Montana Hall and Wall of Fame Reunion raises dollars for rodeo scholarships on Jan. 29 | TSLN.com

Montana Hall and Wall of Fame Reunion raises dollars for rodeo scholarships on Jan. 29

Bill Brewster

The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame’s 6th Annual Cowboy and Cowgirl Reunion on Jan. 29 in Billings is being billed as the “Year of the Rodeo Clown” with over a dozen top rodeo entertainers and bullfighters scheduled to be on hand to help raise money for rodeo scholarships.

The reunion, held at the Holiday Inn Grand, is expected to attract more than 750 supporters of rodeo in the Big Sky State, according to Larry Jordan of Livingston, MT. Jordan, a board member and chairman of special events for the organization, said the roster of rodeo personalities at this year’s event reads like a who’s who of professional rodeo.

Jordan noted that rodeo clowns and bullfighters are an important part of the today’s rodeo entertainment programs because rodeo today is now part of the entertainment business in the state.

“This is the event to raise funds so that we can give the scholarships each year to high school seniors from all over the state to help them with their higher education,” Jordan said. “Since the reunion was started over $200,000 has been raised, which includes about $39,000 raised alone for this year.”

Jordan said ranchers and rodeo fans from around the state turnout to contribute to this event that celebrates Western ranching heritage.

During the program, Shawn Davis, a Whitehall, MT-native and three-time World Champion saddle bronc rider and general manager of the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) for the past 25 years, is scheduled to be a guest speaker to update the audience about projections for future NFRs.

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Other rodeo dignitaries scheduled to be on hand include World Champion saddle bronc riders: Bill Smith, Al Nelson and Jesse Kruse; World Champion all-around cowboy Benny Reynolds; World Champion bareback riders: Larry Peabody and Deb Greenough; and World Champion steer wrestler C.R. Boucher. NFR qualifiers in attendance include: Clint Branger, bull riding; and Bob Ragsdale, a 15-time NFR tie-down roping competitor.

The program includes the induction of a number of top rodeo athletes to the Wall of Fame. This year’s induction lineup includes: Bob Nordtome, John Ley, Norris Demaree, Jack Dawson, John R. Scott and Edgar Brown. It is followed by the presentation of the Western Heritage Awards that honor families who have depicted Montana’s Western lifestyle, including Lanny and Shirlene Baumann; Jack and Rosina Hash; Phil and Cynthia Murnion; Carrol and Margaret Schaffer; Don and Teeter Jacobs; Dan Scott of the Padlock Ranch; and Helen and Larry Jordan, Sr.

This year’s star-studded list of bullfighters and clowns includes:

• Rob Smets, six-time NFR bullfighter, five-time Wrangler World Champion bullfighter and PRCA Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee;

• Miles Hare, six-time NFR bullfighter and two-time Wrangler World Champion bullfighter;

• Rowdy Barry, NFR bullfighter and three-time Canadian National Finals bullfighter;

• Chuck Henson, two-time NFR bullfighter/clown, PRCA Clown of the Year, PRCA Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee;

• Jon “Chip” Taylor, three-time NFR clown, 16-time Canadian National Finals rodeo clown, PRCA Clown of the Year;

• Wilbur Plaugher, PRCA Clown of the Year;

• Timber Tuckness, 17-time NFR Bucking Stock Sale Clown;

• Wick Peth, eight-time NFR bullfighter/clown; and

• Kelly Jennings, NFR, Dodge National Circuit Finals and Montana Circuit Finals bullfighter.

In addition, there are a number of other top Montana rodeo clowns/bullfighters with multi-Montana Pro Rodeo Finals and major PRCA rodeo appearances scheduled to attend. They include John Novotny, Jack Stensland, Charley Lyons, Caleb Barrett and Glenn Frizler.

Dan Mortensen, six-time World Champion bronc rider and World Champion all-around cowboy is scheduled to attend. The life-size bronze of Mortensen in front of MetraPark in Billings, MT, was erected by the organization.

For reservations or more information, contact 406-256-6515 or 406-259-7177, or visit http://www.montanaprorodeo.org.

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