The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Announces 2024 Honorees
Fort Worth Stockyards (November 1, 2023)
The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame has announced the 2024 Hall of Fame inductees: Tomas Garcilazo, Skeeter Hagler, Dave Scott III and Fallon Taylor. Our Spirit of Texas Award Recipient is Ray Benson.
The induction ceremony for these accomplished nominees is one of the premier western events in Fort Worth and will be held at Billy Bob’s Texas on Thursday, March 28, 2024, at 6 p.m. Presented by Norris Foundation & JJ and Bobby Norris, the event includes cocktails, a silent and live auction and cowboy cuisine prior to the 7 p.m. Induction Ceremony.
Tickets to the event are $200 per person or $2,000 for a table of eight. Sponsorships are also available at multiple levels. Proceeds benefit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame 501(c)(3), its ongoing education programs, and Western lifestyle preservation efforts.
For sponsorship and ticket information, please visit our website tchof.com/induction, call 817-626-7131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Induction Ceremony” in the subject line.
Learn more about our 2024 Inductees:
Tomas, a native of Mexico City, was introduced at an early age to his family heritage and tradition of "La Charreria" which is a skill performed through the generations only by the Mexican Charro. Charros take extreme pride in their highly developed horsemanship and roping abilities. Tomas, third generation Charro, has devoted his life to sharing Mexico's National Sport La Charreria with the World and along with his family they travels all over the country all year long performing and showcasing his Hispanic Heritage and keeping alive the Western legacy.
A lifetime of preparation, performances and competition continue to require total self-discipline, patience and commitment by Tomas to training and mastering the artistry of La Charreria. Incorporating a display of refined horsemanship while demonstrating maguey rope artistry in his performances bring audiences to their feet applauding in appreciation of his skills. Tomas devotes countless hours to his horses who with their athletic ability and intelligence willingly execute maneuvers when asked by their friend. It is a rare and honorable experience to witness these partnership performances.
Tomas has performed throughout Europe, Canada, Brazil, the U.S. and Mexico. He has appeared on Broadway in New York City and toured the U.S. with the Will Rogers Follies, an acclaimed 6 Tony Awards winning musical. He was a featured performer for two years at Disney's Wild West Show in Paris, France plus the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show touring Holland and Germany. Tomas has performed numerous times for Mexico's Presidents along with guest performances at the U.S. White House and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
In 1998 Tomas made his debut in the pro rodeo world as a Specialty act performing at the Super Bowl of rodeo the Wrangler National Rodeo in Las Vegas and for 26 years now he became a “Staples of the NFR” wowing rodeo fans with his artistic roping skill along with his incredible horses.
Lately Tomas has been part of the production and performing the US National tour with the legendary Aguilar family and Show Jaripeo Sin Fronteras.=
Tomas became a proud US citizen in 2013 and resides in Stephenville, Texas. He continues to share his legacy with audiences at rodeos, stock shows, horse shows and equine events internationally.
His awards are many including the 4X PRCA Specialty Act of the Year and most recently he won the TV talent show the ‘Go Big Show’ season 1 featured on TBS channel. He also got honored to receive la Espuela de Oro «the golden spur» one of the highest distinction by the Mexican and US Charrería Association recognizing his career and for being a voice and Ambassador of his tradition and Mexican National Sport.
Tomas Garcilazo's proficiency as a skilled horseman and rope artist defines him as one of the finest Charros presenting La Charreria today.
Fort Worth, Texas, is a special place for Erwin (Skeeter) Hagler. Born, raised, and graduated high school in Fort Worth. He graduated from Eastern Hills High School on the east side of Fort Worth in 1965. Skeeter even got his first taste of photography in Fort Worth while in high school.
In high school, Skeeter spent lots of time taking photos in the Stockyards area of Fort Worth. Of course, this was well before it was the cool tourist area it is today. Cattle were passing through the pens and shipped around the country, and the intersection of Main and Exchange was mostly old bars and hotels and the home of many homeless folks who were down and out. It was not a safe place but a photography gold mine!
Skeeter attended the University of Texas in Austin after high school and pursued a degree in Architecture. Architecture is a five-year degree program with a very high dropout rate; only about 10% make it through it. Skeeter is proud to have graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture.
Ironically, Skeeter never went into Architecture and used the degree he fought so hard to get! Needing some elective hours to graduate, he thought photography sounded easy and fun, and he had a good eye for photography and a knack for working with people. Skeeter ended up working for the campus newspaper, The Daily Texan. This job allowed Skeeter to roam the campus taking photos, and he could attend most of the University’s sporting events, which served as a great learning experience.
When it was time to leave UT, Skeeter went out looking for a job in photography, not Architecture. Of course, with little experience, none was to be found.
On a whim, while driving back to Austin, Skeeter took a detour in Waco, went to the Waco News-Tribune, talked to the editor, showed his portfolio (which was not very good), and Skeeter was hired on the spot. Not only was it his first paying photography job, but it was also another excellent learning experience.
Skeeter worked for the Waco News Tribune for a year and returned home to work for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he won several awards. After two years, he moved to the Dallas Times Herald in 1974, where he worked for 16 years. This job allowed him to travel the world on assignments, win several awards, and take home the Photographer of the Year award several times.
One of the many photo essays Skeeter did for the Dallas Times Herald’s Sunday Magazine was on the modern-day Texas Cowboy. He was lucky enough to spend some months (off and on) living and visiting the Pitchfork, JA, and 6666 ranches. He became close and connected to some of the Cowboys and became lifelong friends with some of them and their families.
Skeeter won the Pulitzer Prize for photography for his photo essay on the Texas Cowboys. Since then, he has done speaking engagements and exhibits throughout the United States and other countries, sharing his works and experiences living and photographing the lives of working Cowboys. He never claimed to be an expert on Cowboys, but the perspective he brought through his photos is as close as some will ever get.
Skeeter left the Dallas Times Herald in 1988 to do freelance work.
For the past 17 years, he has lived and worked at Blisswood Bed & Breakfast and Ranch in Cat Spring, Texas. Blisswood is a working cattle and guest ranch with 17 houses, cabins, and cottages for guests.
Dave Scott III
Dave Scott of Richmond, Texas is a sixth generation cattleman and a descendent of the Stephen F. Austin Old Three Hundred. He currently operates G.D. Scott Cattle Company. In 1960 he became a partner with his father in Scott Livestock Commission Company. Established in 1931, it was the first commission company located at Port City Stockyards in Houston. He has partnerships in several Texas Counties and has grazed stockers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado.
Scott was elected a Director of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in 1989 and has served as chairman of the Marketing Committee. He was elected President in 2009 for a two year term, and currently serves on the Executive Board.
He is a Life Member of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, serving as Chairman of the Range Bull and Commercial Heifer Committee. He also is a Life Member of the Fort Bend County Fair Association, Brazoria County Cattlemen’s Association and a member of Texas Feeders Association. He is a member and former Director of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
In 2009, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Brazos River Authority by Governor Rick Perry and in 2011, he was appointed as Chairman of the Board and reappointed by Governor Abbott. Scott currently serves on the Board of the Texas Farm and Ranch Land Conservation Council appointed by Governor Abbott.
He was born February 4, 1938, in Houston; he attended Houston public schools, Sam Houston University and University of Houston.
Scott and his wife, the former Sandra Gayle Martin have 2 children, Claudia Wright and husband Quinn, granddaughter Caylin Wright Boyd and husband Colby. Susan Watts and husband Richard and granddaughters, Sidney and Delaney Watts Baysinger, husband Ross.
Fallon Taylor has dedicated her career to making the seemingly impossible, her reality. Now, she’s making it her life’s mission to empower her growing online audience of hundreds of thousands of followers by giving them the tools to do the same through her inspiring daily content across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat and her podcast.
In 2014, Fallon was named the 2014 WPRA Barrel Racing World Champion aboard a horse she trained herself, her equally decorated mare, 2013 WPRA/AQHA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year, Flos Heiress. In 2018, Fallon and “Babyflo” made history again winning the 2018 AQHA Barrel Racing World Championship. Fallon and Babyflo are no strangers to the winners circle however, what it took to get them there is nothing short of a miracle.
An early superstar, at 13 years old Fallon qualified for the 1995 National Finals Rodeo for the first time. She qualified again in ‘96, ‘97 and ‘98. In 2009, Fallon’s star-studded career came crashing down when a horse-related accident left her paralyzed for three days and with a fractured C-2 vertebrae. Slowly, she taught herself how to talk and walk again and then how to ride, and eventually, win. Coming back with a vengeance, in 2012 she ended the season 16th in the WPRA world standings. She followed up by qualifying for the NFR in 2013, 2014 and 2015 making her total trips to the big show, seven.
As a result of her injury, Fallon is a fervent advocate for equestrian helmet safety.
Currently, Fallon resides in Collinsville, TX with her husband. In addition to rodeo, she owns “Ranch Dress’n” an online retail clothing business inspired by the western lifestyle and “Horse Bosses” an exclusive online community for equestrian athletes. Fallon is looking forward to continuing to impact all who join her journey by continuing to race, train and inspire the next generation of cowboys and cowgirls.
Ray Benson, a towering figure in the world of music, was born on March 16, 1951, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From an early age, Ray’s deep-seated love for music was evident, shaping his path from childhood to musical stardom. Standing at an impressive height of 6 feet 7 inches, his physical presence on stage matched his larger-than-life musical talents.
In his teenage years, Ray Benson’s passion for music continued to grow, influenced by a variety of musical styles and artists. It was during this time that he co-founded the iconic Western Swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, in the early 1970’s.
One of Ray Benson’s early influences and Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame honoree, Willie Nelson, recognized Ray’s impact on the Texas music scene, stating, “Ray’s journey from a small town in Pennsylvania to the heart of Texas is a testament to his enduring love for music.” George Strait, the King of Country and Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame honoree, echoed the sentiment, adding, “Ray’s story is a testament to the enduring power of music and the Lone Star State.”
This deep connection to music led Ray and his band to move to Austin, Texas, in 1974, where they would find their true musical home. Asleep at the Wheel’s unique blend of country, swing, and honky-tonk breathed new life into the Western swing genre, a uniquely American style deeply rooted in the nation’s cultural fabric. Ray Benson’s deep baritone voice, iconic cowboy hat, and charismatic stage presence made him a standout figure in the music world.
Beyond fronting Asleep at the Wheel, Ray ventured into other creative realms such as hosting the popular “The Texas Music Scene” TV show, which showcased the best of Texas music. Starring in multiple Movies like “Wild Texas Wind” with Dolly Parton. Ray also created, produced, and starred in the stage production “A Ride with Bob,” a tribute to Western swing pioneer Bob Wills.
Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel achieved remarkable success in the music industry, securing multiple Grammy Awards and releasing over 30 albums. Their 1973 debut album, “Comin’ Right at Ya” featured their first single “Take Me Back to Tulsa” and played a pivotal role in reintroducing the world to the captivating world of Western swing.
In addition to his musical accomplishments, Ray Benson is known for his advocacy in preserving Texas music heritage. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame and serves on the board for the Texas Dance Hall Preservation, institutions that honor the legends and establishments who have profoundly shaped Texas’ musical history.
Furthermore, Ray Benson has made significant contributions to healthcare for musicians. He co-founded the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), an organization that provides vital healthcare services and insurance to local musicians and serves on the St Davids Foundation Board. His dedication to ensuring the well-being of his fellow musicians has had a lasting impact on the Austin music community and beyond.
In conclusion, Ray Benson’s biography is a testament to his deep connection to music, his remarkable musical contributions, and his unwavering commitment to preserving Texas’ rich musical heritage. As a towering figure in the music world, Ray Benson’s legacy continues to resonate in the hearts of Texans and music enthusiasts. Ray Benson is an artist who embodies the very spirit of Texas and we welcome him into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
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