Sure is sad. Lots of great bulls have been dying lately. Red Wolf was one of my favories along with Skat Kat when I frist started watching PBR around 1997 or so. Least he lived a full life though, that's more that can be said for a lot of the bulls that have recently gone on.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (December 31, 2006) - The Professional Bull Riders Inc. (PBR) mourns the passing of Herrington Cattle Company's great Red Wolf. The great bucking bull passed away December 29, 2006 at the Herrington Ranch in Texas at the age of 18.
"I'm glad that Red Wolf was treated like a king," said Robby Herrington the great bull's owner. "The cowboys, stock contractors and fans treated him with the utmost respect. He helped take the sport of bull riding to a whole new level. It was a great honor to have owned him."
"Red Wolf was like the Jerry Rice of bucking bulls," said Ty Murray, PBR President. "The thing that made him special is that he was great for a long time-longer than he should have been. He had a personality and presence in the arena that endeared him to both fans and cowboys. When we had his retirement party he got a standing ovation and I believe that was a tribute to his personality."
"This bull had all the athleticism, he had an unbelievable muscle mass and those big horns that curved down. He also had a personality that he knew when and how to perform," stated Randy Bernard, PBR CEO. "My favorite memory of Red Wolf was in his retirement, we honored him by bringing him out into the arena under a dark house and there was not a dry eye behind the chutes with the cowboys, the stock contractors and the fans. When he made his entrance under the spot lights he came out and bowed his head like he knew it was his last time. It was one of the longest standing ovations I can remember at any performance. He was a great athlete that tried every single time."
"He never had an off day-it didn't matter what side he was loaded on, who was riding him, or how far he'd been hauled-he did his job everyday," said Cody Lambert, PBR Vice President and Livestock Director. "If he bucked a guy off in two or three seconds he would just take a victory lap but if he was ridden for seven or eight seconds he was mad and was looking for somebody to run over, it didn't matter if it was a bull rider, bull fighter, or judge. At the 1997 PBR World Finals, he was ridden and while one of the judges was calculating the score Red Wolf ran him over. We had to bring in an alternate judge to finish the round."
Through his great career, Red Wolf tossed a number of great cowboys including Murray, two-time PBR World Champion, Chris Shivers, Cody Custer, and J.W. Hart. In 1999 in Charlotte, N.C. Bubba Dunn scored 96 points aboard the great bull-the second highest score in PBR history.
Red Wolf appeared at six PBR World Finals between 1995 and 2000 when he was retired. He was ridden 20 out of 47 career attempts on the elite PBR circuit. The 42.6% of the time he was conquered, his rival cowboy averaged 92.5 points. The great bull's average ride score was 44.4 points (out of 50) during his impressive career.
"At the time of his retirement, Red Wolf was old enough to be the great grandfather of some of the great bulls in the PBR and he was still as good as they get," continued Lambert. "I said at his retirement that he was the greatest bucking bull there's ever been and I stand by that statement today. There's been some since that could have been the best but they aren't still competing at 12 years old."
"He's one of those animals that becomes a legend," stated Murray. "I was fortunate enough to have gotten on him as many times I did. I think I won on him four times and he bucked me off once. The Friday night of the PBR World Finals in 1999 was the most impressive night of bull riding I've ever witnessed. I was 95.5 points on Red Wolf and placed third. He was certainly a part of that night."
Many people have heard the stories that whenever the Herrington's would load the truck to go to a bull riding, Red Wolf always wanted to get on and go. "I believe he understood the game and he loved it. I have a bronze of Red Wolf that Robby Herrington gave me sitting in the middle of my living room-with a picture of me riding him next to it. I've always thought it was an honor," said Murray.
"Robby Herrington retires every one of his bulls at the perfect time-not past the time," said Lambert. "He could have gotten another year out of Red Wolf but he treats his bulls with respect and honors them the way they deserve to be honored. Red Wolf was given the retirement and life after his athletic career was over that he had earned. Red Wolf was a great role model for bucking bulls and Robby Herrington is a great role model for stock contractors.
Red Wolf and Ty Murray have been immortalized in a painting by the famous LeRoy Neiman. Best known for his brilliantly colored, stunningly energetic images of sporting events and leisure activities, LeRoy Neiman is probably the most popular living artist in the United States.