The Bar-T Rodeo Inc. is a family owned and operated business founded over 60 years ago in Moab, Utah. D. A. Swanny Kerby - inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1997, and his wife, Verda Kerby rounded up wild mustangs and range bulls starting around 1945. The Kerby's brought early rodeo to Utah and has furnished quality livestock in every "Superbowl of Rodeo's," the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in every year since 1959. “Fifty years is a long time, but a man in rodeo really needs two lifetimes – one to get an outfit together and a second one to enjoy it.” ~D.A. Swanny Kerby~
Swanny & Verda's son, Bud Kerby and his wife, Evelyn, purchased the Bar-T Rodeo Company from his parents and made the it one of the top rodeo livestock companies in the United States. Bud grew up as a rodeo man. From an early age he took care of the livestock and sharing the love of the animals. Bud competed in the sport as a saddle bronc rider and worked as a pick-up man for many years. Bud was one of the best during his years as a pick-up man. Behind the scenes, Bud and his wife Evelyn took care of the business for 30 plus years. Bud decided to start raising the company’s bucking horses. He purchased a roan stud C4 Roany and put him with some of the best mares the company owned. From 1983 forward, Bud took many Bar-T raised bucking horses to the NFR. Bud and his Dad Swanny were buddies. Best friends, they worked side-by-side building up the Bar-T Rodeo Company. Today, the company now known as the Bar T Rodeo Inc. owns over 200 head of horses all raised on the ranch out of the lineage of Roany. Bud Kerby passed away in October of 2010 and will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame this year in July, 2013. "You are only as good as your word," "It used to be, a man's word was important in the old days." ~Bud Kerby 2005~
The chapters that precede this new chapter are, without a doubt, the most important part of this amazing story. As Swanny Kerby led those wild horses to Moab, UT in 1948, indeed, history began. Legacy is the culmination of many moments, not any one singular moment. It is influenced and not dictated. We stand before you because of generations of relentless commitment and dedication from the Kerby’s and the Flitton’s. On behalf of John Growney, Dusty Howell, and myself, thank you for entrusting us with this next chapter, as we continue to tell this story to future generations. Looking forward to being at your rodeo!
Jody spent his first 30 years in Big Spring TX, and rodeo has been a part of his life since the beginning. He and his brother competed in all of the timed events in junior rodeo and high school rodeo. Being a contestant wasn’t Jody’s only connection to rodeo. He and his brother used to play “rodeo” at their house and Jody would always be the announcer. It seemed natural for him and other noticed too. In 1991, just out of high school, Jody was asked to announce the local high school rodeo. That started him being hired to announce junior and armature rodeos all around Texas. After college, Jody decided to chase his calf roping dreams and he quickly became a PRCA card holder.
He competed in pro rodeo for several years traveling from coast to coast. While on his spring run in California, he met his future wife Kelli. He eventually moved to California and wrapped up his tie down roping career with a California Circuit finals qualification in 2003. At that point, he shifted his focus back to his other passion and set out to obtain his PRCA Announcer card and pursue announcing as a full time profession. Jody and Kelli married in 2005 and have been blessed to be able to build their lives traveling to rodeos together ever since.
Jody has been selected 3 times by the PRCA to announce the National Finals Steer Roping and two times as the Ram National Circuit Finals Announcer. He has also announced hundreds of other great rodeos across the United States and Canada.
Providing the entertainment this year is rodeo clown Ronald Burton. Burton, a native of Philadelphia, MS, has been entertaining rodeo fans for over 20 years. His comedy acts, clean humor, and off the wall antics have earned him several awards including twelve times being selected as the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association “Contract Act of the Year” and the 2020 PRCA Ram Great Lakes Circuit Finals Barrel Man. Ronald is also the subject of the award-winning documentary “Man in the Can” which is now streaming on YouTube. “Rodeo fans are the greatest fans in the whole world” says Burton, “and that’s why I take great pride in putting on a show that the whole family will enjoy”. To learn more about Ronald and “Man in the Can”, follow him on Facebook at Ronald Burton Rodeo Clown and Man In The Can, or go to www.ronaldburton.net and www.maninthecanmovie.com
John and Sena Hauer have enjoyed the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo for decades and they honor its historic value to southeastern Utah and the rich cowboy culture of the American Southwest.
They live on a ranch on the banks of the Colorado River northeast of Moab where they operate Moab Horses trail rides. Avid lovers of both horses and mules, the Hauers enjoy showing visitors the iconic scenery made famous by early John Wayne movies. The broad vistas of Professor Valley just outside Moab continue to be featured in more current films such as City Slickers 2, West World, and the upcoming Kevin Costner series, Horizon.
This rodeo continues to embody the rough and tumble days of Moab’s early history which was based on agriculture, farming and ranching.
John spent his professional career in college administration in South Dakota before retiring to the Moab area about 35 years ago. Sena is a fifth-generation Moab kid whose family operates The Times-Independent newspaper which has been in existence since 1896—the same year Utah gained statehood. She was rodeo queen more than 40 years ago, in 1981.
The Hauers are proud to be involved with the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo, and it’s a highlight for them to participate in every year.