Lyne and Nafzger will each be presented with a gold ring commemorating their acceptance into the Ring of Honor. The PBR Ring of Honor, which was established in 1996, recognizes those that have made a profound impact on the sport, both in the arena and out.
Phil Lyne is often referred to as “the cowboy’s cowboy.” Born Jan. 18, 1947, in San Antonio, Texas, Lyne made his mark in virtually every event that rodeo had to offer. Following an amateur career that saw him win five championships and 42 saddles, Lyne broke into the professional ranks in 1969. He quickly made a name for himself when he was named PRCA Rookie of the Year and competed in five events – bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. Lyne won a combined five PRCA world titles in three different events: the all-around title in 1971-72; tie-down roping, 1971-72 and steer roping, 1990 (he came out of retirement to claim the steer roping championship). He owns the distinction of being the only man in professional rodeo to win the National Finals Rodeo average in three different events – the bull riding, calf roping and steer roping.
Of the honor, Lyne humbly stated, “Very truthfully I was surprised to be recognized but greatly honored. Knowing some of the other Ring of Honor recipients makes it very special to join them. The PBR has brought so much recognition to the event. I’m happy for the guys riding in the PBR and I’m glad to see the bulls getting the recognition and respect they deserve too. I’m just honored that they thought of me.”
Lyne, now 60, resides in Cotulla, Texas, where he is involved in the ranching, construction and commercial hunting industries. He and wife Sarah, have two daughters, Amanda (married to PBR bullfighter, Shorty Gorham) and Samantha. Lyne restricts his arena activities mostly to team roping these days.
“Phil Lyne is the quintessential cowboy,” said CEO of the PBR, Randy Bernard. “Phil made a mark not only as a bull rider, but as an exceptional all around hand, which really gained him notoriety as athlete. I think Phil Lyne changed the public’s perception of the rodeo cowboy and he paved the way for today’s top bull riding athletes in the process.”
Born in Plainview, Texas, in 1941, Carl Nafzger was fascinated early in life by the bulls that his father raised on their family farm. It was this fascination that led him to the rodeo arena where he experienced great success as a three-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier (1963-65). In 1963, Nafzger finished the season ranked third overall in the PRCA bull riding standings – the best finish of his bull riding career. Upon leaving the world of the rodeo, Nafzger embarked on a journey that would lead him to the winner’s circle at virtually every major venue that the sport of Thoroughbred racing has to offer. He married Wanda in 1968, the same year he received his first Thoroughbred Trainer’s license.
Nafzger is best known for his handling of the champion Unbridled that won the 1990 Kentucky Derby. Street Sense also won Thoroughbred racing’s top crown in 2007, making Nafzger a two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer. Street Sense was a heavy favorite for this year’s Breeders Cup, and won the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as well. As of October 10, Nafzger’s 2007 statistics reflect that he’s saddled winners of 25 percent of races started. 57 percent of his mounts have finished in the money for season earnings to date of $3,869,953. Between 1976 and October 10, 2007, from 7,905 starts, Nafzger is credited with 1,052 wins and earnings of $49,657,805. He was inducted into the Texas Racing Hall of Fame this year and won the 1990 Eclipse Award as the country’s leading trainer. He is the trainer of three Eclipse Award winners – 1990 champion 3-year-old colt Unbridled, 1998 champion 3-year-old filly Banshee Breeze, and 2006 champion 2-year-old colt Street Sense.
"Not only did Carl Nafzger ride bulls at the highest level, but through his achievements in horse racing he's garnered a lot of positive publicity for the sport of bull riding. In everything I've ever seen or read about Carl Nafzger, bull riding is always mentioned. I think he's really proud of his roots in the sport and he's a really big fan of the sport," said Ty Murray.
Bernard echoed Murray’s sentiments stating, “It’s great to see a bull rider have success in our sport and go on to achieve greatness in another highly competitive sport, such as horse racing. Very few individuals get to follow their passion and fulfill their dreams at the highest level of any game; Carl Nafzger has done so in two worlds, that of bull riding and that of racing.”
“To be inducted into the PBR Ring of Honor by your peers for something you did as a young man that was your life’s love and dream is the greatest thing that can happen to you,” stated Carl Nafzger in reaction to his induction. “I’m proud that the PBR has been able to take the sport of bull riding to a level we only dreamed of when I was riding. Because of the PBR, bull riders today are being recognized as the fine athletes they are, competing for prize money and endorsements we could have never imagined in the 1960’s. ‘Course it is a good thing the PBR wasn’t around then or I might still be trying to get on.”
More than 100 million viewers tune in each year to the PBR on FOX, NBC, VERSUS and on a host of foreign networks across the globe. With approximately 500 hours of prime time programming annually PBR ranks among the most prolific sports on air, in addition to attracting over one and one half million live event attendees each year with its multi-tiered event structure which includes the marquee Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler, the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Tour, and the Discovery Tour, designed specifically for entry level contestants. The PBR is headquartered in Pueblo, Colo., and has over 1,200 PBR bull riders competing in more than 300 PBR sanctioned competitions in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.
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