Clovis Rodeo Installs Bronze Statue to Commemorate Centennial
The bronze statue is of legendary, world-champion bull rider Lane Frost’s 1988 ride on the equally legendary and un-ridden bull Red Rock during the Challenge of Champions held at the Clovis Rodeo. As a part of the plans for their historic celebration in 2014 the Clovis Rodeo Association commissioned Central Coast artist and Fresno State graduate, Jim Stuckenberg to develop the piece. There are fifty (50) smaller numbered bronze likenesses of the larger statue commemorating the Clovis Rodeo’s 100th Anniversary available for purchase by rodeo fans along with bronze plaques to be installed on the statue’s base. The bronze will be officially dedicated prior to Clovis’ Centennial Rodeo to be held April 24-27, 2014.
The Challenge of Champions was a competition where 1987 World Champion bull rider Lane Frost was to attempt to ride the legendary Red Rock, a bull that had never been ridden in 309 attempts during his professional rodeo career. The event matched the two champion athletes in seven exhibition matches at different rodeos throughout the Western United States. Frost did not successfully ride Red Rock at the April 1988 Clovis Rodeo, but he eventually rode him for the full 8-seconds at the Redding Rodeo in May of that year for the first time. Lane successfully rode Red Rock in four out of the seven tries that made up the Challenge of Champions.
Bronze artist Jim Stuckenberg lives to create the lore, legend, and legacy of the West. He learned the art of bronze making from western artist Mel Lawson and combined it with his artistic vision and meticulous attention to detail to create beautiful pieces that have been sought after by art collectors throughout the world including the White House, Reagan Library and savvy horsemen. Born deaf in 1943 the artist grew up on a ranch with horses in Santa Barbara, California and graduated from Fresno State University with a degree in Animal Science. While at Fresno State he participated in the college rodeo team.
The statue, entitled “Challenge of Champions” was completed at the fine art foundry Genesis Bronze in Paso Robles, California. Founded in 2004 by John Kemple the foundry focuses on fine art with an emphasis on quality. Since their first public installation in the Cayman Islands for Dale Evers Studios, Genesis Bronze has cast built and installed a variety of notable public projects. In addition Genesis casts bronze for a number of internationally known artists and corporate clients.
The official dedication of the bronze statue “Challenge of Champions” will take place during rodeo week in April 2014. An exact date and time will be announced closer to the event.
A sport with deep roots in American history and the community of Clovis, the Rodeo Association kicked-off the festivities leading up to their Centennial year in 2014 with the gala to be attended by members, friends and fans of the Clovis Rodeo. There will be a Madden Library series event about the Clovis Rodeo on February 7th.