If you love the sport of bull riding, then you have probably heard the name Bodacious at one point or another. The mighty yellow Charbray bull that helped cement the bull riding as the toughest sport on dirt.
“He brought bulls to the forefront of the sport,” said Bob Tallman, former PR manager for Bodacious.
Bodacious has already been inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and in Nov., he will have the honor of being inducted into the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) hall of fame by receiving the PBR Brand of Honor, the sport’s highest recognition for a bovine athlete.
First awarded in 2011 to Little Yellow Jacket, the Brand of Honor is awarded to a bull for superlative performance in the PBR. The PBR recognizes that “there are two great athletes in every ride,” Brand of Honor bulls are elite athletes who have gone above and beyond in the sport.
PHOTO: Ty Murray on Bodacious 1993 NFR
Owner of the mighty bucking bull, Sammy Andrews, said that Bo as he was affectionately known as was a once in a lifetime bucking bull who loved bucking out no matter where the chutes opened.
“It was bulls like him that helped the PBR get their notoriety,” said Andrews. He further explained that Bo was just starting his career alongside that of the PBR, and as he exploded out of the chutes, so did the PBR’s reputation quickly climb both inside and outside of the sport.
Bo was initially purchased as a two-year-old by Andrews and stayed with him throughout his career. From traveling to small jackpots to the big rodeos of the PRCA and significant events of the PBR, Andrews said his bull captured the hearts and imagination of kids everywhere.
“When you have a bull like Bo, it’s rare, he held his own, and there were more than a few times that you would see the cowboys breathe a sigh of relief when they didn’t draw him,” Andrews said with a chuckle.
“He did his job well, and not only did he put on a show for the crowd, but Bodacious also helped create the ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.),” added Tallman, “he was the man.”
“Bodacious (Andrews Rodeo Company / Sammy Andrews), the 1995 PBR Champion Bull, will be bestowed the Brand of Honor, the highest honor for a bovine athlete in the sport. To some, the powerful 1,900-pound yellow bovine was also the greatest ever to buck. As a two-time PRCA champion bull (1994, 1995), he and Bruiser are the only two bulls to have won both PBR and PRCA titles. He is also considered the world’s most dangerous bull,” noted the PBR of the recipient.
2019 marks 20-years since Bo passed away. Andrews said he (Bo) was in his top pasture, and they had just had him back from some health issues they had with him. Bo had his blood drawn the morning before Andrews headed out to a rodeo, which he said was the reason they found out that it was a heart attack that caused Bo’s death.
“It’s nice to know that his legacy still lives on, that people still talk about him. And refer to him, I think he’s the most famous bull even above Little Yellow Jacket and Bushwacker. I think people still recognize Bo over all the others,” said Andrews.
For a bull so big, Bodacious could get the height in his jumps, and a powerful kick to follow. Andrews is the first to say he wouldn’t give the boys much room for error.
Most cowboys back in the era of Bodacious were as Andrews and Tallman would say, tough! They were cowboy tough; and with that came the grit to ride whatever walked into the chute, or was picked on the draw cards.
“I don’t think he would do that great nowadays, the cowboys would probably turn him out,” Andrews said with a chuckle.
He further added that the most notable ride any cowboy had was when Tuff Hedeman rode him for a score of 95 points, only five short points away from the elusive perfect ride.
“After watching the video, I felt lucky to be alive,” said Hedeman for PBRnow.com in a 1999 interview, “I saw for myself for the first time what people had been saying about Bodacious. I was up there doing what I was supposed to be doing, and he just came back and knocked the hell out of me.”
Hedeman took a few goes at conquering the mighty Bodacious, and it was third time lucky for Hedeman, who drew him in Long Beach. CA.
“That ride that day in Long Beach was, without a doubt, the best ride I ever made,” said Hedeman in a FloRodeo interview, “If I ever made a perfect ride, that was it. There was nothing either of us could have done to make it better.”
“When it was all over, the judges told me they wished I hadn’t been the first guy out. They were saving some room on the chance that there would possibly be a better ride. But when it was over, they said they’d have marked me higher if I’d ridden last. Sammy Andrews, who owned Bodacious, said he’d have marked me 98 or 99 and that it was the best ride he’d ever seen,” he added.
Fast forward to 1995; Bodacious left his mark at the PRCA’s National Finals Rodeo. He injured two riders that year, one being Hedeman, but Bo still gained respect from the bull riders as the baddest bucking bull of all time.
Retirement followed shortly after that NFR, Bo, went on to do some other work. He opened car lots, went on a PR run around the country, inspiring young bull riders of the next generation.
Now, Bo is resting on the ranch where he called home. His bloodline is seen everywhere you look on the ranch that is neatly nestled just over the Lamar/Red River County line. He is also immortalized by a big red chute from the original Rodeo Houston chutes that is more than fitting to mark the spot where a legend lays to rest.
COVER PHOTO: Aaron Semas aboard Bodacious 1994 NFR 10th Rnd Credit: Dan Hubbell