Top 10 Best Bull Riders of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Lane Frost

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Lane and Tuff when I worked at a country bar. Very, very nice guys. I kind of followed what they had going on, being a former bull rider myself. I'm generally cold, but hearing of Lane's death really hit me in the heart. Good person, great bull rider, and someone I wish I could have been real friends with.

Out of 309 cowboys, Lane was the first and only bull rider to ever ride Red Rock. In fact, he rode him four out of seven times. Lane won the Challenge of the Champions against Red Rock 4-3. The best bull rider vs the best bull.

2 J.B. Mauney

Never backed down from any bull or any competition. Even refused re-rides that would have won him more points/events because his focus was giving his best performance on every ride. Still remember the chills I had watching him ride Bushwacker and Asteroid - simply amazing!

J.B. Mauney is by far my favorite. I love watching his ride on Bushwacker, where he made history for being the first cowboy to ride Bushwacker for the full 8 seconds. That had to have been a pretty scary 8 seconds and an awesome celebration afterward!

3 Tuff Hedeman

Tuff was and still is a beast. Met him in Amarillo and see why some people ignorantly assume he's weak because of his stature, but that man is tough as nails. You can feel it in his handshake, at least until your hand goes numb from his grip.

Tuff is no puss. A promise is a promise. I believe that Tuff should be shoulder-to-shoulder with Lane in number one. By the way, you don't get nicknamed "Tuff" by being a puss. All bull riders are tough, but to have that nickname, you had to be the toughest!

Outstanding to ride for first. Enemy of Lane Frost. Deserves more respect.

4 Chris Shivers

Chris Shivers was definitely an all-time great. He is now second in career 90-point rides and has some of the most memorable rides in history.

Chris is my favorite, with Lane being the best. Then my uncle Ronnie Roach rode circles around Don Gay back in the day. Just didn't have the money or political backing that Don had.

I think he is the most rank bull rider there has ever been. In my opinion, he is first, then Lane, but Lane is a rank bull rider too.

5 Ty Murray

Best rough stock rider ever. Had he only ridden bulls, he could have been the best ever. Bareback horses and broncs took a toll on Ty.

6 Don Gay

I was blessed to have ridden in Donny's era and knew him, Lane, Denny, and all of the NFR qualifiers. Put simply, Donny Gay is the greatest there ever was or that will ever be, and was absolutely revered by the other riders. In his day, the PRCA was the only show in town, and Donny rode against and won against all the top hands. Now, the very top bull riders are in the PBR.

Despite what some are saying on this post, Donny was not only a great rider who had supreme belief in himself, but more than that, he was absolutely determined to win. I have seen him ride bulls when a normal human could hardly walk. He also went to every single rodeo he could ride in, whereas some of the guys who could really ride, such as Denny, went to half the rodeos Donny did. In other words, Donny did whatever was necessary to win, and that's why he has 8 gold buckles. When it comes to winning bull riding championships, no one else comes close.

7 Adriano Moraes

Best Bull Rider of All Time by far. He set the mark for all riders in the sport. He was a three-time world champion that helped mold Alves, Marchi, and all other Brazilian riders to be as good or better than most riders in the world.

Adriano made tough bulls look easy, and he is by far a better bull rider than most of the riders on the top 10 list! I noticed there are no Brazilian riders on the list... but there have only been two riders who have won three World titles, and they are both Brazilian!

A number one rider and the reason I got so interested in bull riding. Miss seeing him and glad he got out before he got permanently injured. A good Christian family man and ambassador for bull riding.

8 Jess Lockwood

Two-time world champion at the age of 22.

He is a really good bull rider and can do anything he puts his mind to.

9 Justin McBride

Justin McBride was my favorite rider growing up, and the man is cemented as a legend of the sport. He is now a three-time world champion, as he has two from his PBR riding days and now has a team championship as a coach.

Best form, best attitude, best results on most difficult bulls, quiet precision, modest, not a camera hog, overall most admirable.

10 Terry Don West

When Terry Don was at his best, nobody else could touch him. I guess you could say that about a lot of the cowboys listed here, but comparing him to all others in their prime, I would vote for Terry Don as number one.

Think five world championship buckles and holding lots of records, like riding Bodacious for the first time for 8 seconds. He also rode most of the top-name bulls. Then, instead of getting thrown off, he also rode 55 bulls before he was thrown off - the world record. Terry Don West is one of the best bull riders ever, giving Tuff Hedeman and Lane Frost a run for their money or beating them.

The Contenders
11 Guilherme Marchi

I know this guy, and I can tell you he is the best ever. Just watch the 2008 PBR finals and compare his ride to Justin McBride's. Just wins, but he did so hanging on for dear life off the side of the bull. Marchi's ride was spot on. Furthermore, I don't see very many 35-year-old men riding bulls at any level. PRCA bulls...second rate compared to PBR. The person with the previous comment is incorrect!

He is wonderful. He has been an inspiration to many! He is an awesome person! He has been a family friend for a long time!

Guilherme finished in the top 10 for eight years straight, including a 2008 championship. Has the most qualified rides ever and way ahead of 2nd place (JB). He should rank much higher, maybe even #1.

12 Larry Mahan

The best ever and a great person who has kept his nose clean. The legend!

13 Silvano Alves

Silvano Alves, by riding percentages and titles at a still-young age. Producers say toughest bulls on Earth, then complain Silvano doesn't take rerides. He rode what they gave him. That is their job to have tougher bulls. Just don't think they like the Brazilians kicking our butts.

Silvano is amazing to watch on the bull. You think he's going off, only to right himself and go eight seconds. J.B. Mauney number one, Silvano number two. Lane Frost number three would've been one, Ty Murray number four.

Silvano Alves is the youngest bull rider to win three world titles and is the only bull rider to win back-to-back titles.

14 Jim Sharp

We followed Jim Sharp since his high school days. Jim was the reason we started going to rodeos. When Jim Sharp was the first cowboy to ride all ten bulls at the NFR in Las Vegas, we were the only ones who got on the arena floor with Jim Sharp to take pictures. I wore the same colors as Jim, and everyone who looks at the pictures asks if he is our son. That day we were as proud as any "parents" could be. To us, he will always be number one!

Even Tuff Hedeman said in front of Donny Gay that Jim Sharp was the best bull rider he's ever seen. Bob Tallman said it right when he said that Jim Sharp rides the rank ones so well that he makes them look easy and should get scored higher. First man to ride 10 out of 10 at the NFR, then 9 out of 10 at the next NFR (that's 19 consecutive) against the best bulls in the business. Best bull rider ever = Jim Sharp.

15 Troy Dunn

Troy would be the best Aussie we've produced. He rode Australia's rankest bulls and took on the world's best and won. One Australian deserves a top 10 spot, and two Brazilians. It's the best ever, not US best.

Troy was a top ten consistent rider plagued with injury, even though the Aussies seem to be naturally tougher than the Yanks.

Top 5, I think. Lane Frost is overrated. He wasn't around long enough for us to know how great he was. Certainly impressive, lovely man.

16 Dale Brisby

He is amazing and is probably the most hilarious bull rider out there. He also just has talent.

17 Jim Shoulders

He was my hero. I started riding bulls at 12 years old at Mansfield in 1974, at Cowbale Mansfield, Texas, on Friday night. Everyone asked me what bull rider you look up to. That is the bull rider, not Larry or Don Gay. I was a kid riding bulls. I know them behind the shots. I was just a kid thing!

Hard to compare eras of competitors, but Shoulders was right up there with the best for more than a decade.

18 Mike Lee

Mike is as tough as rawhide but still gets the money at his advanced age. If not in the top ten in talent anymore, he's surely the best in the world for his age.

Mike has always been a fan favorite for what he does in and outside of rodeo. He's a great guy all around.

Up there with Lane Frost and Larry Mahan!

19 Chase Outlaw

Mr. Outlaw, I pray for your safety and that you will win the world title and championship. Love to watch you ride and look forward to seeing more. Be safe, God bless.

Best all-around, especially when you consider his inspiring comments after each ride. The most fun to watch.

Guess you could say the true Outlaw of Professional Bull Riding.

20 J W Hart

J W Hart is one of the toughest and one of the best bull riders, by far, to never win the world. But to many of us, he was a world champion.

Toughest bull rider to date. He didn't miss a ride. That's why he got the name Ironman.

21 Cody Lambert
22 Denny Flynn

The man, the myth, the legend! Hailing from Arkansas, he could ride anything, no matter what the bull threw at him. He rode a perfect score of 50 points, and the bull he was riding scored a 48, for a combined score of 98! I know that it's not a technically impossible score to beat, but good luck beating a score of 98! Hats off to you, brother, one of the best ever. You completely deserve the Hall of Fame, along with a few others as well.

I will say that there are a couple that don't deserve that honor, but everyone knows who is truly great, versus who doesn't belong in the ranks of these great men.

23 Freckles Brown

Those who never saw Freckles ride shouldn't be voting for these other bull riders. No one rode with more authority and control than Freckles.

He was an amazing athlete. Rode a bull, then just stepped off!

He was a great one from when I was young. Saw him in New Mexico. He and Lane Frost were tight.

24 Kaique Pacheco

Kaique Pacheco was fun to watch win in 2018 and come in second in 2015 and 2016. He is my favorite! He makes it look so easy!

Great bull rider. Fun to watch. Calm, poised. Hope he has a long, successful career.

Rides like he knows what the bull will do before the bull knows!

25 Sage Kimzey

The best technical bull rider, Sage makes really rank bulls look like a day off. His body position and free arm allow him to make huge moves look easy.

If Sage keeps doing his thing, he will be better than Lane Frost.

8Load More
PSearch List