2024 ProRodeo Hall of Fame Class Announced

By Ann Bleiker


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – The Solar Eclipse was not the only big news of the day as the Class of 2024 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductees were announced on Monday, April 8 marking the 45th annual induction. A total of 10 will be inducted including two representatives from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) on July 13.

2024 Inductees

Marlene (Eddleman) McRae, the 1983 WPRA World Champion and Jeana Day, the 1974 WPRA World Champion will both be inducted into the WPRA Barrel Racing category. McRae and Day will join the following on the PRCA side – Kaycee Feild (bareback riding). Art Arnold (team roping) Blue Stone (bull riding – honored posthumously) J.D. Yates (notable) Sammy Andrews (stock contractor), bullfighter Darrel Diefenbach (contract personnel), Burns Rodeo Company’s bull #171 Mr T (livestock), and Tri-State Rodeo in Fort Madison, IA (rodeo committee). Bob Feist will also be honored with the Ken Stemler Pioneer Award during the Cowboy Ball on July 12.

Jeana Day

Photo by WPRA

 

Jeana Day

Photo by WPRA

 

McRae, who grew up in Ordway, Colorado, not only made an impact in the arena but also gave back serving two different stints on the Board of Directors first in 1990 and again in 2016.

“It was great to hear it from Jimmie, that was outstanding in itself,” stated McRae about receiving the call on her induction from WPRA President Jimmie Munroe. “This is a dream come true. Rodeo has made so many of my dreams come true and I would have to say this tops the cake. This was probably the final dream that I have dreamed of for my rodeo career.

“Being from Colorado, I am really glad WPRA members are now part of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. It means a lot to me because I have been around the Hall the majority of my life. I wish both my parents were still alive to see it, but they will see it happen from heaven.”

McRae’s Hall of Fame career inside the rodeo arena consisted of qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo a total of 10 times (1983-1991, 2000), won the world title in 1983, won the NFR average twice (1983, 1988), finished as reserve world champion behind the legendary Charmayne James three times (1987-89), reserve champion at the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (1988-89 – now known as the NFR Open that is held in Colorado Springs, CO in July), won the Calgary Stampede title five times (the most of any WPRA barrel racer – 1984-85, 87, 89-90) and won the gold medal at the Olympic Command Performance in conjunction with the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988.

Marlene (Eddleman) McRae

Photo by WPRA

 

Outside of the arena she has contributed to the growth of the sport of barrel racing as a clinician, innovator and elected voice for WPRA members. As a clinician from 1980-2015 she personally taught and shared her knowledge at over 500 clinics across not only the United States but the world. She also published a book, Barrel Racing 101, and created the Millennial Series video program to help those unable to attend one of her clinics.

As an innovator for over three decades, she has been involved in the development of her own line of saddles and tack, including introducing the first ever carbon fiber saddle tree. And last but not least, she served two different terms on the WPRA Board of Directors, first as a Circuit Director and then as the director of the Futurity and Derby program.

She was honored in 2018 with the Calgary Pioneer Award and was the first American female to receive this honor. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and now she can add ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee to her list of accomplishments.

Day of Woodward, Oklahoma, etched her name in the WPRA history books winning the barrel racing world title in 1974. A six-time NFR qualifier, she also finished as reserve world champion four times (1970-73) prior to capturing the world title. She accomplished all of this aboard a horse called Poco Excuse, a horse that was an unlikely WPRA world champion – he was small, just 1,000 pounds, and not expected to have much speed with only cow horse breeding. However, his outstanding heart took him and his jockey to new heights and even led to the formation of one of the WPRA’s most coveted awards – the Horse with the Most Heart Award, given at the NFR each year.

“I was just blown away when I got the news from Jimmie (Munroe),” stated Day upon learning of her induction. “I was overwhelmed and speechless and for those that know me it takes a lot for me to be speechless. I feel so honored and blessed to be receiving this news today. I am just all smiles.”

Day also spent 11 years on the WPRA Board of Directors during a pivotal time in the history of the Association when they took a stand for equal money in the barrel racing. She served two different terms (1975-1979 and 1986-1991).

She got her math degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and until her retirement in 2023 was teaching high school math in Fargo, Oklahoma. In 2016, she was the parade grand marshal for the Woodward (OK) Elks Rodeo, her hometown rodeo.

The WPRA first began inducting members to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2017 and since that time a total of 14 members (including this year’s class) have been inducted along with two world champion horses (doesn’t include Scamper as he was inducted in 1996).

Full information on the PRCA inductees can be found at www.prorodeo.com.

The 2024 ProRodeo Hall of Fame Inductions are scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. MT on July 13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

Editor’s Note: The information enclosed in this release is courtesy of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) for media use. However, if you reprint any of the following information verbatim in your publication, or if you read it verbatim on a radio broadcast, please mention that the information is courtesy of the WPRA.

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