by ProRodeo.com | Mar 28, 2016
John (Johnny) Hawkins, a ProRodeo Hall of Famer and the 1963 Rodeo Cowboys Association bareback riding world champion, passed away March 17 in Eugene, Ore. He was 85.
Hawkins was a five-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier (1959-60, 1962-64). He was reserve world champion from 1957-59, finishing second to fellow ProRodeo Hall of Famer Jim Shoulders in 1957-58, with the margin being only $18 in ’57.
From 1955-64 – with the exception of 1961, when he was sidelined with a broken leg – Hawkins finished no worse than seventh in the world standings. He won NFR averages titles in 1962-63.
Hawkins was inducted with the inaugural class of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. He was also inducted into the California Rodeo Salinas Hall of Fame in 2015. He won the bareback riding title in Salinas in 1954, ’58, ’60, ’62 and ’68.
Before his rodeo career, Hawkins was a Quarter Horse jockey. In addition to bareback riding, he was also a bull rider and tie-down roper during his early years as an RCA competitor. After Hawkins stopped rodeoing, he trained horses and spent time making spurs. He also worked as a rodeo judge.
Hawkins is survived by his daughter, Kelly (Chris) Watkins and brother, Jimmie Hawkins.
Memorial contributions can be made to Earth Organization.org or Earth Organization, 4312 Talofa Ave., Toluca Lake, CA 91602.
Courtesy of PRCA