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Warren Granger "Freckles" Brown (18 January 1921 – 20 March 1987) was a hall of fame American rodeo cowboy from Wheatland, Wyoming. His career spanned from 1937 to 1974, competing in bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, team roping, and steer wrestling. He was the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Bull Riding Champion in 1962.

 

Brown was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for Bull Riding in 1979.  Brown was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Bull Riding Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2015. Brown was most famous for riding Tornado, who had an undefeated record of 220 riders.  Brown was also a close friend and mentor of Lane Frost.

 

In 1937 Brown started in the rodeo at Willcox, Arizona at age 16. In 1941 he rode his horse to Cody, Wyoming,—a long distance—where he won his first bull trophy, then rode back again.

 

Brown enlisted to join the U.S. army, and undertook basic training in Fort Sill.  He studied horseshoeing while stationed at Fort Riley.  He was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and "did his part by helping to train Chinese paratroopers in secret".

 

The war ended in the summer of 1945, and Brown "returned to China to compete in a Red Cross-sponsored event in which U.S. pack mules were used in place of saddle-broncs and barebacks and native cattle were rounded up for bull riding.  Brown left China with the all-around title".

 

Brown was injured badly in October 1962 at the rodeo in Portland, Oregon.  While riding a bull name "Black Smoke" for 8 seconds, the bull flipped Brown, who fell on his head, paralyzing him.

 

The doctor "pulled on his head and feeling returned to his right side and left foot".  He was operated on and put in traction for 34 days, followed by a plaster cast "from his waist to the top of his brow for over 2 months".  He had saved enough money to win the Championship.  His earnings in 1962 were $18,675.  During that year he won the World Bull Riding Championship at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) while he was on the sidelines watching.

 

Brown is remembered for riding an "unrideable" bull named Tornado in December 1967.  The bull, owned by Jim Shoulders, had thrown over 200 riders over a 14-year period before Brown's successful ride, and was considered the ultimate challenge on the bull-riding circuit, but Brown stayed on for the 8 seconds required, in front of 6,000 people.  Tornado died in 1972 as unridden by 220 professional riders except for Brown and two others, and was buried on the grounds of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, near two notable bucking horses, Midnight and Five Minutes Til Midnight.  Brown, this ride, and Tornado are all memorialized in Red Steagall's song, "Freckles Brown".