Freckles Brown, 1962 World Champion Bull Rider
On December 1, 1967 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the first performance of the National Finals Rodeo, Freckles Brown, 1962 World Champion Bull Rider, at age 47, came out of chute number two and rode a bull that had never been ridden in 220 times out, Jim Shoulder's bull, Tornado, an 1850-pound Braford. The first cowboy to shake his hand was Jim Shoulders.
Freckles Brown was born on January 18, 1921 in Wheatland, Wyoming. He started rodeoing in 1937 when he was 16 years old and didn't quit until 37 years later when he was 53. He rode bulls, saddle broncs, bareback broncs, and did some bulldogging too. He won several all-around titles.
Pvt. Freckles Brown served during World War II in the Remount Division under General Bill Donovan. He was a paratrooper and spent some time in China. While there, he helped organize a "makeshift" rodeo, in which he won the all-around title.
Freckles went to the National Finals eight times between 1959 and 1969 and won the World in Bull Riding in 1962 at the age of 42. The 1962 Championship was a close call because he was laid up with a two broken vertebrae in his neck after a ride on a bull called Black Smoke in October of that year. His lead at the time of his injury had to carry him through the finals while all he could do was watch from the sidelines.
The late Lane Frost credited much of his success to Freckles Brown. The Frost family moved to Lane, Oklahoma in 1977, where Lane learned riding techniques from his father and from Freckles Brown of near-by Hugo, Oklahoma.
On March 20, 1987, at age 66, Freckles lost his four-year battle to cancer and rodeo lost a bull riding legend. Lane Frost went on that year to become the 1987 World Champion bull rider at the age of 24. Freckles Brown was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Oklahoma. A short two years later, Lane Frost was buried next to his hero and mentor, Freckles Brown.