The colorful history and equally colorful legends of professional rodeo live on at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, Colo.Since the Hall’s opening in 1979, 242 people, 29 animals and 25 rodeo committees have been inducted. More than 100 individuals are nominated each year, but only a few are selected.
The 2016 induction will be held Aug. 5-6; contact the ProRodeo Hall of Fame for event information. “We have made some great improvements in the Hall over the past couple of years, from much-needed repairs and maintenance to the buildings and grounds to updated displays and exhibits,” says the Hall’s director, Kent Sturman. “The exhibits featured in the 101 Gallery rotate every few months, which allows museum guests to enjoy many artifacts in our own collection as well as allowing us to showcase local artists and other rodeo exhibits.
“We are excited to let our fans and visitors know that in spring 2016, we will be installing digital signs and touch screens in the museum. This long-awaited arrival of new technology will enhance our guests’ experience and allow them to access information and data on the PRCA and Hall of Fame inductees that they don’t get from the museum’s exhibits.” The touch screens will feature world records, current world standings and rodeo schedules as well as a map of the museum and the locations of inductees’ exhibits. They will also offer information on upcoming events, membership information and other topics.
“The generosity of our sponsors and donors the past few years has put us in a position to be able to install these new displays,” said Sturman. “Look for more improvements in the coming months as well.” Each year more than 35,000 visitors tour the Hall, which off ers exhibits that detail the changes in saddles, chaps, hats and other rodeo equipment over the decades as well as separate exhibits for many of ProRodeo’s luminaries.
Hall of Fame guests start their tour in the Hall of Champions, which features exhibits on notable cowboys in each event, current world champions, famous stock contractors, rodeo queens, clowns, bullfighters and other rodeo personnel. They often fi nish their tour in the Hall’s gorgeous gardens, featuring beautiful bronze sculptures depicting rodeo events and champions, with perhaps a look at the Priefert-supplied arena where the Commissioner’s Classic team ropings are held each summer. Guests touring the Hall during the summer can also enjoy visiting retired rodeo roughstock who make their homes in the Zoetis Barn across from the Hall’s sculpture gardens and adjacent to the Priefert-Ed Honen Arena.
Located on a 13-acre site tucked against the foothills of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, the Hall of Fame is easily identifiable from Interstate 25 by a landmark bronze statue of Hall of Fame saddle bronc rider Casey Tibbs on the famous horse Necktie.
To reach the ProRodeo Hall of Fame from northbound I-25: take exit 148; turn left on Rockrimmon Boulevard; turn left at the second light, Pro Rodeo Drive, then follow the Hall of Fame sign and turn into the first driveway on the left. From southbound I-25: exit 148 and continue south through the first light (Corporate Dr.); at the second light, turn right onto Rockrimmon Blvd.; turn left at the second light, which is Pro Rodeo Drive, then follow the Hall of Fame sign and turn into the first driveway on the left. For the Hall’s seasonal hours of operation and additional information about special events, log on to www.ProRodeoHallofFame.com.