Each year, the Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame membership selects a new class of inductees into the prestigious Hall of Fame. Nominees are submitted for various categories, which can include contestant, volunteer, contract personnel, animal, and Native American, and members of the Hall of Fame have the opportunity to vote on the nominees. Inductees are announced each spring, with an Inductee Banquet held during Round-Up to honor the year’s inductees. Inductees are also introduced during a presentation in the famous Pendleton Round-Up Arena on the Wednesday of Round-Up week each year.
Rusty Black – Early Years Category
The Early Years category honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the development, continuation, and advancement of the Round-Up and/or Happy Canyon, with their service beginning prior to 1960. Rusty Black began volunteering for Happy Canyon in 1956 at the age of 15 where she trained her first Happy Canyon Horse Domino. This began the start of her legacy with Happy Canyon, and she never missed a show until her passing in 2021. Rusty had over 65 years of volunteer service and had numerous hours put into the show, and provided seven beautiful horses for the key horse part of the show. Her horse Chinook was also used for the Grand Entry, ridden by Bryson Bronson, and the pair also presented the colors at the 2015 National Finals Rodeo. Rusty was awarded the Happy Canyon Appreciation Award in 1992. Her horses Domino and Cataldo were both inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Bob Forth – Volunteer Category (Happy Canyon)
The Happy Canyon Volunteer category honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the development, continuation, and advancement of the Happy Canyon through their volunteerism, above and beyond what is expected. Bob Forth has been a Happy Canyon volunteer for 59 years. He is best known for his work on the West Gate during the Happy Canyon Pageant, a position he has filled for 57 years. He has also assisted with work parties, volunteered with behind-the-scenes preparations and has helped with management of the show’s livestock. He also works year-round with maintenance of the rolling stock. He received the Happy Canyon Appreciation Award in 1999 and served on the Hall of Fame Board from 2009-2013 as Inductee Director. He is also an active volunteer for the Round-Up as an integral part of the Westward Ho! Parade team, helping to repair and maintain the rolling stock. Bob was honored with the Round-Up Appreciation Award in 2016 and the Orville Gerberding Award in 2014.
Jerome Robinson – Contract Personnel Category
The Contract Personnel category honors individuals who have had significant achievement at the Round-Up as participants, success in rodeo on a regional and national level, and exemplified the ideals of rodeo and the western heritage. Jerome Robinson was the arena director for PBR. He had a talent for production and all aspects of the event were always covered. In addition to production, Jerome also provided infrastructure including chutes, arena, and stock pens for the event and brought his crew every year to oversee the set-up and work the stock pens to ensure the event ran smoothly. Jerome was a crucial part in front of the chutes at the Pendleton PBR events. During his time in the professional ranks, Robinson served as the Bull Riding Director on the PRCA board for four years, vice president for one year, served a term on the National Finals Rodeo Commission, and was on the PRCA research and development committee for the building of the Colorado Springs headquarters and PRCA Hall of Fame. Jerome made a lasting contribution to rodeo in 1975 when he helped institute the centralized computer entry system known today as PROCOM. Jerome was honored by Round-Up and Happy Canyon in 2019 for his unwavering support and dedication to PBR events in Pendleton. Jerome passed away in January of 2022.
Randy Severe – Special Inductee
This year, the Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame Board of Directors approved the special induction of Randy Severe as part of the Class of 2022 inductees. The Board over history has held the ability to induct an individual into the Hall of Fame in consideration of special circumstances. Randy’s induction is based on his contributions as a contractor, volunteer, and commitment to the professional rodeo cowboys, many of whom he considered friends, in a city that he loved very much.
Randy spent 47 years as a saddle maker for Severe Brothers Saddlery, following in the footsteps of fellow Hall of Famers, his father Bill Severe and his Uncle Duff Severe. For approximately 20 of those 47 years, Randy was at the forefront of Severe Brothers as a master saddle maker. From 1968 to his death in 2021, Severe Brothers built 250 of the 402 championship saddles of the Pendleton Round-Up. During his lifetime, Randy is credited for making over 530 saddles inclusive of the championship saddles.
Randy also kept the legendary Hotel de Cow Punch doors open. The legacy of the Hotel was 73 years strong at Randy’s passing and had seen the likes of rodeo contestants from the early years of the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) to the modern-day Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA). The Hotel was not only a place of refuge and relaxation for rough stock cowboys during Round-Up week but saw the coming and goings of cowboys almost year-round.
Randy was a volunteer for the Pendleton Round-Up in his own right. His Round-Up volunteerism spanned 26 years, including 10 years on the Board of Directors, two of which he spent as President. His presidency included the 2010 Centennial Year of the Pendleton Round-Up. Beyond his contribution as a championship saddle maker and volunteer for the Round-Up, Randy was an ambassador for everything Pendleton. Unexpected visitors were always present at the saddle shop, whether it was a tourist who heard it was the place to get a real look at the West and Pendleton, friends and acquaintances, or even a celebrity now and then, all of which were welcomed with a smile and strengthened with discussion that professed the attributes of his hometown.
For a list of inductees since 1969, please click below.