All Inductees

A. T. "Tony" Crainer

I was born into a rodeo family. My father, Allen Crainer, was a champion bronc rider and steer wrestler from the early 1930s through 1960. I started riding calves at age 5 and began roping in youth rodeos at 7. I started riding junior bulls the year I turned 13, and by 15, I was entering the bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, and calf roping events in youth rodeos. I was elected the first president of the “YRA” (Youth Rodeo Association) founded in Hallettsville, Texas, in 1959 or 1960.

I started entering professional rodeos at age 18. My first major professional championship came in 1965 when I won the bull riding and All-Around Cowboy Honors for the year in the “SRA” (Southwestern Rodeo Association). The following year, I won the saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, and All-Around Cowboy Honors for the year again in the “SRA.” In 1973, I made the finals in the “TRA” (Texas Rodeo Association/Old SRA) in the saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling events and came away as the champion in the steer wrestling event.

One of the most memorable events during my rodeo career was experienced at the Brownwood, Texas, “RCA” approved rodeo in the mid-1960s. I carried an “RCA” permit which allowed me to enter the saddle bronc riding (2hd), bareback bronc riding, bull riding, and steer wrestling events. I placed on all 5 head of stock, and my total winnings gained me the All-Around Cowboy Honors at this rodeo and a very nice write-up in the “RCA” rodeo sport news. I shall always be thankful for being blessed with a father that I admire, a supporting wife who was always there and saw that our horses and I got home or to the next rodeo safely, and a healthy strong body that withstood the physical punishment the sport of rodeo placed on its contestants.