World-renowned stock worker for hire Neal Gay, a ProRodeo Hall of Famer, died Aug. 11 at his farm in Terrell, Texas with his family close by. He was 96.
Gay was accepted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1993. His expert rodeo vocation started as a hopeful in Atoka, Okla., in 1945.
Conceived June 25, 1926, in Dallas, Gay rode bulls, saddle broncs and barebacks and wrestled steers. His contender years were immediately eclipsed by his stock contracting and rodeo creation abilities.
In 1957, Gay established Rafter G Rodeo, which actually runs solid in the core of Texas three ages later. In May 1958, Gay put Mesquite, Texas, on the guide with the kickoff of the Mesquite Championship Rodeo in association with a few other cowpokes. The rodeo has developed from a little Saturday night rodeo to a social symbol watched by millions on TV every year.
Gay talked on his rodeo profession in a Dec. 31, 2016, article in the ProRodeo Sports News., when Neal and his child Don became the principal father-child team to be granted the Legend of ProRodeo.
“It was an intense racket to make it, however I’ve partaken in each moment of it,” Neal said. “I have never been grieved that I got into the rodeo business. I generally loved it, and my family enjoyed it. It has been a gift to me.”
Rodeo runs in the family for the Gays. Neal’s child Don, a ProRodeo Hall of Famer himself, is an eight-time PRCA Bull Riding World Champion. Pete, qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1972-73 and 1976 as a bull rider. His other child, Jim, runs the family’s rodeo stock delivering business.
Neal and Don Gay
“He would constantly say ‘God was first, family was a nearby second, and the rodeo was right in after that’,” said Jim Gay. “He adored rodeo and his kicking ponies and bulls. Quite possibly of his best thing he used to say was that he carried on with a favored life since he will awaken consistently and be a cattle rustler.”
Casey Harp, Assistant General Manager of Rafter G Rodeo, said without Neal Gay rodeo wouldn’t be what it is today.
“With the death of Neal that truly concludes the best age of PRCA stock project workers,” said Harp. “They were the organizers behind our industry, and they pushed it along such a long time. They were the ones that made everything occur and all of us owe those men an incredible obligation for how they have helped us.”
Gay likewise is an individual from the Texas Hall of Fame and was the beneficiary of the Ben Johnson Memorial Award from the National Cowboy Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2009.
Burial service and commemoration administrations will be reported sometime in the not too distant future.