Barrett To Receive Donita Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award Posthumously

Courtesy of PRCA

The late Hadley Barrett, a legendary rodeo announcer and ProRodeo Hall of Famer, was named the recipient of the 2018 PRCA Donita Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 24.

Barrett passed away March 2, 2017. He was 87.

“I think the word lifetime denotes a lot right there, and the PRCA and his affiliation with the PRCA was his lifetime,” said Michelle Corley, Hadley’s daughter. “Over the years, everybody he worked with became his family. I believe that he is looking down and feeling extremely humbled and proud that everybody in (the PRCA) thought that way about him. He was a man who did not need honors, but he was a man who appreciated honors, each one with such heartfelt gratitude.”

Barrett will be recognized for receiving the Donita Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award at 6 p.m. (PT), Dec. 5, during the PRCA Awards Banquet at the South Point Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.

The award was created to recognize PRCA members who have dedicated their lives to the rodeo industry for their commitment, work and contributions. Any active member of the PRCA may nominate eligible contract personnel members for the award.

Nominees must have been a PRCA member for a minimum of 15 years and cannot have won a yearly contract personnel award within 15 years of the date of nomination.

The last rodeo Barrett announced was the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, which ran Feb. 9-26, 2017. Fellow ProRodeo Hall of Fame announcer Randy Corley worked San Antonio with Barrett, who also was his father-in-law. Randy is married to Michelle.

“I think winning this award would rank really, really high to Hadley,” Randy said. “Other people who have won this award were all friends of his, and he would really feel that this has placed him among some awfully good people.”

For 200-plus days of the year, Barrett was out doing what he loved, bringing rodeo cowboys and cowgirls to life for the fans. He described the action in the arena with his golden voice, he knew every horse and bull and every cowboy and cowgirl.

Barrett was born Sept. 18, 1929, in North Platte, Neb. The ranch-raised Nebraskan started his career as a contestant and formed a dance band but found his place in rodeo history behind the microphone.

A PRCA member since 1965, Barrett has announced all the big rodeos and a great number of smaller ones across the country. He was the voice of the Sidney (Iowa) Championship Rodeo starting in 1983, worked the Buffalo Bill Rodeo (North Platte, Neb.) for more than 30 years, the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede for more than 20 years and worked for more than a decade at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days.

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 also called the action at the Canadian Finals Rodeo seven times.

“Hadley was an entertainer, not just in rodeo, but he had a band (Hadley Barrett and the Westerners),” Randy Corley said. “He learned how to read people and what made them feel good, and he was genuine and sincere when he presented it that way.”

Other winners of the Donita Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award are: Donita Barnes (2011); Art and Linda Alsbaugh (2012); Fred and Norma Dorenkamp (2013); Quail Dobbs (2014); Cotton Rosser (2015); Karen Vold (2016); and Jim and Julie Sutton (2017).