Bull Riding Hall of Fame Inductee Wacey Cathey
This week's Tuff As Nails honor goes to the ironman of the National Finals Rodeo, 14-time NFR qualifier Wacey Cathey of Big Spring, Texas. Wacey, who holds the record with Ted Nuce, qualified for his first NFR in 1976 and his last in 1991. Cathey's top performance year was 1986 when he rode 7 bulls for a total of 30,450.00
Kudos to Wacey for being selected this year to be inducted to the Bull Riding Hall of Fame. The Bull Riding Hall of Fame recognizes and commemorates the legends of the sport of Bull Riding.
Wacey is the kind of guy bull riders name their kids after (Wacey Dalton Hart) and mother's cheer for from the stands of the Superbowl of rodeo. Hedeman and Cathey are friends to this day and you can find Cathey at the VIP table during several Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour events.
Tuff reflects on his favorite story about Wacey Cathey:
"I remember before the NFR in 1990, Wacey Cathey had a pretty big lead going in, and he'd never won the NFR. I liked Wacey- I looked up to him. Anyway, I was talking to my mother and she made the comment, ‘I sure hope Wacey wins it this year.' I said, ‘Really? You know I'm entered, right?' She said ‘Yes, but you've won a couple already and Wacey deserves it...' I said ‘Okay, you go ahead and pull for him. I'll be the only rider in the history of the finals whose mother was in the stands pulling for someone else.'
He Looks Soft but he rides Hard was a title to an article about Cathey in the newspaper during the 1988 NFR. Jim Murray writes:
"You would think you had a mental picture of a guy who would ride a bull in a rodeo. A wild-eyed, wild-haired, hare-brained young kid with the leather skin and chapped lips of a guy who never slept in a bed in his life or drank coffee out of anything but a can. A hundred years ago he would have been holding up stagecoaches or drawing down on frontier marshals and he would have the life expectancy of a sick coyote. Wacey's secret is not hard to guess: The bulls take one look at him and they figure this is one of those midnight cowboys who thinks this is just a video arcade game. They figure they'll throw him up in the lights. The next thing they know, the horn has sounded and he's sitting there like a guy on a bus reading the financial pages. He rides the bull like a commuter. Even to the bull, he looks like one."
He's the oldest and certifiably the best bull-rider in the National Finals Rodeo, the Super Bowl of the cowboys-and-Indians set, up here at the Thomas & Mack Arena this week. The best 15 bull-riders in the world qualify for this event on the basis of money won and Wacey has won more than any of them--$70,413 to date in 150 rodeos this year.
Wacey Wayne Cathey was born to Bob and Ruth Cathey, June 29, 1953, in Big Spring. Wacey was raised on the family ranch and at 16 began to rodeo. Among Cathey's wins are: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Prescott, AZ, Oakdale, CA, San Angelo, Big Spring, and San Antonio TX., Ellensburg, WA, Oklahoma City, OK, Sikeston, MO., Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo/TX State Fair, Greeley, Colorado, Edmonton, Canada, Madison Square Garden, The Summit Presidential Rodeo, North Platt, and Colorado Springs, CO. Wacey won the $50,000.00 Purse in Calgary, Canada in 1983 and 1990. Breaking the record at the 1990 Calgary Stampede with a 92 point ride. He received the Texas Circuit Championship in 1982 and the Pro Tour in 1985.
Wacey has two children, a daughter Shelley and a son Sloan.
Today, he is a respected bull riding judge and continues to work and reside on his family ranch with Jeannie Woodruff.
This year's, 4th annual, Induction Ceremonies and Reunion will be held May 18th and 19th in the legendary Fort Worth Stockyards. Pam Minick and Donnie Gay return this year as co-hosts and masters of ceremonies. http://www.the-bull-riding-hall-of-fame.com/