When the Rodeo Historical Society put together their 2007 inductees to the National Cowboy & Heritage Museum, it was a class filled with legends.
Ceremonies were held on Oct. 21 to honor the class, which included Winston Bruce, Duane Howard, Frank McCarroll, George Paul, Wilbur Plaugher, Royce Sewalt, Bob Tallman and Clyde Vamvoras. Winston Bruce from Calgary, Alberta, Canada qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 10 times, won the world championship in 1970 and the Canadian Saddle Bronc Championship in 1957. He later went on to manage the Calgary Stampede livestock division and was on the PRCA board of directors.
Duane Howard’s involvement in rodeo came as a competitor in all three rough stock events. An injury at Cheyenne Frontier Days kept him from competing, but he returned to the arena as a pick-up man and a judge. Howard ranches at Scheyenne, N.D.
Frank McCarroll, who died in 1954, set the standard for all steer wrestlers from 1911 through 1930. George Paul was killed in a plane crash leaving Casper, Wyo., in 1970. The Del Rio, Texas, native won the world title in 1968 and was best known for his record of riding 79 consecutive bulls. The George Paul Memorial Bull Riding has been held for 30 years the first weekend in May in his memory.
Wilbur Plaugher is best known for his antics in the arena as a funny man and bull fighter. Plaugher, from Sanger, Calif., also held two world records for the fastest time in the steer wrestling. He co-founded the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys.
Royce Sewalt left this world in 1974, but left behind a rodeo legacy that spans three generations. The 1946 world champion calf roper was known for having great horses and loved to teach young ropers the trade. Clyde Vamvoras died when he was just 37. He won world titles in bareback riding in 1967 and ’68 and qualified for the NFR 11 years straight.
Bob Tallman’s career as a rodeo announcer spans four decades and over 15,000 performances across the U.S. and Canada. He has also announced rodeos in Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. He has become known as the “voice of rodeo” and will announce his 21st Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this month.
“This was the most immense and flattering blessing that I have had in my life,” a very humble Tallman said. “It reaffirmed my value in the Western lifestyle and energized my passion. I have never been so flattered or blessed in my life.”