3 cowboys being inducted into Utah’s western-themed hall of fame

3 cowboys being inducted into Utah’s western-themed hall of fame

OGDEN — Three more cowboys are going into the state’s western-themed hall of fame this summer.

On Saturday evening, three longtime rodeo supporters will be inducted into the Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Fame, in Ogden. Inductees are chosen for their contributions to the western heritage and lifestyle.

The evening will begin with a private dinner for the inductees’ families. It will then open to the public at 6 p.m. for western entertainment, featuring music by Robyn Arnold and cowboy poetry by Bob Urry.

The induction ceremony itself will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Lobby at Ogden’s Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave. Admission to the western entertainment and the ceremony is free.

This year’s inductees include Gerald Young, Val Leavitt and Raymond Moser.

Shary Cunningham, membership chairman for the Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, said all three men were prominent figures in the rodeo industry. She also said the men were consensus choices.

“These three were immediately nominated and named finalists,” Cunningham said. “Usually, they debate for quite a while before choosing the inductees. But this year, these three were outstanding, immediate choices.”

Young, the only one of the three still alive, is 92 years old and living in Oakley. He grew up on a ranch there, and started out participating in rodeos before eventually becoming a stock contractor.

“He tried bareback and steer-wrestling,” Cunningham said, “but decided that was too hard on his body. He decided it was easier to provide the horses and livestock for other riders.”

Leavitt was a longtime rodeo announcer who got his start in 1956 with Vern Oyler’s “miniature rodeo,” in Garland.

“They used shetland ponies and calves, instead of horses and bulls,” Cunningham said. “Kids competed in it, and it went on to become the Little Buckaroo Rodeo.”

Leavitt became an announcer at all levels of rodeo throughout Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada.

Moser, who hailed from Ogden, started out riding bareback horses and bulls. When one of the rodeo clowns didn’t show up at a rodeo one time, Moser was talked into taking his place.

As his bio states: “A passion was born.”

Moser became the first rodeo clown from Utah to earn membership in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

The Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has been located in Ogden’s Union Station since its inception in 2012.

For more information, visit utahcowboymuseum.org or call 801-643-1997.

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