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Rodeo Legend WOR 2024 Honoree

Rodeo Legend WOR 2024 Honoree

Lawton Champie: A Legend in Rodeo History and the Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc Honoree

In the realm of rodeo, certain names etch themselves into the annals of history, embodying the spirit of grit, skill, and dedication. Lawton Champie stands as a towering figure among these legends, revered for his astounding achievements and unwavering passion for the sport. As the 2024 honoree of the Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc – World’s Oldest Rodeo®, Champie’s legacy continues to resonate profoundly.

Prescott’s annual rodeo parade, themed “Prescott Traditions,” is set to take place on Saturday, July 6 at 9 a.m. in downtown Prescott, sponsored by Barrett Propane. The parade will kick off with the grand marshal honoree, Ibbie Champie. She is the daughter of Lawton Champie, a thirteen-time rodeo champion across various events. Lawton won the All-Around in 1931, 1934 and 1944; calf roping in 1939; steer wrestling in 1931 and 1934; saddle bronc riding in 1924, 1926 and 1931. However, the story goes, Slim Riley got the credit for winning the bronc riding in 1924 because he got hurt the first day and Lawton was bucked off the first day, so, Lawton filled in for Riley the last three days and won the event. In those days it was all right for someone to ride for another person. Demonstrating true cowboy spirit, they shared the reward money.

Born with an innate talent for horsemanship and a fierce determination to succeed, Lawton Champie embarked on his rodeo journey in the early 1920s. His prowess as a saddle bronc rider quickly became evident, clinching the championship in 1926 and reaffirming his dominance in 1931, showcasing unparalleled skill and grace atop bucking broncos.

Champie’s versatility shone through various disciplines, mastering Cow Pony Racing in consecutive years, 1925 and 1926, displaying unparalleled speed and finesse astride his trusty mounts. His agility and precision were further evident in Steer Wrestling, seizing victory in 1931 and again in 1934, earning admiration for his exceptional control and technique.

The indelible mark of Lawton Champie extended to Tie Down roping in 1939, demonstrating his ability to swiftly and accurately rope calves, setting a standard for efficiency and accuracy in the event. Not content with individual accolades, Champie excelled in team events, claiming victory in Team Roping in 1943 and showcasing his versatility as a Team Roping Heeler the following year, solidifying his reputation as an all-around cowboy.

Beyond his impressive list of championships, Champie’s legacy reverberates for his unwavering dedication to the sport and the values it embodies. His commitment to excellence, resilience in the face of adversity, and respect for the animals and fellow competitors encapsulate the true essence of rodeo.

As Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc pays tribute to Lawton Champie in 2024, it not only honors his exceptional achievements but also celebrates the enduring spirit and heritage of rodeo. Champie’s legacy serves as an inspiration, reminding current and future generations of rodeo enthusiasts of the relentless pursuit of greatness and the timeless values ingrained within the sport.

Lawton Champie’s story transcends mere victories; it symbolizes the epitome of passion, dedication, and sportsmanship, leaving an indelible imprint on the vibrant tapestry of rodeo history that continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide. Learn more about the Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc – World’s Oldest Rodeo® at www.worldsoldestrodeo.com.