RICK CHATMAN OBITUARY
Rick Chatman died at his sister’s home in Arlington March 27, 2014. It is presumed he succumbed to a heart attack. He was 57 years of age.
Rick was born May 1st, 1956 in Fort Worth, Texas. He jokingly said he got in to rodeo by needing a better history grade. His history teacher was the rodeo team sponsor and he began bullfighting at high school rodeos. He joined PRCA in 1979. Rick became a well known bullfighter, rodeo clown and entertainer. He was hired to protect the bull riders and entertain the audience at some of the biggest rodeos in the country. He was a mainstay at Cheyenne Frontier Days for nearly 20 years. Wick Peth recommended Rick when he did not return to Frontier Days in 1985 as their bullfighter. Rick was called the Bumblebee and his dress was a black hat, and yellow and black shirt. A few of the major rodeos he worked in addition to Cheyenne Frontier Days, were Houston, San Antonio and Austin rodeos. Rick wore a helmet camera that allowed the audience to see bull riding and bullfighting on the screen from his perspective – close and personal.
In the winter of 1986/’87 Rick and Tom Feller got lost while in the mountains of Colorado. Rick suffered frostbite on his feet. Although he only missed six rodeos while recovering he continued to have foot problems. He rode 30 to 40 miles on his bicycle most days to keep his feet in shape.
Some of his achievements as a bullfighter were becoming the Wrangler Bullfight World Champion in 1984. He was the PRCA Clown of the Year in 1984. He was chosen as the bullfighter for the Copenhagen Cup Finale at Mesquite, TX in 2000.
A Memorial will be held for honor Rick on Sunday, April 6th, at 6 PM in the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Arena, at Cleburne and everyone is welcome. For further information call 817-991-0156 or 817-991-3080.
He is survived by his two sons, Cassidy of Burleson, TX; and Chance of Denton, TX; his father Buddy Chatman and step-mother, LaDonna of Lindale, TX; sister, Dionne Kitchens and husband, Jerry of Arlington, TX; and ex-wife Sheila Chatman of Burleson, TX. Memorials can be sent to the Justin Crisis Fund, 101 ProRodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.