by ProRodeo.com | Sep 29, 2014
COLORADO SRPINGS, Colo. – On the 30th anniversary of the National Finals Rodeo moving to Las Vegas, the man most responsible for bringing it to the desert – Benny Binion – is being honored as the 2014 Legend of ProRodeo at the Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala Dec. 1 at the South Point Hotel and Casino.
“He’d get a big kick out of it, and he’d be proud,” said Brenda Michael, one of Binion’s five children. “He didn’t watch any sports; rodeo was the only entertainment he liked.
“He liked livestock and bucking horses. He liked the cowboys.”
Binion, who passed away in 1989, was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1985, he was named ProRodeo Man of the Year for bringing the NFR to Vegas.
Born in 1901, Binion was nicknamed “Cowboy.” He moved to Las Vegas from his native Texas, where he had raised some of the best bucking horses and bulls in rodeo. He worked for 30 years to bring a big-time rodeo to Vegas, and succeeded in 1985. The 10 days of the Finals each December have become some of the most lucrative for the city.
“He wanted to get it out there for a long time,” Michael said. “He thought that’s where it needed to be. It was better for the rodeo and good for Las Vegas.”
The reception and silent auction will get under way at 6 p.m., with the dinner at 7 o’clock featuring live entertainment by Las Vegas performers and the Legend Award presentation. Tickets are $100 apiece, or $900 for a table of 10. The deadline for reserving tickets is Nov. 24.
Raffle tickets for a 35th anniversary ProRodeo Hall of Fame saddle will be sold at the Gala with the drawing held at the end of the evening. Live auction items included this year are a Massey Ferguson tractor, a 35th anniversary Commemorative Firearms set (No. 1 of 50), a “Spinnin’ in Vegas” bull riding bronze by Steve Miller, a photograph of Lane Frost’s last ride in Cheyenne (Wyo.) and a 35th anniversary Hall of Fame Commemorative Belt Buckle (No. 2 of 35).
All proceeds from the Gala benefit the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs.
Courtesy of PRCA