June 23, 2018

Tarleton well-represented among 2017 Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Famers

STEPHENVILLE (April 7, 2017) — Tarleton State University’s 1967 national champion men’s rodeo team and two former students will be inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame (TRCHF) April 8 in Fort Worth.

The induction ceremony coincides with TRCHF’s annual reunion weekend, April 6-8, in the National Historic Stockyards District. Founded in 1975, TRCHF honors the men and women, committees and associations, and the livestock that champion the Western lifestyle and sport of rodeo. To date, the hall of fame includes more than 390 honorees, whose photos and biographies line the walls of Cowtown Coliseum.

Slated for induction into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame on April 8, are (l-r) Debbie Garrison, Terry Walls and Tarleton State University’s 1967 National Championship Men’s Rodeo Team.

2017 TRCHF inductees with Tarleton connections are:

Debbie Garrison
Garrison competed in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and women’s bull riding and bareback riding events during high school and college. She was a 14-time qualifier in the Women’s National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) team roping event (1989-1999 and 2009-2012), Pro Women’s Rodeo Association (PWRA) timed event and team roping rookie of the year (1990), WNFR team roping average winner (1993, 1996) and PWRA reserve world champion team roping header (1997, 1998), to name a few of her honors. She is a member of the U.S. Team Roping Association, World Series Team Roping Association and PWRA. Garrison was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999, Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame in 2000 and the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2016.

Garrison’s donations and support have been instrumental in building the practice facilities that Tarleton’s rodeo team calls home.

Terry Walls
Walls, who passed away in November 2016, produced his first rodeo in 1971 in Glen Rose. Since then, the Terry Walls Rodeo Company has provided bucking stock for and produced more than 30 rodeos per year, including stock for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) National Finals Rodeo, Wrangler National Finals and Professional Bull Riders’ World Finals. In 2005, the company was voted Producer of the Year.

For 44 years, his bucking horse breeding program, “Born to Buck,” raised numerous National Finals Rodeo-caliber broncs, including Ginger Snap, still bucking today, and Jawbreaker, who in 220 trips allowed no qualified ride.

Walls won many titles and prizes as a member of the American Junior Rodeo Association, and later served as its president. He advanced from that to the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, qualifying for the finals ever year during his Tarleton career. He is a PRCA co-founder.

Tarleton’s 1967 National Championship Men’s Rodeo Team
In addition to Terry Walls, members of Tarleton’s 1967 National Intercollegiate Rodeo (NIRA) Association champion team and founders of the university’s NIRA rodeo program are Bobby Hungate, Charles Bitters, Lionel Lane, Johnny Kirk Edmonson, Billy Albin and Randy Magers. At its first Southern Region competition in 1965, the team finished second regionally and fourth nationally. In 1966, it placed first regionally and third nationally.

After changing to the Southwest Region, the 1967 team won region and went on to win the NIRA national championship by amassing 747 points to place first over California Polytechnic State University with 405 points. Hungate accounted for 290 of those points and was the All-Around Cowboy that year. Albin collected 60 points in ribbon roping, while Bitters earned 60 points in steer wrestling and Magers earned 181 points in bull riding.

All 1967 team members graduated from Tarleton, qualifying for the nationals as individuals and as a team all four years. The team was inducted into the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2013.

About Tarleton State Rodeo: A Winning Tradition
Tarleton’s renowned rodeo program is known for having some of the toughest and most talented student competitors among National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) members. To celebrate their achievements during the past 68 years, the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to recognize some of the cowboys and cowgirls who have brought notoriety to the sport and university.

Competing for the purple and white under the motto, “A Winning Tradition,” Tarleton’s rodeo teams have won seven national championship titles, 24 individual national championships and numerous NIRA Southwest Region titles since the program was established in 1947. In 2016-17, Tarleton boasted one of the largest collegiate rodeo teams in the nation with 128 card-holding student members.

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