The Day Wade Leslie Rode his Perfect Bull Ride

Wade Leslie grew up in a rodeo family.

Wade Leslie grew up in a rodeo family.

Editor’s Note: Wade Leslie, of Quincy, Washington, is the only man in the history of bull riding to ride a perfect ride. He and the bull scored 100 points each – all the points that can be scored by the bull and the rider in professional rodeo bull riding. Some say there is no possibility to score 100 points for a bull ride. Others who have seen the ride on video say that Leslie should not have been awarded 100 points for his ride. But the fact remains that in open competition against other bull riders in a professional rodeo event, Leslie and the bull, Wolfman Skoal, for 8 seconds were as perfect as they possibly could be. As a matter of fact, this year Leslie was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in a new category called Best Score. But what has happened to Leslie since that unbelievable ride? What does he ride now? What is his life like? Whatever has happened to the best bull rider in the history of the sport? This week we will learn about Leslie’s ride, the tragedies he’s suffered, the endurance he’s demonstrated and the world of the man who has ridden the perfect ride. Part 2 of a 5 part series. 

In 1991, at a rodeo in Central Point, Oregon, known as the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo, was where Leslie met Wolfman Skoal. Together they wrote a new page in rodeo history. According to Leslie, “I had never seen Wolfman Skoal until I got on him at this rodeo. He had a big reputation, because he’d only been ridden once. At that time, there was $500 bonus money for anyone who could ride him. He always scored 24 to 25 points for his bucking ability. I knew when I drew him to ride that if I could ride him I could score in the high 90s, probably win the rodeo and pick up the $500 bonus money. He was a small brindle-colored bull, weighing only about 1500 to 1600 pounds and had big horns that turned-up. But he was tough.”

The ride started off poorly for Leslie, “When I got in the chute, I had my rope on him. When the time had come for me to go, I sat down on the bull. Wolfman dropped down and laid on his belly. I started to climb up off him but Don Kish, the owner of the bull, said, ‘Go ahead, and get down on him. He’ll come back under you and stand up.’ So I got down on the bull and took a pinky wrap with my bull rope by taking the rope, going around my hand and under my hand, then coming back over my hand, bringing the rope between my little finger and the next finger and letting the rope come over the top of my hand to help hold the bull rope in place in my hand. When the gate opened, the bull turned to step out and then went airborne. His head and neck came right up into my face as he jumped. I leaned out over the front of the bull as he started to jump. All I could see was little-bitty brown hairs on top of the bull’s head in front of my face. If I’d been any more forward on the bull, his head would have hit my head and probably knocked me out. When he came down, he turned a sharp corner, and I rolled over on the inside of the turn to counter the bull’s movement. As he started to make his second jump, he slid back under me and picked me up. I don’t know how many jumps he made, but I do know it was a lot. Both of us were in the air quite a bit. Every jump was followed by a quick spin. Wolfman was probably the fastest spinner I’d ever ridden.”

Wade and Wolfman Skoal on his perfect ride.

Wade and Wolfman Skoal on his perfect ride.

Bull riding is considered the fastest and the most dangerous 8 seconds in sports. However, Leslie says, “When you’re on the back of a bucking bull, that’s the longest 8 seconds in the world. You feel like the entire ride is in slow motion, and 8 seconds seems an eternity. The best way I can describe a bull ride is like being in a car wreck when you seem to see everything in slow motion, but you know that it’s happening really fast, and the only thing you have time to do is react instinctively. When I heard the horn go off signifying the end of the ride, I turned loose of the rope, took a flight through the air and landed on my hands and knees. I knew I had had a great ride, and I had won at least $500 in bounty money. I knew that I was going to score high in the 90s, but when I heard that the score was 100, I was dumbfounded. My ride was the first perfect ride in the entire history of bull riding. I asked myself, ‘Did that really happen?’ It took awhile for the magnitude of the event and the ride to sink in for me.”

That night everyone at the rodeo wanted to congratulate Leslie for his ride, but days after the ride, controversy erupted. Many bull riders and judges were saying that a 100-point ride was impossible, and no one could do it. Others said that the ride was a good ride but should not have been scored 100 points. The decision on what the ride should score was never Leslie’s. The ride was scored by two judges who were paid to make fair and honest judgment calls. Therefore, the score for the ride stood up to the scrutiny of the naysayers. “I know that everybody had his or her own opinion of the ride, but remember, I wasn’t the one who made the decision on what the ride scored. In the eyes of the judges at that rodeo, at that time, on that bull, I rode the perfect ride. There is a video on YouTube that I understand is called ‘The Perfect Ride” and people can go to and see the ride I made.” For winning the bull riding event, Leslie earned $2300. Plus he picked up another $500 for the bounty on the bull. Leslie continued to ride bulls until the year 2000 until an accident changed his life.

To learn more about Wade Leslie, go to Go to to see “The Perfect Ride.”

Next: The Ride that Changed Wade Leslie’s Life


About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at

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