GOSHEN COUNTY – Goshen County has no shortage of cowboys and girls – and two more hardworking individuals hailing from the state’s “banana belt” will be inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame (WCHF) this weekend.
“We’re inducting 47 people from around the state – two from each county this year,” WCHF State Vice Chairman and Niobrara, Platte and Goshen County Co-Chairman Pinky Walter said. “It’s just real exciting to be a part of it – to watch (the inductees) come up and get belt buckles and certificates. Of course, some have passed away, but it still means a lot to their families.”
Goshen County’s two inductees for 2017 – Joe Buckhaults and Richard “Bucky” T. Barnette – will be receiving their awards posthumously. Buckhaults died in 2004 and Barnette
“He would consider it an honor,” Pat Buckhaults, Joe’s wife, said of her late husband. “He was a true cattleman and cowboy all of his life.”
In fact, both Buckhaults and Barnette were lifelong ranchers. Buckhaults’ Goshen County ranch is northeast of Hawk Springs, while the Barnette family ranch is located south of Lusk.
The process of becoming an inductee begins with a nomination by a friend or family member.
“Committees in each county go through the list (of nominees), prioritize it and send it to the state,” Walter said. “Then the state board picks two.
“Before we even got into the new nominations, we had 125 carryovers this year,” he added. Committee members chose from carryovers and new nominees this year, resulting in two female and 45 male honorees.
Those selected, if living, along with family and friends, attend the annual induction ceremony in Casper in the main arena of the Events Center. The two-day event includes refreshments, food, entertainment, an auction, photos and more.
This year, emcee Chuck Larsen of Hulett is back by popular demand, and accompanied by “Wyoming’s internationally famous horseshoeing/auctioneering brothers” Jim and Andy Nelson, co-hosts of weekly syndicated “Clear Out West (C.O.W.) Radio” show, according to a WCHF press release.
Walter said this weekend’s event is sold out – but for chance at being a part of the celebration in the future, residents should submit nominations beginning Dec. 1 and running until the end of February.
There are currently 132 men and nine women already in WCHF.
For more information about WCHF, honorees or how to nominate, visit its website at www.wyomingcowboyhalloffame.com.
“It’s a heck of a party,” Walter said of the induction ceremony. “Everybody gets together to visit with their family and friends – it’s a happening.”