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ProRodeo Hall of Famer, Neal Gay, dies at 96

In May 1958, Gay opened up the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. It has grown from a small event to one that is now watched by millions on TV every year.
Credit: PRCA
Credit: PRCA

TERRELL, Texas — ProRodeo Hall of Famer Neal Gay died on Aug. 11 at his ranch in Terrell, Texas, according to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He was 96 years old. 

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo issued a statement on its Facebook page about Gay's passing, which also included a statement from Gay's family. It reads: 

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Rafter G Rodeo's founder and patriarch, Neal Gay. Neal was a truly legendary rodeo leader who played a pivotal role in the FWSSR's World's Original Indoor Rodeo for decades. His legacy lives on through his hardworking and dedicated family that are taking Rafter G Rodeo to exciting new heights. Please join us in keeping everyone at Rafter G Rodeo in your thoughts and prayers. 

Below is a statement from the Gay family. 

On behalf of everyone here at the Gay family and the extended family and friends of Rafter G Rodeo, we are saddened to announce the passing of our beloved father, grandfather and founder Neal Gay.

We are so very thankful for the 95 years of wisdom, friendship and memories we have shared with so many. We are currently in the planning stages of a memorial service and will provide information very soon.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as we work to honor this great man."

Gay was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1993. His career began in 1945 in Atoka, Okla.

In May 1958, Gay opened up the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. It has grown from a small event to one that is now watched by  millions on TV every year.

According to PRCA, funeral and memorial services will be announced at a later date.

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