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2018 ProRodeo Legend Keith Martin honored

by Matt Naber | Dec 04, 2018

ProRodeo Hall of Famer Keith Martin was recognized as the 2018 ProRodeo Legend during the 11th annual Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala at the South Point Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas, Dec. 3. 

Martin was selected as this year’s ProRodeo Legend due to his 50 years of volunteer work that strengthened the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and the PRCA. This wasn’t the first time Martin had been honored for his contributions to the sport, as he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame as a rodeo notable in 2011.

“I think everyone in this room understands volunteerism and what it means and working with people and raising money for causes,” Martin said at the Gold Buckle Gala, adding that many of the people who helped him along the way were present. “The end result is you put on a show for the people, and it was a lot of fun. You have to never forget that you have to have a good time in what you are doing. And, if you do that, you will accomplish the goal. That is an important part of volunteering. You committees do more than you realize, and we put up the money and do this and that, but think about not having a particular group. You need everyone to make this work.” 

As Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the San Antonio rodeo, Martin set the bar for all rodeo committees when San Antonio became the first $1 million regular-season rodeo in 2007. At the same time, he was pushing ProRodeo toward a financially secure future in his role as interim CEO and PRCA Commissioner, which he did free of charge. 

“I’ve had a great run and enjoyed every bit of it,” Martin said. “A lot of this business is relationships and friendships, and he (Michael Gaughn) has been such a good friend to rodeo and an awful good friend of mine.”

Gaughn was recognized last year as a ProRodeo Legend for his contributions to the sport in Las Vegas. 

Martin started with the San Antonio rodeo as a volunteer in 1969, joined the executive committee in 1984 and became president in 1989, igniting a period of unprecedented growth and success. San Antonio has been voted the PRCA’s Large Indoor Rodeo Committee of the Year every year since 2005. 

“He’s one of the best supporters and advocates that we have in the sport of pro rodeo,” said 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Randy Corley, while emceeing the Gold Buckle Gala.

Over the years, Martin has seen a lot of changes in how professional rodeo runs and how it’s viewed by the public.

In his time on the PRCA Board of Directors and as interim commissioner from 2007-2008, Martin assisted the PRCA staff in developing a budgeting system, worked to develop communication opportunities among the association’s membership and was instrumental in the creation of the All American ProRodeo Series to benefit the majority of PRCA members.

The Gold Buckle Gala’s live and silent auctions raised more than $48,000 for the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, according to Kent Sturman, director of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.  

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