All Inductees

Billy Weeks

Billy Weeks was born to Clint and Maggie Weeks on January 15, 1926, in Abilene, Texas. He was born into a ranching, rodeoing, and great horsemanship family. He grew up on ranches managed by his dad in the Texas counties of Taylor, Palo Pinto, and Jack, and in Roy county New Mexico. His uncles, Guy G. and Luther Weeks were rodeo competitors and horse trainers. Billy’s cousins, L.E and Guy W. Weeks and Jack Newton also followed the family tradition. At the early age of six, Billy’s mother let him enter the Steer Riding at the Abilene Fair Park Arena. After winning his first steer riding, Billy didn’t think of anything else except rodeoing. Influenced by his mother, he began a rodeo career which lasted over a span of forty-four years.

Gretchen and Verne Elliott, Rodeo Stock Producers, had been watching the young cowboy’s outstanding abilities, and at the Albuquerque Rodeo in 1946, they encouraged Billy to join the RCA (Rodeo Cowboys Association). His early years as a Professional Rodeo Cowboy were greatly influenced by Casey Tibbs, Vic Schwartz, and Jack Favor. Weeks competed in Bareback, Saddle Bronc, and Bull Riding, and he was a consistent winner at all the major rodeos throughout the United States and Canada. Some of his wins and highlights were more memorable than others. In 1947, the first year he entered the Cheyenne Rodeo, he won the Saddle Bronc event. In 1951, his All-Around win at Boulder, Colorado made him very proud to get his name added to the Doff Aber permanent trophy. 1952 was a very good year for Billy as he won the All-Around at Cheyenne, Third in the IRA All-Around Standings and won the IRA Bareback Championship. That same year, he won the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Jerry Gillispie, from Graford, Texas, and they were married on the 31st of December in Clovis, New Mexico. Jerry had a six-year-old daughter, Brenda, whom Billy raised as his very own. They made their home in Abilene, Texas.

During the slack time of rodeoing, Billy spent many hours at the Bobby Estes Buckouts, working with young kids who wanted to become Bronc Riders. He always thought that would help keep the kids out of trouble. For several years, Billy served on the National Finals Stock Selection Board, and after he retired from rodeo competition, he was a Race Horse Trainer, Ranch Foreman, and Rodeo Judge. He was the Timed Event Judge at Cheyenne for 24 consecutive years. At the time of his sudden death on January 9, 1988, he had recently retired from the Nelson Bar X Ranch and was resuming his horse training. Billy was looking forward to his 25th year at Cheyenne in July.

One of Billy’s famous sayings about rodeo is still referred to and often quoted in various situations about life: “Rodeoing is better than working, even if you don’t win.” His true outlook about a rodeo career was, “If you win act like you are supposed to, and if you don’t win it doesn’t matter, there is another one down the road.” Billy was a member in good standing when he received his Gold Card in 1976, (membership #C1273). He was very pleased with what he had accomplished in his rodeo career, but more important to him was the friends he had made and kept down through the years. When Billy Weeks made friends, it was for a lifetime.