. In Oklahoma, Lane was the National High School Bull Riding Champion in 1981. He was the Bull Riding Champion of the first Youth National Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1982.

On January 5, 1984, he married Kellie Kyle, a barrel racer from Quanah west of Wichita Falls, Texas.

Professional career

Frost joined the PRCA and began rodeoing full time after graduating from high school in 1982. In 1987, he realized a lifelong dream when he became the PRCA World Champion Bull Rider at the age of 24. That same year, the great bull "Red Rock," owned by Growney Bros. Rodeo Company, was voted Bucking Bull of the Year. In 309 attempts, no one had ever ridden "Red Rock," and in 1988, at the Challenge of Champions, Frost rode "Red Rock" in seven exhibition matches and was successful in four out of seven tries. Frost went on to compete at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This was the first time that an exhibition rodeo was held at the Olympics.

Death

On July 30, 1989, at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, after completing a successful 83-point ride on a bull named "Taking Care of Business", Frost dismounted and landed in the mud. The bull turned and hit him in the side with his horn, breaking several of Frost's ribs. Lane initially rose to his feet and began running toward the chutes. As he was running and signaling for help, he collapsed and the fall he suffered caused the broken ribs to cut his left lung and sever the pulmonary artery. Lane was rushed to Memorial Hospital. After finding out that his heart was irreparable, the doctors pronounced Lane dead. No autopsy was performed. Frost posthumously finished 3rd in the event. "Takin' Care of Business" went on to appear in the 1990 National Finals Rodeo.

File:Lane Frost statue.jpg
Statue of Lane Frost in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Frost is buried next to his hero and mentor Freckles Brown at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Oklahoma.[3]

Legacy

After Lane's death, Cody Lambert, one of his traveling partners, and a founder of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), created the protective vest that all professional cowboys now must wear when riding bulls.[1]

In 1994, the biopic movie based on Frost's life, 8 Seconds, was released. Luke Perry portrayed Frost in the movie. Lane's best friend Tuff Hedeman was played by Stephen Baldwin.

Lane's memory has been honored in many ways. The medical team for the PBR league is named after Frost. The Lane Frost Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hugo, Oklahoma is dedicated to his memory. His parents live in Lane, Oklahoma, and travel to many rodeos around the country giving speeches in his memory. Country music star Garth Brooks paid tribute to Frost in his music video for the hit single "The Dance", as did Randy Schmutz in the song "A Smile Like That." In addition, the song "Red Rock" by The Smokin' Armadillos is about Lane. The song "I can still make Cheyenne" sung by George Strait is also thought to be about Lane.

Frost has been inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado in August 1990 and the PBR Ring of Honor in 1999, as well as the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, and the Oklahoma Sports Museum.

Frost's parents have authorized Cowboy Bible: The Living New Testament, with a sketch of Frost on the cover.

Frost's widow, Kellie, is now married to Mike Macy, a former rodeo performer and a rancher near Post in Garza County, Texas. The Macys have a son and a daughter.

References


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