Headline-Making Cowboys

One rodeo professional lands a spot on ABC-TV's Shark Tank and another ranks as one of Nebraska's greatest athletes.

March 12, 2013

PRCA bareback rider Ryan Ehmann on ABC-TV's Shark Tank, photo courtesy of ProRodeo, made available by ABC

Ryan "Cowboy" Ehmann came away from his March 8 appearance on ABC-TV's Shark Tank with a $120,000 investment from one of the show's panelists to expand Ehmann's weight loss and fitness business. (Photo courtesy of ProRodeo, made available by ABC)

Shark Tank Star

Former PRCA bareback rider Ryan “Cowboy” Ehmann appeared on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank March 8, and came away with a $120,000 investment from one of the show’s panelists to expand Ehmann's weight loss and fitness business.

Ehmann, of Mead, Colorado, runs the Firm Body Boot Camp out of a gym in Loveland, Colorado, where he teaches his Cowboy Fit Zone methodology. He has also developed a product he calls Lose 12 Inches with 12 Workouts that he markets on multiple websites.

Ehmann presented his enthusiastic pitch to the full panel of six entrepreneurs on the network television show, offering 25 percent of the profit from his business in exchange for the $120,000 in capital he was seeking.

Daymond John, the president and CEO of the FUBU clothing company, made the investment based as much on Ehmann’s personality and utter commitment to succeed as he did on the business model.   

The 41-year-old Ehmann bought his PRCA card in 1999 and competed in ProRodeo through the 2006 season.

Shark Tank, based on a show originally developed in Japan, features a panel of entrepreneurs and business executives called “sharks,” who consider pitches from other entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business or product.

In the March 8 episode, Ehmann appeared alongside groups that proposed throwing dance parties for kids with a traveling disco and the production of a damage-proof cell phone.

One of Nebraska's Greats

ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Paul Tierney has been honored by the Omaha World Herald as one of the 100 greatest athletes in Nebraska’s history. The AQHA member was recognized for a career that has lasted more than 40 years and produced a tie-down roping world championship in 1979, an all-around gold buckle in 1980 and 14 trips to the National Finals Rodeo.

“Anytime you get recognized like that for achievements in life, it’s kind of like frosting on the cake,” Tierney told the SandHills Express of Broken Bow, Nebraska. “In high school I had become a state champion in all-around and calf roping. I realized in my college years that if I made the sacrifices and applied myself, I could do this.”

Tierney was born in Kearney, Nebraska, and grew up in Broken Bow. He was ranked 95th by the World Herald, the only rodeo star on a list that was headed by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson, Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers and pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, who finished his career tied for third in career wins (373 for the Phillies, Cubs and Cardinals).