Wilbur Plaugher

Contract Personnel • Inducted 1990

In 1946, Wilbur Plaugher was the all-around champion at the Madison Square Garden rodeo in New York. His clowning career was born later that year when he was asked to fill in as a bullfighter. He was the PRCA Clown of the Year in 1982. Plaugher rode saddle broncs and bareback horses, but steer wrestling was his specialty. For years, it wasn’t unusual to see him wrestling steers in his baggy clown britches and grease paint. For decades, Plaugher, born March 13, 1922, in Lima, Ohio, was one of rodeo’s funniest clowns. His most popular act included trained ducks and dogs that doubled as rabbits and fighting bulls. The crowd favorite was having monkeys aboard dogs run a competitive barrel-racing pattern.



PRCA Clown of the Year


Born: March 13, 1922 in Lima, Ohio
Died: January 2, 2018 in Sanger, California

Rodeo Championships

Black Hills Roundup / Belle Fourche, SD
Steer Wrestling: 1956

Buffalo Bill Rodeo / North Platte, NE
Steer Wrestling: 1956

California Rodeo Salinas / Salinas, CA
Steer Wrestling: 1953. 1969

Clovis Rodeo / Clovis, CA
Steer Wrestling: 1960, 1962

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo / Fort Worth, TX
Steer Wrestling: 1954

Grand National Stock Show & Rodeo / San Francisco, CA
Steer Wrestling: 1965

Iowa’s Championship Rodeo / Sidney, IA
Steer Wrestling: 1957

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo / Tucson, AZ
Steer Wrestling: 1947, 1958

Pendleton Round-Up / Pendleton, OR
Steer Wrestling: 1959 (tie)

Reno Rodeo / Reno, NV
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1949

Rowell Ranch Rodeo / Hayward, CA
Steer Wrestling: 1958, 1966, 1969

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo / San Antonio, TX
Steer Wrestling: 1955, 1959, 1968

World’s Oldest Rodeo Prescott Frontier Days / Prescott, AZ
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1953
Steer Wrestling: 1953

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