The bull-riding event is one of the most exciting and also one of the most dangerous in the sport of rodeo, with a cowboy matched against a less-than-cooperative bovine. Bull rides are scored for both bull and rider, the bull getting 1 to 25 points for its bucking action, spinning action, and kicking action. Owned by Jim Shoulders, of Henryetta, Oklahoma, the legendary Tornado, an 1,850-pound Braford (Brahma-Hereford cross) born in 1957 in Texas, first entered rodeo in 1960 in Mesquite, Texas. The top-ranked bull in the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) bucking-stock list from 1962 through 1966, Tornado remained unridden through 220 attempts by tough, experienced professional bull riders. In December 1967 at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City the best bull in the country met his match when his number was drawn by Freckles Brown (1921-1987), a Wyoming-born competitor from Soper, Oklahoma. Three other men rode Tornado before Shoulders retired him in 1969. He died in 1972 on Shoulders's J Lazy S Ranch. Tornado is buried on the grounds of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, near the graves of the renowned bucking horses Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bob Colvin, "Freckles Knew He Would Ride Tornado," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 December 1974. Willard Porter, Who's Who in Rodeo (Oklahoma City, Okla.: Powder River Books, 1982). "Tornado," Vertical File, Rodeo Historical Society Hall of Fame, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
© Oklahoma Historical Society