Over the past two decades, the name Shorty Gorham has become synonymous with bullfighting. The California native, who now makes his home in Cottula, Texas, is the first bullfighter in PBR history to simultaneously serve as a member of the CBS / CBS Sports Network broadcast team and, since 2011, has been present in living rooms nationwide every weekend. Gorham’s unique role from down on the dirt provides a perspective and firsthand point-of-view that no other on-air commentators have brought to the PBR’s telecast.
Gorham’s career began when he was 14 years old. He left home and moved to Rancho Mission Viejo, where he studied the psychology of cattle by working on a 40,000-acre ranch, while attending San Clemente High School. “I was born 100 years too late,” said Gorham, 40, who showed little interest in surfing with classmates and dreamed of being a cowboy since he was five. It is one of the last remaining cattle ranches in Orange County and it was there Gorham learned how to react to the body language – eyes and ears – and the understand the movement of a bull.
He won two state high school roping titles and, at 18, Gorham began fighting bulls at local rodeos. He was selected to work the California State High School Finals followed by three years with the California Circuit Finals Rodeo. Then he twice earned a trip to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo before earning a spot, in 2006, as an alternate with the PBR. A year later, Gorham became a fixture on the elite televised series.
In addition to his broadcasting career, Gorham appeared on the NBC series “America’s Toughest Job” and the Versus series “Sports Jobs with Junior Seau.” He also was featured in the VICE Film, “The Ride.” He hosted “Best of the West” for two seasons on The Outdoor Channel and, in 2016, initiated a movement in which fellow bullfighters and bull riders from every country have agreed to Celebrate America by pledging to always respectfully stand for the national anthem at PBR events.
“I’ve been fortunate all my life to have a job I love coming to,” said Gorham, who is best-known for protecting cowboys and keeping bull riders out of trouble. “If it ended tomorrow I could look back and be completely happy with what I’ve done.” Earlier this year, the married, father of two turned his attention to the future by looking to the past when founded Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting and is now also producing the top freestyle bullfighting events in the world.