CLN Insider: The Long and Short of Shorty Gorham
“I sponsor people who remind us what American spirit and character is all about. I support role models for what they teach us about courage, optimism and plain hard work. In Shorty Gorham, I found all that and more.”
John Cadzow, WSM Auctioneers – Phoenix, AZ
The Western Industry, and the sport of Professional Bull Riding in particular, tends to bring together people of like minds and hearts. It draws people in as family.
So it’s no surprise that investors and sponsors such as WSM Auctioneers, recognize everything that our rodeo family encapsulates: patriotism, honor, doing business on a handshake, gritting your teeth and moving forward despite pain or other challenges, and really remembering what America is all about.
These old-fashioned principles are what attracted John and Shelly Cadzow of WSM Auctioneers to sponsoring bull riding, professional bull riders, and people like PBR Bullfighter Shorty Gorham.
So what, exactly, would be the long and short of Shorty Gorham? Well – truth be known – there’s nothing short about Shorty!
We can, however, summarize the PBR Bullfighter’s career with one word: Early.
Everything started early. However, there will be no early ending to his career!
A quarter of a century ago, a 14-year-old boy was taken under the wing of a California rancher named Gilbert Aguirre.
When Aguirre took that 14 yr old kid to a local rodeo in Indio, CA, that kid jumped at the chance to take the place of an AWOL bullfighter. Because Shorty came prepared. He came with all his gear.
Even then, he knew to prepare and jump at any opportunity to do what he knew he was destined to do: Bullfight.
From there, Shorty literally fought his way up to the elite, televised PBR level; protecting cowboys and keeping bull riders out of trouble for twelve consecutive years from 2005 through 2017.
Along the way, he’s managed to be a husband to his wife Amanda Lyne; a dad to two kids (both of which compete in rodeo and have competed in the American Semi’s – his stepson Tanner, a Tie-Down Roper, and his daughter London, a young barrel racer); train hunting dogs; lead his peers in respecting our country’s military and flag with the “We Stand United” initiative; aid the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Click-It or Ticket” campaign, helping to keep cowboys alive in and out of the arena; create and organize the American Freestyle Bullfighting Tour (AFB); and form/manage the “Lights Out” Fighting Bull Breeding Program.
However, the 2018 PBR: 25th “Unleash the Beast” World Finals (Nov. 7-11 in Las Vegas) will sadly be minus Gorham.
According to the PBR website, “Gorham injured himself [dislocated his left foot] leaping onto the back of the bucking chutes to avoid “Big Benny” during Round 1 of the Winstar World Casino & Resort PBR Invitational in Austin, Texas (the last week of September)….and will be out for multiple weeks.”
He may not be working the PBR – however, he will still be managing and producing his AFB Tour events!
According to the AFB website: Shorty “turned to the future [beyond the PBR], by turning to his past, when he founded ShortyGorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting – AFB – and is now producing top freestyle bullfighting events of the world.”
Deemed the “Most Dangerous Dance on Dirt”, up and coming bulls and bullfighters are scored on their levels of engagement while competing in the “ultimate salsa dance”.
Each bullfighter has 40 seconds to engage a fighting bull – one specifically geared towards a one-on-one arena encounter. Or, as Shorty has said, “This ain’t no bull ride; it’s the bullfighters’ turn to shine.”
He’s “looking to use his own brand to create a new generation of western sports superstars.”
Shorty’s finding those “superstars” of the future – the ones who’ll keep bull riders alive and healthy – something that Shorty has craved his whole, entire life.
And with the help of local sponsors such as WSM Auctioneers, who’ve just come on board as an association title sponsor, Shorty’s making things happen!
WSM is helping him to accomplish mutually important objectives: To continue to protect and keep bull riders from harm; training up future bullfighters, and continue to highlight principles America was originally founded upon.
Upcoming AFB events:
Nov 10 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum
Nov 11 – McAllen, TX – State Farm Arena
Nov 16 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
Nov 18 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
Upcoming WSM Auctions:
Dec 8 – Phoenix, AZ – Live Public Auction
Jan 12 – Phoenix, AZ – Live Public Auction