One of the best bull riders in the history of the sport has been dead for longer than he was even alive.
On July 30, it will have been thirty years since world champion bull rider Lane Frost passed away following an eight-second ride. After three decades, the name of the Oklahoma legend is once again being brought into the limelight and into the arena.
“We would have rather he done something else,” said Elsie, Lane’s mother. “He had a passion for bull riding; there was just no way we could tell him no.” The front room of the home owned by Clyde and Elsie Frost is decorated like a museum in honour of their son Lane Frost, widely regarded as one of the best bull riders the world has ever seen.
The 30th of July 1989 was the worst day in the annals of Cheyenne Frontier Days history. Lane Frost, a legendary bull rider, was taken from us by a horrific event that occurred in the rodeo arena.
How Did Lane Frost Die?
Lane Frost had just finished a ride on the bull Takin’ Care Of Business, which earned him a score of 85 points. Frost was injured in the back by the horn of the bull when he landed on the ground, which resulted in the fracture of numerous ribs and the cutting of an artery.
The 1987 World Champion first got back on his feet and signalled for aid after falling to the ground, but he then went into cardiac arrest and was brought to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Frost was honoured with posthumous induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in the year 1990. In 1999, the year that marked the tenth anniversary of his passing, he was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame as a way to remember the occasion.
Since his passing, Frost has been honoured with a number of memorials and tributes. Garth Brooks paid tribute to Robert Frost in the music video for the song “The Dance” in the year 1990. His story was dramatised in the film 8 Seconds, which was released in 1994.
Cody Lambert, a longtime friend of Frost’s, is responsible for the creation of a safety vest that is now mandatory at all PRCA events. This is perhaps the most significant homage that has been paid in his honour.
How Old Was Lane Frost When He Died?
Lane Frost died at the age of 25 years. Lane went on his final 8-second ride on a rainy day in Cheyenne on July 30, 1989. A bull fatally caught him in the back, and he couldn’t get away.
“You probably won’t really believe it, but I still think of Lane just like he’s here sometimes,” Clyde (Frost mother) said. “We had him for 25 years, and I wouldn’t take nothing for it.” But the arena wasn’t the end of Lane’s story; it was simply the beginning. In 1994, the film 8 Seconds, which was based on his life, was released and brought him back into the spotlight.
Elsie remarked, “We knew Lane’s death would make a big impact on the rodeo world, but because of the movie so many more people know about it,” And now, Lane’s nephew Stetson is spreading the word about the iconic cowboy to a whole new audience.
A Glimpse of Lane Frost Career
His parents have always known that Lane would one day ride bulls professionally. “He had a little horse that was on rollers, and he just sat on it, he called it his bull. That was one of his first words, was ‘bull,’” Elsie recalled.
Lane was riding bulls by the time he was 9 years old, and he was hoping to make his first 8-second ride. “The crowd just went wild cause he was so little,” said Elsie. Lane is used to the sound of a packed arena. In 1976, at the age of 14, he won his first saddle as a bull rider.
In high school, he rode bulls for three years and won the national title as a junior. After finishing high school in 1982, Lane joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as a full-time bull rider. A PRCA membership was something he “simply had to have,” as Elsie put it, and so he went ahead and applied.
Lane was born to play sports. He was the only cowboy to ever ride Red Rock, the legendary “bull no man could ride.” In 1987, he became known as the World’s Best Bull Rider after he won the prestigious World Championship Bull Rider title.
“He couldn’t have done any better at what he done; he won the world and that’s what he said from the time was little, ‘I’m the world’s champion,’” his dad Clyde said.
A lot of people started rooting for Lane right away. Not only did he perform well in the ring, but his distinctive wave and wide grin also made him seem like a likeable person. According to his followers and those who knew him well, Lane had a remarkable rapport with the public.
“Lane loved his fans,” Elsie said. “God knew what all was gonna happen, and he gave him that personality that drew people to him. He did. People were just drawn to him for some reason.”