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2002/06/12

Ty Murray Retires From Rodeo Circuit After 14 Years During his 14-year career, Ty Murray, the PRCA's only seven-time world all-around champion, left an indelible mark on the sport of professional rodeo. "Undoubtedly, Ty is the greatest all-around cowboy to ever grace our sport," said PRCA Commissioner Steven J. Hatchell. "His seven world all-around titles are a testament to his talent and have set the standard for future generations of rodeo cowboys. We're happy he is finding peace on his ranch, wish him all the best and look forward to working with him on future projects." Murray, who announced his retirement Tuesday, is the only cowboy ever to win seven world all-around championships, and is the youngest cowboy millionaire in professional rodeo's history, surpassing that mark at 23. In fact, Murray is the most decorated and well-known all-around rodeo cowboy ever. "I've been thinking about it all year, because I don't have the focus, drive and intensity I've had in the past," said Murray, 32. "You have to have a fire in you for this sport, because it's way too dangerous to do it as an afterthought. I've never been interested in competing at any capacity less than that of a serious contender. I've always promised myself that I'd retire before I started to backslide, and I'm keeping that promise." In a teleconference Tuesday Murray added, "I will never be a guy who makes a comeback." In 1998, Murray won his record-breaking seventh world all-around title, as well as his second world bull riding championship. The 20-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier made the trip to Las Vegas every year from 1989-99 with the exception of a three-year hiatus from 1995-97, when he was out for reconstructive surgeries on both knees and shoulders. Murray led the ProRodeo Hall of Fame's class of 2000, where his storied rodeo career will be immortalized. He won nearly $2 million in PRCA arenas in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. Among Murray's records are the single-season earnings record of $297,896, set in 1993, the rodeo earnings record of $124,821 at the Wrangler NFR in 1993 and the regular-season rodeo earning record of $31,010 at RodeoHouston in 1994. Murray was also the 1988 PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year. Despite his departure from competition, Murray is excited about the future of professional rodeo. "The PRCA is working towards showcasing the very best guys with the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and Tour finals and, of course, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo," said Murray. "Those are things that are working well beacuse it's the best of the best." Murray plans to spend his retirement on his ranch in Stephenville, Texas, and continue his executive involvement in the Professional Bull Riders. Murray also plans to continue broadcasting duties for the Wrangler NFR, for which he has added his commentary the past three years.

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