If you’re a fan of rodeo, or even just watch it on TV, chances are you’ve heard of Donny Gay. The legendary bull rider won six PBR World Champion titles in his career and brought bull riding into the mainstream of American sports. He’s a legend in his own right and is still active as a commentator today.
Donny Gay was born on September 18, 1953, in Mesquite, Texas and began his rodeo career at the age of nine. He was the son of stock contractor Neal Gay, who ran the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. He competed in bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and bareback bronc riding during his pro career. He’s known for his mental toughness, strategy, and physical prowess on the bull riding circuit and is widely considered to be one of the greatest bull riders of all time.
When Donny Gay was a professional bull rider, he worked as a stand-in for actor Sylvester Stallone on several occasions. He’d spend up to 14 hours a day walking through scenes two or three times while lighting and camera angles were perfected. It was tedious work for mediocre pay, but Gay said it gave him a glimpse into how movies are made.
After retiring from bull riding, Gay continued to be a part of the rodeo community by doing live announcing and providing commentary for televised events. He’s also the general manager of Frontier Rodeo Company, which provides livestock to professional rodeos and bull riding events.