ProRodeo Sports News - March 17, 2023


Legend Lost

DeVere Helfrich photo Young began his trek to ProRodeo stardom when he won the calf roping average title at the inaugural 1959 National Finals Rodeo in Dallas.

T he world of rodeo lost a legend. ProRodeo Hall of Famer Olin Young passed away on Feb. 23. He was 86. Although he achieved great fame as a tie-down roper, Young won two world titles in steer roping in 1971 and ‘74 and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo a total of 27 times – 13 times for tie-down roping and 14 times for steer roping – from 1959 through 1980. Most of Young’s competitors believe he would have won several more championships had he traveled more on ProRodeo’s steer roping circuit. Young called Peralta, N.M., home for years. Also, in 1971, Young became the first man to win four average titles in tie-down roping at the National Finals Rodeo. Young also won the NFR average in 1959, and 1962-63. Young’s four average wins was equaled by Roy Cooper (1976, 1979, 1983, 1995); Joe Beaver (1987-88, 1992, 1996); Fred Whitfield (1991, 1997, 1999, 2002); and Caleb Smidt (2015, 2018, 2021, 2022). He also won the average three times at the National Finals Steer Roping in 1967, 1974 and 1977. Not bad for a cowboy who didn’t even seriously start entering steer ropings until 1966. Born in Lovington, N.M., on Sept. 11, 1936, Young was a superb all-around athlete and New Mexico’s Athlete of the Year in 1970.

ProRodeo Hall of Famer Olin Young passes away


ProRodeo Sports News 3/17/2023


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