Flynn qualified for nine straight NFRs, from 1974-1982, and he shares the record for most NFR bull riding average victories with three. Flynn earned a score of 98 points on Red Lightning in 1979, the second-highest score ever awarded.
Often identified as the most talented bull rider never to win a world title, Denny Flynn of Charleston, Arkansas qualified for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) 10 times (1974-82, 1985) and set a record for most bull riding average titles won at the NFR (1975, 1981-82), later equaled by Jim Sharp. Denny won his first NFR Bull Riding title in his second full year of riding (1975). The following year, he began a 7-year stretch where he finished 4th or better in the world rankings and won NFR titles in 1981 and 1982. Flynn finished second in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) season standings three times, losing the 1980 world title to Don Gay by a mere $188 and the 1978 PRCA title by just $283. His 98-point ride aboard “Steiner’s Red Lightning” is 2nd best in PRCA history. Flynn’s 92-point score on a bull named Ed Pivik at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1974 stood as the arena record for 15 years. Flynn was legendary for his toughness. He nearly died from being gored by a bull in Salt Lake City in 1975, but came back to compete two months later. He suffered a concussion in the 6th round of the 1981 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) when a bull fell on him, but went on to ride 9 of his 10 bulls to win the average. A year later, he broke his ankle in the 9th round, but returned in a cast to mount his 10th bull, which he needed to win the NFR average again. In 2010, Denny was inducted into both the Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Rodeo Hall of Fame.