Connect with us

Rodeo News

The Infamous Matchup of Lane Frost and Red Rock at Redding Rodeo

Imagine it’s 1988 and you’re attending a sold-out show for Redding Rodeo in beautiful northern California. In addition to the normal rodeo excitement, there is added buzz in the air about the historic match-up of the unridden bull, Red Rock, and bull rider, Lane Frost. Redding was the third match-up in a series of seven that Lane and Red Rock would compete against each other in. But it was the first one that Lane made the first-ever eight-second ride on the previously unridden bull.

Lane hanging out with his buddy Red Rock. Β Credit: Sue Rosoff (Found on Lane Frost Brand Facebook)
Lane hanging out with his buddy Red Rock. πŸ“Έ;Credit: Sue Rosoff (Found on Lane Frost Brand Facebook)

Lane Frost and Red Rock are two names that are synonymous with the sport of bull riding and it was no accident that the two were pitted against each other in the series of events, also known as the “Challenge of Champions”. Just as the name infers, the seven matchups were intended to put the best of the best against each other. In 1987, Red Rock had just been named PRCA Bull of the Year and Frost had been named World Champion Bull Rider. The vision for the event was brought to light by stock contractor and owner of Red Rock, John Growney. I was able to steal a few words with John for this article to get his thoughts on that infamous ride that took place almost 35 years ago.

Krysta: What were your thoughts heading into the Challenge of Champions? Did you think Lane would cover Red Rock?

John: We started the Challenge of Champions because Lane was such a good bull rider, and once he figured out how to ride Red Rock, it started to get easier for him. So you don’t really think about stuff like that, because I just knew it was a great event and it was to this day, it was the biggest thing that ever happened to the PRCA as far as media and marketing.

Credit: Sue Rosoff
Credit: Sue Rosoff

Krysta: Looking back, what did this ride mean to you?

John: You know, I tell everybody I think this story was written in heaven because you couldn’t write a story like this. The Lane and Red Rock deal was like two boxing champions or cage fighting champions, or two racehorses going against each other, it was a contest against man and animal. Lane had this personality and smile and talent then Red Rock had all the credentials. He was bucking bull of the year and had been unridden. You could make him [Red Rock] and Lane stand together in front of a camera and Red Rock would stay there the whole time while doing an interview. It’s like someone put this story together before we ever even thought about it.

Krysta: Do you think that this ride at Redding was a turning point for rodeo back then?

John: I know that it was. You know, guys like Cody [Lambert] and Tuff [Hedeman] and several others started the PBR. Randy Bernard was their manager and Brian McDonald was very creative in his thoughts, you know, and so with all that happening, those guys saw what Lane and Red Rock were able to do and realized that it was so marketable that they could go out on a standalone event like bull riding, and make it work.

Credit: Sue Rosoff
Credit: Sue Rosoff

Up until that fateful Friday evening in Redding, Red Rock had not been ridden in over 300 attempts, including the four times that Lane Frost had attempted to ride him before. The first two events for the Challenge of Champions had taken place first in Red Bluff, then in Clovis and Red Rock bucked Frost off in a matter of seconds. The third time was the charm as Lane had the bull figured out and was able to put the full eight seconds on the bull before coming off. Lane went on to ride Red Rock another three times, making the final score of the Challenge of Champions 4-3 when it was all said and done.

The stage had been set and history was made that Friday night in Redding Rodeo. Now, 75 years later Redding Rodeo is ready to make history again with the 75th Diamond Anniversary of “Buckin’ by the River”. Taking place May 17-20 in the same arena, Redding Rodeo is ready to put on the show of a lifetime. With entertainment all weekend from the world-renowned rodeo entertainer, The One Armed Bandit, and rodeo thrills kicking off Wednesday, May 17 with the Extreme Bulls and Barrels, attendees can experience four full days of fun in Redding, California. Make sure to purchase your tickets now before they sell out!

Credit: Redding Rodeo
Credit: Redding Rodeo

The Legacy of Lane Frost

The legacy of Lane Frost lives on today. Not only through numerous books, films, and documentaries but also in songs, stories, and memories of those that had the pleasure of knowing him. Lane Frost is not only remembered as one of the greatest bull riders of all time but also as a great friend, brother, and husband. He was a man of great courage and strength and he continues to inspire people to this day with his story of courage and determination. Lane Frost accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior in 1988, the year before he died, and to this day, his mom is carrying on the message of his faith, strength, determination, and his story to rodeo cowboys still today.


CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at Learn more about me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

More in Rodeo News