Well known and respected in the industry, Tuff is the Michael Jordan of bull riding.
Known for his strength of character he officially earned the nick-name "Tough Nut" asa young boy.
Although a champion bull rider, Hedeman actually had a much different start in life. Born in El Paso, Hedeman was raised at the Sunland Park race track where both of his parents were employed. Throughout his elementary years Hedeman worked as a groom and by the time he was in high school he had worked his way up to riding colts and exercising race horses. At 5'4" and 110 lbs Hedeman was training to be a jockey. And then the inevitable happened, he began to grow - eventually ending his dreams of a racing career.
However, a career in bull riding was not that far of a stretch because Hedeman had been riding since he was 4 years old and had always idolized World Champions Donnie Gay and Larry Mahan. 4 World Titles later, Hedeman made his own mark among the legends of bull riding.
The Making of a Champion
Embarking on a rodeo career at the age of 4 Tuff worked his way through the ranks of bull riding, eventually earning the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association Championship in 1980 and multiple top honors in collegiate bronc riding, bull riding, team roping and steer wrestling. After securing the National Collegiate Finals Championship in 1983 Tuff turned pro and began touring and claiming titles with the legendary Lane Frost. During that time Tuff's credits included 3 World Championships: his first in 1986 when he set a world record
Shortly thereafter Tuff co-founded the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and secured the 1995 PBR World Championship title despite his infamous head-on collision with Bodacious - a wreck that resulted in over 13 hours of reconstructive surgery. Just two months later Tuff entered the 1995NFR World Finals determined to claim the title; however, as fate would have it Tuff was faced with misfortune in the final round - once again drawing Bodacious. But this time Tuff rescinded the challenge and waved his hat in honor of the powerful beast as Bodacious left the chute without
On May 18, 2005 Tuff once again joined forces with legendary icons Pam Minick and Terry Williams when he was elected President of the CBR.
"We are honored to join forces with the best in the business. When Tuff puts his mind to something, he does it and does it well." - Terry Williams
"My goals are the same as they have always been and that is to create a system based on merit only - with no politics or favoritism. I want to create events that guys want to come to, not that they have to come to." - Tuff Hedeman
Career Highlights: Four World Championship Titles
1982 Winner of National Collegiate Finals