“Neal Gay’s professional rodeo career began as a contestant in Atoka, Okla., in 1945. Born June 25, 1926, in Dallas, Gay rode bulls, saddle bronc, and bareback, and wrestled steers. His contestant years have since been overshadowed by his stock contracting and rodeo production skills.
“In May 1958, Gay put Mesquite, Texas, on the map with the opening of the Mesquite Championship Rodeo in partnership with several other cowboys, Gay as Managing Director. The Mesquite Rodeo had its own stock, and performances were seen worldwide via cable television. Gay’s rodeo contemporaries point to his early experience in the production and financing of small rodeos in Texas as an excellent example of what small communities can do.
““I wouldn’t be in this business if I didn’t love it, but this is all I ever wanted to do. I’ve never gotten up a day in my life dreading to go to work,” he said.
“Jim Gay serves as the General Manager of the Rafter G Rodeo Company. He oversees the daily operations of the Rafter G Ranch as well as being the driving force behind every rodeo performance. His contributions to the sport were honored in 2007 as he, along with his brothers Pete and Donnie, were inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
“Pete Gay is a 3x qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals in the bull riding. During all Rafter G Rodeos, Pete can be found handling the preparation of livestock as well as flanking livestock and handling transportation duties. In 2007, Pete was honored with induction to the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
“Jim’s wife and daughters, Brenda, Megan, and Summer, coordinate all the opening ceremonies, as well as the lavish flag girl costumes.
“For nearly 40 years, Rafter G has been bringing Kay Gay’s signature Palomino horses and pageantry to millions of rodeo fans.” – RafterGRodeo.com
The Rafter G Rodeo Company can be found at various rodeos all over the PRCA circuit. But, if you have the chance, you should really stop and see them put on the show at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo right in their home state of Texas.