2016 Legend of ProRodeo Neal GaySara Tadken
“It’s very nice to receive this honor; I’ve been in the business a long time. 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.”
Neal Gay was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame as a stock contractor in 1993.
Gay’s professional rodeo career began as a contestant in Atoka, Oklahoma in 1945. Born June 25, 1926, in Dallas, Gay rode bulls, saddle broncs and barebacks and wrestled steers. His contestant years have since been overshadowed by his stock contracting and rodeo production skills. In May 1958, Gay put Mesquite, Texas, on the map with the opening of the Mesquite Championship Rodeo in partnership with several other cowboys.
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.
“For an ol’ South Dallas kid who didn’t have $3 when he started, I wound up pretty good,” Neal said.