Legendary Pro Rodeo Superstar Has Passed Away at 79 Years Old
Over the past 4 decades, I've been fortunate enough to see some of the best rodeo cowboys in person. I've watched Ty Murray, Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp, Jim Shoulders, Lane Frost, and J.B. Mauney, just to name a few.
I've had in-person conversations with Don Gay, but I never got the chance to see him ride. I've seen Walt Garrison ride on TV. I never got the opportunity to see arguably the best of all-time ride - Larry Mahan.
I learned earlier today that Mahan had passed away at the age of 79.
Mahan was claiming world championship buckles when I was still in grade school. He was the six-time all-around world champion in 1966-70 and 1973. He also took home the gold as the champion bull rider in 1965 and 1967.
From bull-riding to bareback riding to saddle bronc riding, he qualified for the National Finals Rodeo a total of 26 times in the decade from 1964-1975. Mahan set the standard in pro rodeo. He was, and is the hero to many modern-day riders. He is also the hero of many other legends.
Don Gay, whose name is often mentioned in the rarefied air of being the best of all time, has been giving a few updates on the condition of his friend. He's been asking for folks to pray for Larry Mahan and his family.
Then, just before noon today, Gay updated his Facebook and posted that 'Larry Mahan has left us to be with the Lord'.
To the pride of Salem, Oregon, thank you for all the wonderful memories.