Chris LeDoux's ashes spread on Frontier Park Arena
CHEYENNE - The ties between Cheyenne Frontier Days and popular country musician and former bareback rider Chris LeDoux became even more tightly knotted Tuesday.
Not long after dismounting bareback horse Bear Sign, Beau LeDoux reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a small bag of his father's ashes and poured them on the arena floor.
The plan had been in the works for two years, but the 24-year-old had been injured and unable to compete in the past two CFD rodeos. LeDoux posted an 81-point ride Tuesday to tie for third in the second go-round. He recorded a 70 on Monday.
"It was something my family and I thought would be right to do because this was such a special rodeo to him," Beau LeDoux said. "This has always been a special rodeo in my family. My dad rode here and came close to winning here a couple of times.
"It's kind of a tradition for my family."
Chris LeDoux, who lived on a ranch near Kaycee, died March 9, 2005, from complications related to cancer of the bile duct. He was 56.
The elder LeDoux won the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's world bareback title in 1976. He also was a collegiate national champion and Wyoming high-school rodeo champion.
Chris LeDoux embarked on his music career in 1971 and released roughly an album per year until his death. He was inducted in to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2003 and was a dual inductee of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame as an athlete and musician. He performed at CFD every other year from 1993 to 2003.
While those items certainly bound the Cheyenne Central graduate to the "Daddy of 'em All," Beau LeDoux said the ties started much earlier.
"He used to come up here and play rodeo," Beau LeDoux said. "He'd load his horse up in the chute when nobody else was around and ride his horse up and down the arena.
"I've wanted to (dump his father's ashes in the arena) for two years. I think he'd be pleased."