Bu Judy Wade
Red Doyal only sustained two injuries in his entire rodeo career, one in high school and one in Pendleton in 1967. He broke his collar bone in a high school rodeo and suffered a fractured eye socket and a concussion in Oregon. “I bucked off, and the bull hit me in the face and then butted me three more times,” he explained. “A guy told me one time that he never saw anyone win a check in the hospital, so I tried to avoid getting hurt. It’s all about staying on and knowing how to get off. I only hung up twice in my career,” he continued.
Born Robert Larry Doyal in Ringling, Okla., he soon acquired the nickname “Red” because of his flaming red hair. The family moved to the West Texas town of Crosbyton where his rodeo career began.
“Red Whatley, a calf roper and later rodeo producer, lived across the road from us and had a practice arena. When I was six years old, I would ride my pony over there to watch, and the other cowboys would put me on calves using a pigging string for a bull rope,” Doyal reminisced.
When he was in seventh grade, the family, parents Rob and Ona (Daniel) Doyal and older brother Jerrell Lee, moved to Happy, Texas. Jerrell Lee hung out with other kids who had rodeo aspirations, and Doyal’s interest in rodeo continued. He was able to ride practice bulls and perfect his technique.
He entered his first rodeo in 1959 at age 16 and knew he was hooked. He and other locals participated in jackpots every Sunday afternoon in Silverton. “I learned at a very young age that in order to be successful at anything in life you need to get your family involved as well as behind you. You’ll receive great support along the way,” Doyal advised.
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