Whether you’re a bull rider or a lover of the sport, you know there’s not a competition in the world that’s as demanding or as dangerous as bull riding. Since its beginnings in rodeo, bull riding has been the most exciting and popular of all the rodeo events. Along the way, bull riding has also evolved into a standalone sport with its own captivating identity. It’s undeniably a sport like no other and is an 8 second ride of which legends are made.
This past May 13, 2016, legendary bull riding Black Cowboy and Texan Myrtis Dightman Sr. was inducted into The Bull Riding Hall of Fame. This was his 7th Hall of Fame induction.
The Bull Riding Hall of Fame was created to recognize, commemorate and celebrate the bull riders, bull fighters, the bulls, stock contractors, events and individuals that have made a history making impact and have achieved exemplary excellence in the sport. The Bull Riding Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing and inducting the legendary individuals, organizations and animal greats that have made such a significant impact on the sport.
Dightman was the first Black Cowboy to break barriers in bull riding and was able to overcome a lot of discrimination in the sport, with much class and with and extremely positive attitude. He was a trailblazer and the first successful Black bull rider during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Dightman is an unsung sports hero, and like other bull riders, he was an athlete that was able to match skills with a ton of raw power with cat-like agility. He was the first Black Cowboy to qualify for the National Final Rodeo and has many other major accomplishments.
In 1997, Dightman was inducted into The National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He was inducted into The Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2001; The National Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame in 2003; Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2004; presented with The Professional Bull Riders Ring of Honor in 2003; presented into The History Makers in 2010; and had a statue unveiled in his honor in his hometown of Crockett, Texas in 2011.
In addition to his success in bull riding, Dightman also started the first African American ride and co-founded the Prairie View Trailriders Association in 1957. He also continues to organize the Myrtis Dightman Annual Labor Day Rodeo, the annual rodeo he founded in 1989.
The Houston Forward Times salutes Mr. Myrtis Dightman on his most recent honor in The Bull Riding Hall of Fame. Thanks for making Houston proud.