Don Gay

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Donald ("Don" or "Donnie") Gay (Born September 18, 1953) Don Gay was born September 18, 1953 in Mesquite, Texas.[1] Don Gay is an American eight-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world champion bullrider. Born on September 8, 1953 to Neal Gay and Evelyn "Cookie" Foster, he was only a year old when his mother died of leukemia. Neal then married Kay Gay, who raised Don and his brother Pete as her own. Don grew up in Mesquite, Texas, and started rodeo at age 6. His father, Neal Gay, was a well-known rodeo competitor and rodeo producer. Don was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979; his father was inducted in 1993, becoming the only father and son to receive that honor. In 2015, Don was inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame. Don retired from professional rodeo in 1989.

Rodeo career[edit]

Don started riding calves at age 6. His father ran the famed Mesquite Rodeo which still operates today. He used Mesquite to perfect his skills on both bulls and broncs. He got his PRCA permit just out of high school and hit the road.[2] He soon got his pilot's license and began flying himself to rodeo events in a private plane.[3] Don Gay won almost every major rodeo in the country at some point during his career. He won the first of 8 world titles in 1974. He would go on to win in 1975, 1976 and 1977. His next four titles came in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1984. The record of 8 world titles in bull riding still stands to this day.[1][4]

Post rodeo career[edit]

Gay now does live announcing at bull riding events across the United States. He was also a commentator for Professional Bull Riders (PBR) big-league events on TNN from 1994-2001, PRCA Xtreme Bulls big-league events on ESPN and Great American Country (GAC) from 2003–13 and Championship Bull Riding (CBR) big-league events on GAC from 2009-10. However, he continues to be involved in PRCA Xtreme Bulls and CBR, providing live announcing at some events, including the CBR finals. He also continues to provide additional color commentary for the bull riding during the live telecasts of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) each December. Starting in 2011, he now also runs his own semi-professional bull riding organization, the Don Gay Bull Riding Tour (DGBRT), which sanctions events annually across the United States.

Legacy[edit]

Don retired from professional rodeo in 1989.[5] Don was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979; his father was inducted in 1993, becoming the only father and son to receive that honor.[6][7][1][5] In 1997, he received the PBR Heroes and Legends Celebration: Ring of Honor.[4] In 2015, Don was inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame.[8] In 2007 Gay was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame[9] along with his brothers Pete and Jim.[10] In 2006, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame created the Legends of ProRodeo award which is awarded annually. Again, Don and his father are the only two son and father combo to receive this award.[11] Don received it in 2013, and Neal received in 2016. The award is given to individuals who have retired from participating in the sport of rodeo but have tirelessly continued to contribute to the sport afterwards.[12]

Honors[edit]

1996 Texas Sports Hall of Fame[13]

1979 ProRodeo Hall of Fame

1997 PBR Heroes and Legends Celebration: Ring of Honor

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame[14]

2007 Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame[15]

2008 Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

2013 Legends of ProRodeo

2015 Molalla Walk of Fame[16]

2015 Bull Riding Hall of Fame

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Don Gay - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Collected Wisdom: Donnie Gay", November 30, 2008, accessed March 31, 2010
  3. ^ Applebome, Peter (12 February 1986). "RODEO, NEW STYLE: BOXES FOR $10,000". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Professional Bull Riders - Ring of Honor: Donnie Gay". Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Famed bullrider Don Gay still a big part of rodeo". TimesRecordNews. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "MCR History 90's". Mesquite Championship Rodeo. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Neal Gay - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Bull Riders - Class of 2015". The Bull Riding Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame: Past Inductees". www.texasrodeocowboy.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  10. ^ Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductees, accessed December 4, 2016
  11. ^ "Legends of ProRodeo - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Legends of ProRodeo - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "Texas Sports Hall of Fame: Texas Sports Hall of Fame". www.tshof.org. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame | Fort Worth Texas". texascowboyhalloffame.org. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame: Past Inductees". www.texasrodeocowboy.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  16. ^ "Walk of Fame - Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce,OR". www.molallachamber.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 

External links[edit]