As the inventor of the hard-handhold now used on virtually all bareback riggings, Jim Houston of Omaha, Neb., was one of the innovators of the laid-back, wild spurring style of bareback riding and won two world championships in the event. Houston, who was born Feb. 25, 1941, had never seen a rodeo until he was a 10 year-old visiting his aunt in Wyoming. She took him to the Cheyenne Frontier Days, and from that day, he never seriously considered any career other than being a professional rodeo cowboy. As soon as he was old enough, he left home during summer vacation to work on Wyoming ranches and enter local rodeos. He made his move into the professional ranks in 1961 and three years later won the first of his two consecutive world titles.