Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Tornado

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Jim Shoulders
(2012.201.B1172.0258, photo by P. Southerland, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection, OHS).

Freckles Brown
(2012.201.B0110.0382, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection, OHS).


The bull-riding event is one of the most exciting and also one of the most dangerous in the sport of rodeo, with a cowboy matched against a less-than-cooperative bovine. Bull rides are scored for both bull and rider, the bull getting 1 to 25 points for its bucking action, spinning action, and kicking action. Owned by Jim Shoulders, of Henryetta, Oklahoma, the legendary Tornado, an 1,850-pound Braford (Brahma-Hereford cross) born in 1957 in Texas, first entered rodeo in 1960 in Mesquite, Texas. The top-ranked bull in the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) bucking-stock list from 1962 through 1966, Tornado remained unridden through 220 attempts by tough, experienced professional bull riders. In December 1967 at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City the best bull in the country met his match when his number was drawn by Freckles Brown (1921–87), a Wyoming-born competitor from Soper, Oklahoma. Three other men rode Tornado before Shoulders retired him in 1969. He died in 1972 on Shoulders's J Lazy S Ranch. Tornado is buried on the grounds of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, near the graves of the renowned bucking horses Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight.

Dianna Everett


Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 December 1974.

Willard Porter, Who's Who in Rodeo (Oklahoma City: Powder River Books, 1982).

"Tornado," Vertical File, Rodeo Historical Society Hall of Fame, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Browse By Topic

Recreation and Entertainment




The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Dianna Everett, “Tornado,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=TO007.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.