The original Brahma bull Roman rider, Leon Adams, passes at 87
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Leon Adams, a ProRodeo Hall of Famer, passed away Oct. 30 at his ranch in Stuart, Okla. He was 87.
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For parts of five decades, the husband-and-wife team of Leon and Vicki Adams entertained rodeo fans all over the world with their specialty act, which included horsemanship, innovative flair and skill in training animals. Both Leon and Vicki were inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2008.
Leon learned to Roman ride horses by riding his father’s work horse to and from the field every day in Stuart, Okla. He got his first paying job in the arena at age 12, made trick riding his career shortly after graduating from high school, and just kept adding to his repertoire.
Looking for something truly different, he trained Geronimo and Apache to become the first Brahma bulls to be part of a Roman riding act. He also trained bulls to leap over a Cadillac convertible and through fiery hoops. Leon Adams retired from the arena in 2005, and Vicki did so one year later.
Leon’s performance philosophy was disarmingly simple: take risks.
<blockquote>“I tried to do a lot of hard things, because if you’re not in the borderline, you’re not really entertaining. If the fans love it, I love to do it,” he said. “I pushed the horses to their limits and pushed myself to the limit, too.”</blockquote>
<em>-PRCA Pro Rodeo</em>