Curly, Toots, and Dick Griffith were “Superstars” at the largest western events in the early 1900’s.

Curly Griffith was not only a multi event champion contestant, trick rider, roman rider, and rodeo clown, but also an early producer of Wild West gatherings which later involved into organized rodeos.

Toot’s Griffith began her career as a Bucking Steer Rider. She went on to become the World Champion, and newspapers of the time heralded her, “ The World’s Smallest Champion Cowgirl”. She competed in several other competitive events including ladies bronc riding and relay races. She likewise performed roman riding races, and trick and
fancy riding, with her husband and Dick.


Dick Griffith was exceptionally gifted from the start. Often referred to as the Rudolf Nuyrerev on horseback, Dick soon became the star of the family troupe. Trick Riding and Roman Riding along side his parents gave him the means to win the Trick Rider World Championship at the inconceivable age of nine years old. This feat was accomplished amidst the top riders of the time including all age groups.

A star was born. That same year young Dick rode his pony into the Oval Office of President Harding and shook hands across his desk while still mounted. It was part of a special week in Washington which culminated with a command rodeo performance in which Dick not only showed off his equestrian gymnastic skills, but his true cowboy heritage by riding a bucking calf, an ostrich, a bucking buffalo, and a Bucking Stag forwards while Curly rode backwards with his feet wrapped around the animals neck.
Three years later tragedy would hit when Curly lost his life to a brain tumor. Dick’s ponies were sold to Will Rogers for his son. Dick would live for the next five years in Denton, TX. with his Grandparents working completely outside the entertainment
industry he had grown up in. He started sharing a horse in exchange for help with the fine Tad Lucas, a Champion Cowgirl of the time. Dick had visions of entering the trick riding competition at the Ft. Worth Stock Show but upon arriving was told that it had become an exhibition act instead of a competition. With dashed hope for income, Dick
secured an assistant job riding for World Champion Trick Roper, Chester Byers’ Horse Catches. He also entered the Brahma bullriding, even though he hadn’t been on any bucking stock since he was a child. He had to send a telegram to his grandparents
for permission as he was still only seventeen. Dick went on to win the Bull Riding Championship at Ft. Worth Stock, riding nine out of nine bulls. He often stated “ I was just too scared to fall off ”. With prize money and a new talent his performing and
competition career began anew.
Dick went on to win four consecutive World Bull Riding Championships recognized by the PRCA, and three before their records took effect. At the age of twenty-one, Dick, travled to London England with his horses by boat, to compete against thirty-nine other countries in a true World Trick Riding Championship.
Over twenty countries withdrew from competition after watching him practice. Dick performed one hundred and fifty-six different tricks to win the World Championship. For as long as there were competitions held, Dick never placed lower than first.

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