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RIP: Legendary PBR bucking bull Little Yellow Jacket passes away at age 15
Anyone that knows anything about Professional Bull Riding knows the name Little Yellow Jacket. This bull is a PBR legend, and everyone remotely connected to the sport was saddened to hear of his death on Sept. 19, 2011. Even though Little Yellow Jacket retired from bucking in 2005, his legend lives on.
Little Yellow Jackets was an Amazing Athlete
Little Yellow Jacket's bloodline speaks for itself. The grandson of Wrangler Rivets and the son of Yellow Jacket awarded him prestige in the bucking world, but LYJ soon earned his own respect as he bucked time after time and earned several awards and high standing points.
Even though he was a small bull, he would explode out of the shoot and sent most of the bull riders to the dirt in just a few seconds. Little Yellow Jacket appeared to be well aware of the fame and adoration he had claim to. Many times he would pause in the arena and seem to look up at the crowd or the cameras before he exited.
He was also a gentle bull by nature. The bull riders knew they were in for a tough ride, but they also felt safe when they came off of Little Yellow Jacket. At times, it seemed like the bull tried not to step on a fallen rider that got in his way.
Little Yellow Jacket's Amazing Accomplishments
Little Yellow Jacket started his career with the PBR in 1999. He continued to earn respect and honors throughout his career until he retired in 2006. One ride that will go down in history is the match of Little Yellow Jacket and former world champion Michael Gaffney that took place in 2004 in Nampa, Idaho. Gaffney remained on LYJ for the full 8 seconds and received a score of 96.5.
PBR bull riders were always happy to draw Little Yellow Jacket. They knew he wasn't ridden often, but if they managed to get the job done, they would get a huge score and bragging rights. He had a buck off rate of 84.4 percent and was only ridden 14 out of 90 attempts. The best bull riders were usually thrown to the dirt in less than 3 seconds; others didn't make it that long.
His owners—Joe Berger, Tom Teague and Bernie Taupin—have great reason to be proud of the little Brangus bull with the crooked horns. Along with LYJ riding statistics, he is also honored by the PBR by having a statue in front of their headquarters.
Little Yellow Jacket is scheduled to receive more honors, but he unfortunately passed before it happened. In October, he will be the first to receive "The Brand of Honor" that PBR awards to great bulls. He will also be honored at the World Finals in Las Vegas this year. Thanks to the PBR, his owners and all of his fans. Little Yellow Jacket will forever be remembered as one of the great legends of the PBR.
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