Rodeo legends: Frost, Red Rock monument construction to begin soon

Construction for the Red Rock Monument in front of the Red Bluff Round-Up Museum is set to begin this spring, according to the monument committee.

The bigger-than-life monument is set to memorialize the renowned rodeo bucking bull, Red Rock, and professional bull rider, Lane Frost.

A fundraiser for the project that Vicki Stroud conceived during her term as Red Bluff Rotary President was recently held to raise money for the larger-than-life bronze statue to honor Red Bluff’s infamous bull. The event was hosted by Dan and Kristi Steadman, owners of Heart S Ranch, and created the perfect backdrop for celebrating community spirit and generosity.

Thanks to a recent fundraising dinner that raised $42,000 for the cause, and combining these funds with a recent $40,000 anonymous donation, the project is nearing its fundraising target of $350,000. Contributions are still needed to finish the monument base and plaques. To donate go online to the Red Rock Monument website

Rodeo legends

Anyone privy to the rodeo scene has probably heard of the infamous Red Rock rodeo bull who was orphaned as a small calf and raised in the family’s backyard by the original owner’s milk cow.

Red Rock was born in 1976 at the Burnt River Ranch in Burns, Oregon. At two years of age, the bull was purchased by local rodeo stock contractor Mert Hunking from Sisters, Oregon. He immediately noticed that Red Rock was smarter than the typical bucking bull. Somehow this savvy animal could sense what a bull rider would do and would turn the opposite way, quickly throwing cowboys.

In 1984, Hunking contacted John Growney of the Growney Brothers Rodeo Company about Red Rock’s potential sale. Although there were many offers for this special bull, Growney and partner, Don Kish, both of Red Bluff had a reputation for outstanding livestock care. The choice was a no-brainer.

Over the years, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame bucking bull was the real deal in the round-up world. This fierce competitor competed in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and bucked off more than 300 consecutive riders to maintain an unprecedented undefeated status in the mid-80s and named the Bucking Bull of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.

However, Red Rock is most famous for his connection with professional bull riding icon Lane Frost, the 1987 world champion bull rider, and their 1987 famous matchup called the Challenge of Champions. Red Rock was brought out of retirement to compete against Frost in seven showdowns at various rodeos in the West. Frost rode him to the eight-second whistle four of the seven matches.

Upon Red Rock’s retirement, he returned to the Growney Ranch. Growney continued to let fans visit the famous bull as he was a friendly and gentle giant outside of the arena. Sadly, Red Rock suffered a stroke at the age of 18. He was buried under a grand old oak tree at the Growney Ranch in Red Bluff.

Frost, who died at 25 in 1989 at Cheyenne Frontier Days after taking a horn in the back, was as popular a cowboy as Growney had ever met.

Red Bluff Rotary has joined forces with the Red Bluff Round-Up to immortalize Red Rock as one of Tehama County’s greatest legends.

The plan includes a larger than life bronze statue of Lane Frost atop the mighty bull designed by renowned artist, Jim Stuckenberg. This living history moment will be part of the Red Bluff Round-Up Museum’s outdoor park-like exhibit at 670 Antelope Blvd. Designed to stand life-size plus 25 percent, it is anticipated the sculpture will become a visitor attraction..

The massive undertaking has attracted the support of the local and rodeo community everywhere to make it a reality.

Various tax deductible sponsorship and donation opportunities are available (Red Bluff Round-Up Museum Federal Tax ID #68-0333674).