Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell was selected as the 2017 Medium Sized Rodeo of the Year for the PRCA Prairie Circuit. The Prairie Circuit is composed of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma and recently held their finals in Duncan, Oklahoma. Congratulations to all rodeo committees who received awards:
-Best SMALL Rodeo Bennington PRCA Rodeo Bennington, KS
-Best MEDIUM Rodeo Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Burwell, NE
-Best LARGE Rodeo Dodge City Roundup Rodeo Dodge City, KS
-Most Improved Rodeo Kansas Biggest Rodeo Phillippsburg, KS

2017 Board of Directors

Michael Gaughan

CONGRATULATIONS to former Grand Marshall of Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, Michael Gaughan as the 2017 ProRodeo Legend! Michael is a huge supporter of Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell AND he’s an original CORNHUSKER!
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – ProRodeo Hall of Famer Michael Gaughan, who was inducted as a rodeo notable in 2007, will be the 2017 ProRodeo Legend who will be honored at the 10th annual Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala on Dec. 4 at the South Point Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.
“This is a very, very nice honor to receive,” said Gaughan, 74.
The Gala, which benefits the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, begins at 6 p.m. (PT).
Gaughan played a key role in bringing the National Finals Rodeo to Las Vegas in 1985. In 1988, thanks to the late Benny Binion, also a ProRodeo Hall of Famer, Gaughan became involved with Las Vegas Events and the Wrangler NFR Committee.
“Michael has always been a big supporter of the PRCA and professional rodeo,” said PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman. “Although we have had some tough negotiations throughout the years, Michael has always been a friend of our sport. He was a major factor in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo moving to Las Vegas, and has provided us endless hospitality at the South Point over the years.”
Gaughan also is a long-time sponsor, first locally, and then nationally, of the NFR and the PRCA.
“I enjoy rodeo and cowboys,” said Gaughan, who has lived in Las Vegas since 1952. “I’ve only missed seven performances at the NFR since it has been in Las Vegas since 1985.”
In 2007, Gaughan became a national sponsor for the PRCA with his South Point Hotel and Casino. The South Point Hotel and Casino opened in December 2005, and was followed by the equestrian center in the spring of 2006.
The South Point also has hosted the PRCA National Convention since 2006. The South Point is also a sponsor/supporter of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and its events, and Gaughan is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hall of Fame.
“The NFR has been great for the city, and the city has been great for the rodeo,” Gaughan said. “Having the NFR in Las Vegas has really changed the month of December in Las Vegas. December used to be a slow month here, and now December is always my best month every year.
“Hosting the PRCA National Convention is also very, very good for business. I went after the convention and people seem to like it here the best.”
Article courtesy of ProRodeo Sports News

Due to the untimely and tragic death of Nashville recording artist, Abby Nicole, the Emmet Bower Band will be performing in the beer garden at Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell on Thursday, July 27.  The Jason Earl Band will perform on Friday and Saturday nights, as scheduled.

Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell Welcomes Gizmo McCracken for 2017

Gizmo McCracken has been entertaining crowds across the Country for many years. He became a member of the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) in 1992 only 25 years ago. Since that time the list of accomplishments has grown beyond our belief. Working 14 PRCA Circuit Finals Rodeos, Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days twice, Nominated “Coors Man in the Can” 3 times, Nominated “Clown of the Year” in ’16, Nominated for Comedy Act of the year 5 times and our biggest accomplishment being a feature act at the 2005 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Gizmo takes pride in the fact that his humor is good, clean, family style comedy. Gizmo travels the country from Canada to Texas, from the East Coast to the West Coast logging thousands of miles a year through dozens of states. Gizmo started his career as bullfighter and moved into stand-up comedy on a show in Branson, MO. Gadgets and gizmos that went sour were often part of his routine, hence the name “Gizmo, The World’s Greatest Inventor.” ” A lot of Clowns and Specialty Acts ​sell themselves with a bucking car or a dancing horse.” said Gizmo “I supply a Character,” and that is just what Gizmo is. Many Characters will find their way into your town and your arena. “I like to keep people looking for me and wondering what I am going to do next.” said Gizmo. The acts share a high energy, clean, family oriented feel which adds a fresh new atmosphere to any rodeo he is a part of. Gizmo is the Best Comedy Entertainer that this sport has to offer. Regardless of whether you have seen him before or this is your first experience I am confident that you will leave laughing.

Gizmo McCracken

Hadley Barrett

With heavy hearts, the directors of Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell share in the loss of longtime Burwell announcer and friend, Hadley Barrett.

Hadley Barrett, 87, of Kersey, Colorado, passed away March 2, 2017, in Aurora, Colorado.

He was born to CJ and Mattie (Hill) Barrett in North Platte on Sept. 18, 1929.

Hadley started his rodeo career in the early 1950s. In the early days, Hadley would ride bulls and bareback horses, fill in for the announcer then set up and play the rodeo dance all night long. Hadley and his band “Hadley Barrett and the Westerners” played music for 34 years. They were inducted into the Nebraska Country Music Hall of Fame and even featured in the Smithsonian.

Hadley continued to play in his band while his announcing career grew around the Nebraska rodeo circuit in the early ’60s. Once the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, the Beutler family and other rodeo professionals heard about Barrett, it wasn’t long before professional rodeo came calling.

A PRCA member since 1965, Barrett had announced all the big rodeos and a great number of the smaller ones across the country.

Barrett was named PRCA Announcer of the Year in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 2002. He worked five National Finals Rodeos (1968, 1976, 1979, 1983 and 2008) and the 1967 National Finals Steer Roping. He called the action at the Canadian Finals Rodeo seven times.

He had worked as an NFR television announcer since 1980.

He was among the first to announce while on horseback and had always been credited with an honest approach to arena accidents and mishaps.

A legend is a word that comes to mind for many to describe Hadley — a hero, a friend, the voice of rodeo and so many more.

Barrett’s legacy is his willingness to share his talent and experience with others. He was known for taking rookie announcers under his wing and sharing hard-earned information.

For 200-plus days of the year, Hadley was out doing what he loved: bringing the rodeo cowboys and cowgirls to life for the fans. Hadley described the action in the arena with his golden voice. He knew every horse and bull and every cowboy and cowgirl. Hadley painted pictures with his words that we all could see. We hung on to every word. We all felt like we knew each and every rodeo athlete that Hadley spoke about on a personal level. We all felt like part of the family.

There are few people in the world of rodeo, inside or outside of the arena, more recognizable and respected than Hadley Barrett.

Hadley reached fans out on the road through radio, movies and TV. Hadley shared his colorful and entertaining world of rodeo with millions of fans across the world. He once said, “I guess you are a cross-section between a sports reporter, master of ceremonies and, in some cases, a stand-up comedienne and entertainer.”

Hadley never met a stranger. When he saw you, he made you feel special — like you were the superstar. He said, “I don’t think the fans will ever know how important they are to rodeo, and I don’t think they will ever know how important they are to me.”

Hadley was proceeded in death by his parents and siblings, Wilma Loftus, Moreen Van Buren, Milli Ulmer, and Mike and Jay Barrett.

Hadley is survived by his wife, Leeana (Lee); children, Trent (Rebecca) Barrett, Michelle (Randy) Corley, Kimberly Jurgens, Travas (Alaina) Brenner, Katie Brenner, Taleah Barrett; brother, Bob Barrett; 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the family through First National Bank in Kersey, Colorado. Online condolences may be shared at

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland, Colorado. Northern Colorado Crematory is in charge of arrangements.