Chris LeDoux, a Wyoming hero, world champion rodeo cowboy and country music singer, was forever memorialized in the form of a beautiful bronze statue placed at Frontier Park during the opening day of the 125th Cheyenne Frontier Days. The statue titled "Just LeDoux It" was made by Buffalo sculptor D. Michael Thomas. The sculpture depicts the rodeo and music star on a bucking bronc, with a guitar nearby to honor both of LeDoux’s passions. Thomas’ statue portrays LeDoux wearing a Frontier Days contestant number 125 on his back to honor the event’s 125th anniversary.
Chris LeDoux graduated from Cheyenne Central High School and went to Casper College on a rodeo scholarship. In 1976 he was crowned the world bareback riding champion at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.
To help pay his way through the rodeo circuits, LeDoux started selling homemade tapes of his rodeo-themed songs in the 1970s. By the mid-1980s, he had already sold more than 250,000 albums, all of them self-released.
LeDoux became a national star when Garth Brooks dropped his name in his hit song “Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old.” The two went on to collaborate on the top 10 hit “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy.”
LeDoux died of cancer on March 9, 2005 at the age of 56.
“You know, he went to high school there, he was a standout football player for Cheyenne Central,” Thomas explained. “He first rodeoed in Cheyenne at the ‘Daddy Of ‘Em All’ in 1968, and then they informed him that he was going to be a headline performer in 1993. And he famously said, ‘Whoa, Cheyenne? That’s like playing at the Grand Ole Opry to me.’”
Chris LeDoux's statue and spirit will forever be underneath these 'Western Skies' at the ‘Daddy Of ‘Em All’.