SCOTT MENDES –
Scott was born in Visalia, California in 1969 but later moved to Turlock. About the age of five, during the family ranch branding sessions, his father would stick him with a couple of calves right after the branding iron was hot just for the kicks and grins. The problem was Scott got the biggest kick out of the action and it was instilled in his blood and veins for life.
Scott would always say that he had no idea that this small act would be the avenue that God would use to lead him to lead and sculpture his life’s work. He proved himself very early when by winning first place in a calf riding event in Merced, California. Being from California he would always say that World Champion bull riders Charles Sampson and Ted Nuce were his heroes. Scott traveled briefly with Lane Frost who would prove to be his greatest role model. He always has said that he wished there were more rodeo cowboys like him to carry on that same spirit.
Scott’s grandfather, Frank Mendes, was a charter member of the predecessor Cowboys Turtles Association, competed at Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden in New York City. His father, Alan Mendes rode bulls but mostly stayed close to home and never really ventured too far from the family ranch.
Scott was surrounded by athletic talent within his family. His older brother Mike played football and younger brother Tony also rode bulls. Tony has qualified for both the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the PBR World Finals.
After his parents divorced when he was only four, Scott moved to Nevada with his father. He worked in horse sales and got to meet many guys who were involved in roping events. He rode a lot of steers at Junior Rodeo Associations. At one of the local events some husky steers were brought out and everyone was slammed to the ground. His dad coaxed him along and told him “that if you don’t get on now then you’ll probably never ride again”. It worked for the time being, Scott being slammed hard to the ground just like the other kids. Before long he graduated to the big bulls and ended up winning the Nevada State High School bull riding titles in 1985 and 1986. He also qualified for the High School National Finals but could never draw well enough to bring home the bit title.
Scott knew when he graduated from high school that team roping and bareback horse riding was not for him. The night he graduated from High School he literally handed his diploma to his dad and drove all night to Salt Lake City. He opted out of college and turned down a scholarship because he wanted to complete his “card” so he could compete for the big winter rodeos. In 1988 he finished 2nd to David Berry from Oklahoma for the PRCA bull riding rookie after only having his card for two months.
The breakout season came in 1991 when Scott won the short round and first place in the average at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo on the 1992 PRCA Bucking Bull of the year Rocky owned by Dan Russell. The money and confidence carried him for the remainder of the season and he qualified for the first five trips to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Scott reached the pinnacle and milestone of his bull riding career in 1997 when he won more money than any other bull rider and was crowned the World Champion! He said at the time that he never set any major goals beyond winning a world title and after I accomplished that goal some of the drive was gone!
By this time he had met an angel from heaven and the woman of his dreams. Soon afterwards they were married and their oldest son Kaden was born. Scott’s focus was shifting to raising and providing for his family. Soon after the death of his fellow bull rider and good friend, Brent Thurman (who passed away from injuries suffered at the 1994 WNFR, Scott became a “born again” Christian. It was a wakeup call for his personal life and he responded by wanting to spread the word amongst many of his fellow rodeo cowboys.
He continued to ride bulls and rodeo for a few years afterwards. During his career he qualified for the Bull Riders Only finals and the PBR finals twice. He was an original start up founder and investor in the PBR. But, along the way he became disenchanted with some of the proceedings and sold his shares of stock back to the organization. “I just couldn’t allow them to side track my Christian philosophy and core values. My faith and circumstances wouldn’t allow me to keep going with the PBR. I’m a leader and not a follower and I had enough!” Scott is quoted as saying.
Scott Mendes got on his last bull at an Extreme Bull Riding event in Oklahoma City in 2005. As his faith and ministry grew, his desire became less and less to continue to ride bulls. Now the same burning desire that compelled and drove him on the rodeo trail is the driving force behind his Christian Ministry. He and his wife, Angel, are founders, owners and operate