Argyle’s Rodeo Royalty

Argyle’s Rodeo Royalty

by Barbara Scott-Kolb

In 1979, the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy was opened in Colorado Springs — the country’s only institution dedicated to honoring professional rodeo. Cowboys dream of initiation into this elite group of Western royalty. As the largest rodeo organization worldwide, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association gathers annually to nominate the best rodeo contestants into the Pro-Rodeo Hall of fame. Selecting from a pool of thousands of cowboys and cowgirls, a mere 10 individuals were selected as the 2018 induction class.

Two of the inductees happen to reside in our proud city of Argyle. They are Billy Minick and former Dallas Cowboys fullback, Walt Garrison. The PRCA chooses Hall of Fame inductees based on a summation of lifetime achievements in the rodeo industry. Also, they look for someone who embodies the principles of a cowboy – strong morals, integrity, and a passion for preserving the spirit of the West.

At age 79, Billy Minick’s lifelong dedication to Western heritage earned him a lasting place in the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Minick launched his rodeo career in 1959, as he joined the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association. His greatest aspiration was to one day compete in the National Finals Rodeo as a professional bull rider. In 1966, that dream came to fruition when he qualified for the NFR and placed fourth in the world rankings. Following such a fulfilling career as a competitor, Minick purchased the Harry Knight Rodeo Company from entertainment mogul Gene Autry and became one of the most successful stock contractors in rodeo history.

Not to be outdone, his wife is one of the most recognized women in the equine world. A former Miss Rodeo America and one of the only women inducted into both the National Cowgirl and Cowboy Hall of Fame, Mrs. Minick had the unique privilege of announcing her husband of 35 years into the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame.

“It gave me great pleasure to introduce him,” Pam Minick said. “Seeing him recognized among the best in the sport of rodeo was such a proud moment for me. He is so deserving.” In the most reverently worded acceptance speeches of the day, Billy Minick chose to use his time on the podium to give tribute to the cowboys before him. “It is the greatest honor to be here because the generation I looked up to in the Hall of Fame before me is no longer with us. To be among my heroes is truly humbling,” he said.

The second Hall of Fame inductee from Argyle happens to be a nearby resident of the Minicks and a cowboy in two senses of the word. Former Dallas Cowboy fullback and Pro-Rodeo competitor, Walt Garrison, was also included in the 2018 induction class. Enamored with the sport of rodeo, he demanded a two-horse trailer be included in his professional football contract so he could attend rodeos during the season.  “I never dreamed I would be in any rodeo hall of fame. This is one of the best awards I’ve ever received,” said Garrison.

The President and CEO of the PRCA, George Taylor, explained that this 2018 Hall of Fame class is the best that rodeo has to offer. These men claimed their place in the history books of professional rodeo. As future cowboys and cowgirls walk through the Museum of the American Cowboy and gaze upon rodeo legends, they will see the giants on which shoulders they might stand. Billy Minick and Walt Garrison will be two of those giants. Their legacy will forever be remembered in the one and only Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame.

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