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Welcome to the Walk of Fame

This page is dedicated to the heroes of rodeo and the people that make it the sport of America. The listings below provide some information about the people that have made history in Molalla. Many of these athletes have lived lives far beyond the reach of this small community but are here presented to show why they have been selected and found worthy to be members of the “Rodeo Walk of Fame”.

America's rodeos are living legacies of the working cowboy and cowgirl. Since its early beginnings the Molalla Buckeroo has become a classic example. The Fourth of July holiday is known as Cowboy Christmas in rodeo circles. Molalla's Buckeroo is one of the many that cowboys and other competitors have to choose from as the nation celebrates its birthday each summer. The large number of rodeos in the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Northern California, offer many rodeos within easy traveling distance. They provide the men and women who make rodeo a part of their lives the opportunity to rack up points and purse money in a very short time. Today's rodeo contestants stay in town only long enough to complete their rides, and then they're off to the next town, the next rodeo, and the next purse. It was in 1913 that Molalla became part of that Cowboy Christmas list--a list that was much shorter than it is today. Molalla's crossroads were emerging--the town was growing and prospecting right along with its timber and farming industries. As the town continued to grow, the town's people became more and more anxious for a railroad that would connect this area to the rest of the state and country. Finally, On Sept. 9, 1913, the Portland, Eugene and Eastern railway came to Molalla and gave Molalla a vital link to the outside world. The idea of a rodeo was born from the town's desire to celebrate the arrival of the train--making the Buckeroo Roundup, as it was known, the third established rodeo taking place in Oregon. The Buckeroo, which was originally held in fields near town, grew rapidly in its first few years, and the date was eventually changed to the first week of July to celebrate the birth of the nation. Initially local firefighters sponsored the event as a way to raise funds for equipment needed to fight the town's fires. In 1923, the Molalla Buckeroo Association was formed and took over operation of the rodeo. The Buckeroo Association began construction of an arena soon after taking over the operation and in 1925 the rodeo had its first permanent home. Each year, as the Buckeroo celebration and rodeo drew near, the town found itself in a spirited and festive mood, much as it does today. The Fourth of July Parade, now known as the Giant Street parade, is also a traditional part of the celebration. All of these years after its first rodeo, the Molalla Buckeroo is now firmly ensconced in its Shirley Street arena and continues to draw in competitors from the PRCA circuit.

Story from the Molalla Pioneer

Doug Brown

Brown was the World Champion Bull Rider in 1969 at the age of 23. He rode professionally starting in 1966, left for a few years – at that point he built and operated the Home Place Restaurant in Silverton – and went back for more rodeo life, finally retiring from competition in 1988. Doug became an official for the PRCA and has served as one the Judges at the Molalla Buckeroo. Doug is one of the most classic bull riders you’d ever like to meet. Brown was named all-around cowboy at no fewer than 10 rodeos throughout the West, An outstanding athlete and cowboy. Doug qualified for the National Finals Rodeo five times in that event finishing 4th for the title in 1973 and 5th in 1979. A fine all-around cowboy, he was runner up for the PRCA world all-around title in 1969 and second runner-up to the saddle bronc riding world title in 1975. A mural of Doug is located in Silverton, Or. on a horse named Jambalaya. That outstanding ride would easily be a 98-point ride today. 

Doug's Plaque was sponsored by the Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce


Dean Oliver

Tie-Down Roping • Inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame in 1979
Inducted into the Walk of Fame on 24 January 2015

Dean Oliver won eight world tie-down roping championships, dominating professional tie-down roping as no other man before or since. He also won three straight world all-around championships. Oliver, born Nov. 17, 1929, in Dodge City, Kan., was a man before he had any interest in rodeo, stemming from the “incredible sight of a man” winning $300 in a few seconds in tie-down roping at a rodeo in Idaho. Oliver wanted to get in on that kind of easy money. The sacrifices Oliver and his family made for him to become a champion included going hungry to buy a horse and one practice calf and practicing in the dark after a full day’s work. Oliver has served several terms on the association’s Board of Directors. In 1979 he was still roping and winning.


  • World Championships: 11 (all-around, 1963-65; tie-down roping, 1955, 1958, 1960-64, 1969)

  • Legend of ProRodeo: 2012

  • Born November 17th, 1929 in Dodge City, KS

Dean's plaque was sponsored by the Molalla Running Club 


Don Gay

Bull Riding • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979
Inducted into the Walk of Fame on 26 January 2015​

Don Gay won four consecutive world championships, 1974-77, the PRCA Season Championship in 1978, and then followed with another three consecutive world championships, 1979-81. Since he won his last world crown in 1984, Gay has held the record with eight bull riding world titles. Experts in the sport have called him the greatest bull rider of all time. Gay, born Sept. 18, 1953, in Mesquite, Texas, grew up in a rodeo family, son of PRCA stock contractor, Neal Gay. He began riding steers at age 6 and had an association permit before finishing high school. Gay holds the record for the third highest marked ride in the history of professional rodeo, earning 97 points on the famous RSC bull Oscar at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1977. Today, Gay provides color commentary on professional rodeo.


  • World Championships: 8 (1974-77, 1979-81, 1984)

  •  PRCA Season Championships: 1 (1978)

  • Born September 18, 1953 in Mesquite, Texas

Don Gay's plaque was sponsored by the Deardorf Family


John Quintana

Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

John Quintana is the 1972 world champion bull rider and a six-time qualifier for the National Finals Rodeo. He twice set world records for the highest-scored bull rides, a 94-point mark on Minnick Rodeo Company’s V-61 in Gladewater, Texas, in 1971 and then a 96-pointer on Beutler Brothers & Cervi Rodeo’s Number 17 at the Helldorado Days Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1974. The 96-point score remained the record for three years, until Don Gay had a 97-point outing on RSC’s Oscar in San Francisco in 1977.

Joe Quintana's plaque was sponsored by The Brentwood Corporation


Larry Mahan

All-Around • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

Larry Mahan, born Nov. 21, 1943, in Salem, Ore., definitely will go into rodeo’s history books as one of the greatest cowboys of all time. Only 14 years old when he broke into professional rodeo, Mahan developed an individual talent for all three riding events – each requiring entirely different styles and skills – that has been matched by just a few in rodeo history. He used those skills to capture five consecutive world all-around titles from 1966-70, a record that was matched nearly a decade later by Tom Ferguson but not surpassed until 1994 by Ty Murray. Mahan, who claimed world bull riding titles in the 1960s, came back to take a then-record sixth world all-around title in 1973, another mark broken by Murray in 1998. Maturity, both as a contestant and as an individual, saw Mahan overcome his natural shyness to become the best living advertisement in the history of professional rodeo: personable and articulate, with a recognizable, respected and identifiable name.


  • World championships: 8 (all-around, 1966-70, 1973; bull riding, 1965, 1967)

  •  Born November 21, 1943, in Salem, Oregon

Larry Mahan's plaque was sponsored by Pepco Designs and Clinkscales


Mike Beers

1984 World Champion Team Roper
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

Events: Team Roping (Heeling), Steer Roping, Tie-down Roping

Born: 5/4/1958The Dalles, Ore.

Joined PRCA: 1980

PRCA Career Earnings: $2,069,380.00

World Titles Won: 1 (1984)

WNFR Qualifications: 24 (TR 1980-94, 1997-98, 2000, 2002-03, 2007; TD 1981, 1983, 1985)

Current Residence: Kamloops, British Columbia

Education: Blue Mountain Community College (Pendleton, Ore.)


• Columbia River Circuit all-around champion in 1981, 1985, 1987-88, 1991-95, 1997, 1999; team roping champion in 1981, 1983,1985, 1988, 1991-92; tie-down roping champion in 1981, 1995; and steer roping champion in 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1996-97

Mike Beer's plaque was sponsored by Foothills Community Church


Dee Pickett

All-Around • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2003
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

Dee Pickett, born Sept. 8, 1955, in San Diego, Calif., discovered rodeo when he was 7 years old, and his family moved to Idaho.  Although he had the opportunity to try out for two professional football teams after his standout football career as a quarterback at Boise State University, Pickett followed his love of rodeo and went on to win two world titles in 1984, the all-around and team roping. Pickett credits his uncle with teaching him the finer points of roping. His success in the rodeo arena began with the PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year title in 1978, the year he joined the association and his first year to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo. He went on to qualify for another 19 NFRs. A shattered wrist resulting from a freak accident in 1981 cost Pickett the all-around world title. Even though the injury hindered his performance, Pickett never considered quitting rodeo. In 1984 it all came together with partner Mike Beers. In 1984, Pickett set an NFR record of $30,677, season earnings of more than $122,000, a tie-down roping aggregate crown and two world titles. Pickett is considered one of ProRodeo’s best athletes ever.


  • World championships:  2 (all-around, 1984; team roping, 1984)

  • Born September 8, 1955, in San Diego, California

Dee Picket's plaque was sponsored by The Columbia Bank


Rob Smets

Contract Personnel • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2006
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

Smets, born on September 11, 1959, in Palo Alto, California, joined the PRCA in 1978 and has been fighting bulls ever since. He was selected to work his first Wrangler NFR in 1983 and did so five additional times (1987, 1989-91, 2000). He was selected as the alternate bullfighter a total of four times (1980-81, 1986, 1995).


Starting in 1981, Wrangler Jeans and Shirts began sponsoring the bullfighting competition in which a world champion was crowned each year. Smets, who listed Salinas, California as his hometown, won or shared the award a total of five times. His first title came in 1983, he shared the title with Miles Hare and in 1994 he won his final title. Rob currently is one of the two announcers at the Molalla Buckeroo and serves as arena director. Smets and his wife, Carla, now make their home in Merkel, Texas, where he spends time speaking to school, church and civic groups and visiting hospitals. He had planned to retire from bullfighting at this year’s Professional Bull Riders Finals in Las Vegas, but on March 3, a bull hooked him, breaking his neck for the third time. His hobbies include team roping, steer roping and spending time with his kids Corey, Josie, Sammy and Dylan.


Rob Smets' plaque was sponsored by The Avison Family


 Photo © Beiron Andersson

Joe Beaver

All-Around • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2000
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

In 1985 at the age of 20, Beaver won the PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year award and entered the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas as the youngest tie-down roper. After 10 days of intense competition, he left Las Vegas with his first world title, and Thomas & Mack Arena became known as “the house that Joe built.” Beaver would return to Las Vegas many more times to collect four additional world tie-down roping titles and three world all-around titles. When injuries forced him out of competition for most of 1999, Beaver still made the trip to the NFR – this time as a television commentator for ESPN. He returned in 2000 to win his third all-around title, rallying from $75,000 behind. Beaver, still a force in the PRCA, has qualified for 19 Wrangler NFRs.


  • World Championships: 8 (3, all-around, 1995-96, 2000; 5, tie-down roping, 1985, 1987-88, 1992-93)

  • Born October 13, 1965, in Victoria, Texas

Joe Beaver's plaque sponsored by Key Carpets


Leonard Ward

All-Around Cowboy • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2009
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

One of the best all-around hands from the first half of the 20th century, Leonard Ward had his greatest year in 1934 when he won the saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and all-around world championships, becoming the first cowboy to achieve a Triple Crown by winning three gold buckles in the same year. Ward won 16 rodeos that year, in bronc riding, steer decorating, bull riding and bareback riding. He continued to compete at a high level until he suffered a badly broken leg at the 1937 California Rodeo Salinas that put him in the hospital for six months and in rehab for another six. Ward left the sport for good at age 38 in 1941 to take a construction job in the North Pacific Ocean, first on Midway Island and then on Wake Island, where he was captured by the Japanese on Dec. 23, 1941, and held prisoner for 45 months, doing forced labor on Wake Island and in Japan. After his release, Ward returned to construction work and ranching in Oregon– he operated a dude ranch in Talent, Ore., where John F. Kennedy stayed during the 1960 presidential campaign – until his death in 1985.


Born August 21, 1903, in Chehalis, Washington

Died February 15, 1985, in Dufur, Oregon

Leonard Ward's plaque is sponsored by Wild Bill's Guns


Bobby Mote

Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

As an example of Bobby's accomplishments and only for 2012: Placed in seven rounds of the Wrangler NFR, including three second-place results, on his way to earning $89,519 and finishing third in the average standings. Finished second in the all-around world standings with $210,506 and third in bareback riding with $200,289. Won the 102nd Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up; Rodeo Austin; the Walla Walla (Wash.) Frontier Days; the Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo (Kalispell, Mont.) and the Walker County Fair & Rodeo (Huntsville, Texas). Won the all-around at the Reno Rodeo; the St. Paul Rodeo; the Molalla Buckeroo; the Canby Rodeo; La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros (Tucson, Ariz.); the Nacogdoches (Texas) ProRodeo & Steer Show and the Kitsap Stampede (Bremerton, Wash.). Won the all-around and the bareback riding at the Moses Lake (Wash.) Round-Up. Co-champion at the Livermore (Calif.) Rodeo


  • Born: 6/3/1976 Portland, Ore.

  • Joined PRCA: 1996

  • PRCA Career Earnings: $2,619,101.00

  • World Titles Won: 4 (2002, 2007, 2009-10)

  • WNFR Qualifications: 14 (2001-14)

  • Current Residence: Culver, Ore. 

Bobby Mote's plaque is sponsored by The Wynn Family


Jim Shoulders

All-Around • Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979
Inducted into the Walk of Fame 24 January 2015

Jim Shoulders was a city boy with no livestock background. Shoulders was 14 years old when he saw and promptly entered his first rodeo. His astonishing natural talent was apparent even then – he won $18 in the bareback riding. Shoulders developed his skills by paying his entry fees and getting on bareback horses and bulls and occasionally on saddle broncs, too. Before he graduated from high school, he had joined the Cowboys’ Turtle Association. He won $7,000 his first full year as a pro. In 1949, at age 21, he won the first of his 16 world titles, and was almost unbeatable for the next 10 years. A major factor in amassing such a record of championships was his exceptional ability to withstand pain and compete when injured. Following retirement from competition, Shoulders became a ProRodeo stock contractor.


  • World Championships: 16 (all-around, 1949, 1956-59; bull riding, 1951, 1954-59; bareback riding, 1950, 1956-58) 

  • Born May 13, 1928, in Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Died June 20, 2007, in Henryetta, Oklahoma

Jim Shoulders' plaque is sponsored by Molalla Communications


Fun Facts about the Walk of Fame!

The Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce Office

  • We have a free guide on the Walk of Fame in our office location!

The City of Molalla

  • The city of Molalla was incorporated in 1913, and a rodeo was help as part of the celebration. The rodeo has been a part of the city from that time, and adds to the flavor of this vibrant western town

Nina Dunton Elkins

  • Nina Dunton was 'Miss Liberty' at the first community celebration, and for that service, is thought of as the first rodeo queen.

W.M. 'Bill' Picket

I. J. Jameson

  • Jameson was the first all-around rodeo champion in Molalla.  He won a saddle and maybe $50.00.  How times have changed!

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