My name is Gary W. Jones, former P.R.C.A. Professional Bullfighter, with a career in the P.R.C.A. spanning 12 years from 1988 to 2000. I started fighting bulls in 1986. I qualified for the Wrangler Bullfight Finals Held in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1991 & 1992 as one of the top 6 Freestyle Bullfighters.
In 1986, while attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, I saw Miles Hare fighting bulls and noticed that he was wearing a motocross vest under his shirt. I knew that I needed to have one of those vests. After wearing the motocross vest fighting bulls at a few rodeos, I was really glad that I had it but I could see that it needed additional protection in strategic areas. I started working on some design ideas on how I could make the vest better, customized to what the Rodeo Bullfighter needed. Two years later, while out riding my jet ski on Lake Conroe, I met two gentlemen who worked for Douglas Protective Equipment, after a fun day on the lake we started talking shop and that's when and where the concept of the Original Rodeo Bullfighters Protective Vest was conceived.
For the next couple of months we worked on the design and the patterns. I paid Douglas Protective Equipment to make me a prototype. Next came R & D (Research & Development) and then it was off for some fun, go fight some bulls. The concept of the vest was the same one that Douglas Protective Equipment used for their football pads. The Air Management System incorporates the shatter proof plastic, open cell foam and the nylon covering.
The Air Management System was designed to insulate the athlete from taking a blunt hit; the plastics along with the open cell foam and the nylon covering would act like an air bag and disperse the impact throughout the vest. Before I actually fought bulls in the vest, I had a few of my friends pull out their baseball bats and take a few whacks at me just to see how a solid hit would feel. After wearing the vest myself for a little over a year of fighting bulls, I was able to get a few other Bullfighters to try out the vest.
From the vest's inception there have been several different manufacturers. I was paying Douglas Protective Equipment to produce the vest I sold them with the name ?JONES Protective Vest?. In 1992 I met Tom Kilwine. Tom owned a boot and shoe repair business including a leather goods company in Prescott, AZ. I figured with his machines and my ideas, this would be a GREAT partnership. This is where ?J & K Protective Equipment? was born. After a 3 year partnership and some added protective equipment for bullfighters, Tom and I went our separate ways. I got the opportunity to work with World Champion Bullrider Gary Leffew in designing a Bull Riding vest that he could feel good about putting his name on. After Tom and I went our separate ways, he continued to make my vest and other equipment under the name familiar to a lot of Bullfighters, ?TK Rodeo Protective Equipment?.
I contacted CLG Rodeo Equipment and worked out a deal with them to manufacture my vest with the name ?WILD WEAR PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT?. I have no financial connection with my Bullfighters Vest anymore, TK is still selling the vest and although CLG has changed some of the materials used in the vest, it is still the same vest that I designed back in 1988. CLG makes some of the highest quality products for the sport of Rodeo. So here we are 23 years later and my vest is still being worn by many of the top Bullfighters in the world of Rodeo. From the time of the inception of the Rodeo Bullfighters Vest, it has been worn by World Champion Wrangler Bullfighters and NFR Bullfighters such as Rob Smets, Dwayne Hargo, Jerry Norton, Rowdy Barry, "Hollywood" Don Yates, Doug Forzani, Darrell Diefenbach, Dusty Tuckness, and many more.
I have created this page to find out just how many Bullfighters are still wearing my vest. I would like to hear from the Bullfighters that are wearing the vest to share their stories of wrecks that have gone from bad to worse and how they feel the vest has protected them through the years. I look forward to seeing you all on here and thanks in advance.
OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FALLING,
BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL!!
At Jones Pro GEAR our goal is to provide the highest quality products with the most protection available on the market.Our Bullfighters protective vest are hand made right here in the State of Utah. Our vest were designed 20 plus years ago by P.R.C.A. Bullfighter and two time (1991 & 1992) NFR Wrangler Bullfight finals qualifier Gary W. Jones.
Gary was able to get input from many of the top Bullfighters such as Rob Smets, Dwayne Hargo, Don "Hollywood" Yates, James Pierce and many others when he first designed the vest.