Saturday, August 19, 2017

RIP Richard Rule

Loveland Reporter-Herald
August 20, 2017

Richard passed away at the age of 56 peacefully in his Loveland home on August 16, 2017 after a 10 month long heroic battle against esophageal cancer. He was the youngest of five children belonging to George and Celeste Rule. Richard was born and raised in Oklahoma City with rodeo in his blood. Growing up only 5 minutes from the National Finals Rodeo, he knew he wanted to be a Professional Bull Rider at the ripe age of six years old. Richard remembers watching legendary Freckles Brown ride the unrideable bull named Tornado. As a young boy, he loved helping his father work at the Oklahoma City Stockyards and working at the National Saddlery with his brother John Rule. Richard was also a member of 4-H for 9 years showing lambs, steers, and giving charismatic speeches. He graduated from Western Heights High School in 1980 with Oklahoma State Citizenship and Oklahoma County Hall of Fame awards. Richard attended college at Southwestern University in Weatherford, OK. As the 1982 Collegiate Bull Riding Champion, he answered his calling to ride bulls professionally after 2 years of college. Richard lived his dream traveling all over the country riding rank bulls for 15 years in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association(PRCA) and Bull Riders Only(BRO). He was revered highly by his travel companions and fellow contestants as one of the best, consistently ranking in the top 25 bull riders in the world. Richard claimed the Mountain States Circuit Bull Riding Championship in 1985 and 1990. In 1988 Richard was hired to be a stunt double in the movie My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. After his bull riding career Richard settled down in Loveland and worked as a fencing contractor for the first 10 years and as the Operations Supervisor of the Larimer County fairgrounds in Loveland for the past 10 years to present. His first marriage of 17 years with Shannon Tapley Rule gave Richard his two prized possessions: sons Harrison Rayne and Elliott Drake Rule. He later married the love of his life, Shannon Lee Fancher on May 10, 2010 and gained a beautiful daughter who captured his heart named Lindsey Jeanne. They lived together at Richard's forever dream home, The Fancy R Ranch. His second home and family was where he worked at The Ranch in Loveland. Richard's love for life and people radiated through his smile and the genuine way he treated people. His magnetic personality touched everyone who knew him, and Richard's secret to life was having fun. He worked hard and played hard. He loved his job, raising bucking bulls, team roping, trail riding, directing the rodeo, vacationing with family and friends, dancing, discussing politics, and quoting Blazing Saddles. In a toast to Richard, Bob Tointon said he was the epitome of a cowboy. He never met a stranger, and never met anyone he did not like. When he came into a gathering of friends or family, the party started. His smile, his laugh, his stories were infectious, and everyone was his friend. Richard defined the term "carpe' diem", as he seemingly never had a bad day or even a down moment. He was everyone's favorite Okie and we will all miss him greatly. Please drink a toast to our Cowboy - Jack and Coke naturally! Richard is survived by his wife Shannon Fancher of Loveland, sons Harrison Rayne Rule and Elliott Drake Rule of Loveland, stepdaughter Lindsey Jeanne Fancher-Owen of Loveland, mother Celeste Nelson of Oklahoma City, brother John Rule and wife Dona Kay Rule, sister Suzanne Smith, sister Cindy Rule, and brother Kevin Rule all from Oklahoma, as well as a beloved extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He is preceded in death by his father George Rule, stepfather Don Nelson, grandparents John and Alfreda Leonard and Harrison and Martha Rule, Uncle David Rule, Aunt Marcella Hendrix, best friends Terry Groce and Johnny Shea. A Memorial Service for Richard will be held on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 10:00am in The Ranchway Indoor Arena at the fairgrounds in Loveland Colorado with a reception following. Carl Sutter will be officiating. There will be a viewing prior to the service on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund at The family requests any tales from the trails please be sent to our email address at Please go to for on-line obituary and condolences.

RULE, Richard (Richard Joseph Rule)
Born: 11/30/ 1961, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 8/16/2017, Loveland, Colorado, U.S.A.

Richard Rule’s western – stuntman:
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - 1991

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