The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will celebrate the Best in the West and honor this year’s hall of fame inductees and memorial award winners September 30 and October 1.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is hosting its annual Rodeo Hall of Fame weekend September 30 and October 1, honoring the cowboys and cowgirls who have made a difference in the Western community. The event will celebrate the Best in the West with new and old inductees, as well as present the Ben Johnson Memorial Award to a person who has contributed to the growth and betterment of professional rodeo and the Tad Lucas Memorial Award commemorating a woman who has exhibited the same extraordinary characteristics as the award’s namesake. The ceremony will include a cocktail reception September 30 and the Champions Dinner and Award Ceremony October 1.
Those being inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame include Jake Barnes, Ote Berry, Clay O’Brien Cooper, Walt Linderman, Dan O. “Bud” and Jimmie Gibbs Munroe, and Wick Peth. The recipient of the Tad Lucas Memorial Award is Amberley Snyder, and the recipient of the Ben Johnson Memorial Award is Jack Roddy.
About the inductees:
Barnes is a talented team roper from Huntsville, Texas, who joined the PRCA in 1980. His skill as a team roper has led him to seven world team-roping championships. Along with his world championships, he has won the Doge Nationals Circuit Finals three times and the Turquoise Circuit five.
The South Dakota native started his career as a bareback rider but quickly changed to steer wrestling after a few injuries. The change paid off: He has gone on to win five world championships, making him one of three cowboys in professional history to claim four or more world steer wrestling titles.
Clay O’Brien Cooper
This actor-turned-cowboy’s talent as a heeler has driven him into a 30-year career in professional rodeo. Before rodeo, Cooper acted in several westerns, including The Cowboys and One Little Indian. He has won every major event in team roping, including seven world championships, and is considered by many to be the greatest heeler of all time.
Linderman had a lifelong career as a cowboy. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo nine times for steer wrestling and placed second three times in the final world rodeo standings. After retiring from professional rodeo, he went on to work for the Montana Department of Transportation for 20 years before his death in 2005.
Dan O. “Bud” and Jimmie Gibbs Munroe
This rodeo power couple has given so much to the Western community. “Bud,” a saddle bronc rider, has qualified 12 times for the National Finals Rodeo, is the 1986 world champion saddle bronc rider, and serves on the PRCA properties board.
Jimmie, a Texas native, was a two-time NIRA National Champion Barrel racer and the NIRA National Champion All-Around Cowgirl in 1974. She won the Tad Lucas Award in 1996 and served as the president of the WPRA from 1979–93 and 2011–12, fighting for equal pay for women in rodeo.
This legendary rodeo clown is considered by most to be the greatest rodeo bullfighter of all. His uncanny ability to shrug off a potentially devastating blow from a bull is why Peth has been elected bullfighter for the NFR seven times.
Snyder’s story is one of triumph over tragedy. Growing up a multi-talented cowgirl, she competed in barrel races, pole bending, and even goat tying, and she quickly earned a name in the rodeo circuits. One evening, on her way to compete in a rodeo in Denver, a devastating car crash left Snyder paralyzed from the waist down. But her love of rodeo and positive attitude have given her the motivation to get back on the saddle.
Roddy grew up riding and roping, so it’s no surprise that this two-time world champion set a record for total earnings in steer wrestling.
Visit the Rodeo Historical Society online for more information on the event.