by ProRodeo.com | Sep 26, 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – ProRodeo Hall of Fame stock contractor Neal Gay has been named the 2016 ProRodeo Legend, and will be honored at the Ninth annual Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala Nov. 28 at the South Point Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.
“It’s very nice to receive this honor; I’ve been in the business a long time,” Gay said. “I was surprised to receive the honor. I’m 90 years old, and I’m not as active as I once was. I started out riding broncs and bareback horses, and I also bulldogged and rode bulls for a very short while. What I enjoyed most, as far as rodeo was concerned, was after I got married and had children I got into the production business. It was a tough racket to make it, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I have never been sorry that I got into the rodeo business. I always liked it, and my family liked it. It has been a blessing to me.”
The Gala, which benefits the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, begins at 6:30 p.m.
Neal Gay was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame as a stock contractor in 1993.
He returned from military service in 1946 and began rodeoing, mostly in saddle bronc riding.
He started raising roughstock about the time he founded the Mesquite (Texas) Rodeo in 1957, which became a phenomenon and an iconic rodeo that was broadcast to millions on cable TV.
Gay also is a member of the Texas Hall of Fame, and was the recipient of the Ben Johnson Memorial Award from the National Cowboy Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2009.
Neal’s sons followed his footsteps into the rodeo arena. Don, is an eight-time bull riding world champ and a ProRodeo Hall of Famer, Pete qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1972-73 and 1976 as a bull rider, and Jim found his niche in carrying on the family’s rodeo stock producing business.
“For an ol’ South Dallas kid who didn’t have $3 when he started, I wound up pretty good,” Neal said.
Courtesy of PRCA