Bull riders from across the Intermountain West will compete to be the champion of the Lane Frost Challenge Tour at the Old Spanish Trail Arena Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23 and 24.
The Lane Frost Challenge Tour was originally organized in 2001 as a two-day event in Vernal, the boyhood home of bull-riding champion Lane Frost. It has since grown to a competition of 12 bull-riding events in Utah and Colorado where riders are able to compete for the tour champion.
The final competition is here in Moab.
“The leading riders that win in Moab could pull out the win for the year,” said Eldon Monsen, director of the Lane Frost Challenge. “Ours riders and bulls are just as good as any anywhere.”
Lane Frost’s bull riding career was memorialized in the movie “8 Seconds”, starring Luke Perry.
Frost was named the PRCA World Champion Bull Rider in 1987 at the age of 24.
He died in 1989 while competing at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. After completing an 87-point ride on a bull named Taking Care of Business, Frost dismounted from the rear. The bull quickly turned, crossed over Frost, and broke Frost’s ribs with his horn. A broken rib fatally punctured his heart. He finished third in the event posthumously.
The protective vest that riders now where was designed by Cody Lambert, a friend of Frost.
“It may have saved his life,” Monsen said, had the vest been available to Frost at the time.
Monsen rode calves as a kid, but he said he wasn’t good at it. Instead he chose to raise bulls, train them and haul them to shows.
“They’re athletes, just like the cowboys. When they get in the ring they perform.”
Janet Monsen said that they hope to have 40 bullriders in Moab.
This year the challenge has a tour champion buckle, as well as a saddle and chaps for the bullrider who earns the most money during the tour.
Bullriders earn money by riding and earning points during each event. The Lane Frost Challenge pays the top six places per event.
“We wound up with 33 riders that earned money this year,” she said. “Our highest money earner, Bryant Osborne from Colorado, wound up with a broken arm, so he won’t be riding,” Monsen said.
The next top money earner for the challenge is Quincy Adams from Taylorsville.
“If he earns money, it won’t take much for him to win,” she said.
But the competition is still wide open.
She said that Milton Robinson of Evanston, Wyoming had his first ride in Lyman, Wyo., on Aug. 10 and is already placed eighth in the tour for the amount of money he earned at that one event. However, Dusty Clegg from the tiny town of Randlett in the Uintah Basin has been in every show.
“He’s in No. 4 now,” Monsen said. “He’s been climbing. He was sitting at 12 or 13, but now he’s right up there in the ratings.”
The night will have more than bullriders. A few events have been opened for kids as well, such as the money chase, mutton bustin’ and sheep roping.