Photos by Andy Watson
1999 - 2002 PBR World Finals Qualifier
1999 - Original Coors Showdown Champion Bullrider
1998 / 99 - NFR Qualifier
1997 - Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo Bullriding Champion
1996 - PRCA Rookie of the Year
1995 - NARC World Finals Champion
Learning on the highways, small roads and countless fast-food places across America always ages a person a little bit faster than learning in a conventional classroom.
Tony Mendes started his path toward his goal of winning a world championship in high school. He then went on to take an amateur rodeo association in Montana by storm as a teenager. It has been a long road for Tony. During these years he earned his GED, he watched older half/brother Scott win a PRCA world title, accepted the Lord into his life, twice qualified for the National Finals Rodeo, and once for the Professional Bull Riders Bud Light Cup World Championships, and has gotten married. Tony has accomplished this by the young age of 23.
One thing that has never wavered for Tony is his outstanding ability to ride bulls.
"My life keeps me motivated, I dream to be a world champion"
Mendes was one of just a handful of cowboys to qualify for both the NFR and the PBR World Championships last year
"I knew I could do both, I just had to stay focused. There was never a doubt I could get there."
Mendes backed his confidence by riding four of five bulls at the PBR Finals in Las Vegas. Among those rides was a 93.5 point ride on the Jerry Nelson bull Clayton's Pet in the short go for $10,000. Mendes, a late comer to the PBR, earned a career-high $78,439 that year.
Mendes and his wife Abby live in Jensen, Utah. And like his older brother Scott, Mendes decided to make his relationship with the Lord the focal point of his life.
Mendes has signed a sponsorship deal with the Fiddle Back Ranch in Wyoming.
"The good Lord has blessed me, He blessed me with this talent to ride for Him. He gave me this, and He could take it all away. I've learned a lot on the road. I've learned the values of life. I've lived a life for a person closer to 28 or 29. I just try to keep focused every day.
"I want to win a World Championship"
taken from an article by Joe Kusec
Pro Bull Rider Magazine - Vol. 6 No. 3 - 2000