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Obituaries

Jimmy Bishop of “Bishop Bucking Bull” dies at the age of 62

Midwest bullriding will miss him deeply. Read the rest of this entry »

Bart Clennon Obituary

THE LAST COWBOY TURTLE ASSOCIATION PETITION SIGNER Read the rest of this entry »

Bareback rider Austin Janis dies in road accident

Bareback rider Austin Janis (Ja-neese) died in a traffic accident near Wray, Colo., early Jan. 15 while returning home to South Dakota just hours after making his debut as a PRCA card holder at the SandHills Stock Show & Rodeo. Read the rest of this entry »

OBITUARY FOR ROWLAND CLARK

Rowland Clark, age 67, died in Idabel, Oklahoma, September 6th Read the rest of this entry »

Iowa rodeo mourns Joe Soukup

UPDATE WITH CORYDON ARRANGEMENTS - Joe was killed in a semi roll over accident shortly before midnight on Saturday, September 17th on Highway 18 near Dickens, Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

OBITUARY OF FAYE BLACKSTONE

Faye Blackstone, age 96, died August 30, 2011, at ManateeMemorialHospitalin Bradenton, Florida. She was born June 3, 1915 on a ranch in Nebraska. She rode her horse to school and taught her self to trick ride on the way. By the time she finished high school she was a well-accomplished trick rider. Read the rest of this entry »

OBITUARY FOR EMMA “PEE WEE” BURGE OTT

Emma “Pee Wee” Burge Ott, age 92, passed away August 26th, atMemorialMedicalCenter inModesto,California. She was born in 1919 inGiswil,Switzerland and immigrated with her family toCalifornia when she was 9 years old. By the age of 17 she had discovered the western way of life and was hired to ride steers in exhibition at Pertola andHemet,California. Read the rest of this entry »

Two IFYR contestants died in wreck

UPDATE - FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS - The son of Cody and Stacey Custer was killed in a one car accident. Read the rest of this entry »

Harold Lloyd “Buddy” Heaton, Rodeo Clown, has passed away

By Gail Woerner

Harold Lloyd “Buddy” Heaton

Harold Lloyd “Buddy” Heaton, age 82, passed away at the Legacy at Park View Nursing Home in Ulysses, Kansas, April 14th.  He was nationally known as a professional rodeo clown and bullfighter who had a knack for sensationalism and was never hesitant to try new, unproven antics to make his acts more unique and entertaining.

Heaton was born March 30, 1929, in Alva, Oklahoma to Lloyd and Fayetta Hazard Heaton.  He spent his youth learning to work with animals especially horses.  By the age of twelve he had acquired a talent for performing as a rodeo clown and could jump horses over cars.  He began his rodeo career in 1944 and entertained audiences across the nation and Canada.  He worked for various producers like Reg Kesler, Harry Vold, Beutler Brothers, and Paul Long, at some of the largest rodeos in the country.  Cheyenne Frontier Days, Dodge City, KS,  and Calgary Stampede, plus too many to list.  He was also a competitor of all events, but eventually rode roughstock and wrestled steers.

His outrageous outlook on life allowed him to do things others wouldn’t dare.  Most publicized was his appearance in the parade for John F. Kennedy in 1961, when riding his buffalo, Grunter,  he merely segued in with a group from Fort Worth.  Not to be satisfied with that coup he charged his buffalo toward the podium where Kennedy sat.  The secret service men protecting Kennedy came forth with guns ready, but when things calmed down Heaton and Kennedy shook hands.

Reg Kesler, now deceased, told of Heaton always thinking up sensational ideas for rodeo spectators.  Once in Canada Heaton told Kesler he found a tall pole behind the bleachers and on it was a taut wire.  He rigged a pulley so he could enter the arena from the top of this pole.  When he actually attempted to perform this ‘entrance’ his speed increased so fast he had to release and fall to the ground, where he plowed up the turf and was stunned for some time.  Later, Kesler, jokingly asked Heaton if he would perform that trick at each performance it was truly a laugh-getter.  There are more stories about his experiences and antics, in and out of the arena, than any other rodeo clown/bullfighter, in the profession.

Heaton was a remarkable animal trainer.  In addition to his trained buffalo, Grunter, that he rode across the country, he also had an Appaloosa horse named, “High Hand” that had a vast array of tricks he could perform, including jumping straight up.  Heaton said after he retired the horse, in the pasture, he would still perform the trick.  He also rode the trick horse, “High Hand”, while steer wrestling at the Denver National Western Stock Show & Rodeo and won the event.

This 6’3”, 215 pound, monster of a man suffered many injuries due to his antics, but it never stopped him from performing.  Although his rodeo career ended in 1977, he continued to perform at venues from football games to private parties when asked.

He is survived by his wife Laura Lee, of Ulysses, Kansas; sons Ted Heaton and wife Judy, and Tom Heaton of Hugoton, Kansas; daughters Linda Lee Brecheisen and husband, Randy, of Wyandotte, Oklahoma; Rhonda Neal, and husband, Ray, and Cindy Jo Gallaway of Ulysses, Kansas, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Buddie Lawrence Heaton.

Funeral services were held at the Country View Church, north of Ulysses, Kansas, April 18th.  Burial was at Ulysses Cemetery.  Memorials can be sent in his name to the Justin Crisis Fund, 101 ProRodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

In January, 2008 a very insightful article was written about Buddy.  You can enjoy it here.  http://coffeehousephilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/01/buddy-heaton-original-ring-tailed.html