All Inductees

Butch Kirby

Men Contestant

When most four-year-old kids were riding ponies at their birthday party, Butch Kirby was Roman-riding them in front of sold-out rodeo crowds across the country. He – along with his brothers Sandy and Kaye – were part of their mom’s trick-riding act. Mildred Kirby moved her sons from New Jersey to Texas, but the road was where they really called home. Butch started riding bulls at the age of fifteen. While he was entertaining crowds for the Tommy Steiner Rodeo Company, he quickly befriended Bobby Steiner. Between Bobby and Butch’s older brother Sandy, he was never short of good bull riding advice. He traveled most of his career with Bobby Steiner, Bobby Delvecchio, and Mike Bandy.

He qualified for his first of eight National Finals Rodeos in 1973. He was the 1977 Reserve Champion Bull Rider, and won the World Title in 1978. In 1975 he was the youngest of the first three brothers to qualify for the NFR in the same year, Butch (BR), Kaye (BB), and Sandy (BB, BR). His other rodeo wins include Kansas City American Royal, Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, Reno, Albuquerque, Pendleton, San Francisco, the Copenhagen Skoal Super Stars, and the 1977 Texas Circuit Champion.

In 1979 he broke his leg in Fort Worth, Texas. Although this kept him from defending his World title, it was the start of his judging career. He has judged at the NFR for over twenty years and has been a pro official for the PRCA since 1993. He has participated in every major rodeo as a contract act, a bull rider, or a judge. Butch is well respected throughout the industry for his accomplishments as a contestant, his knowledge of the rules, his fairness, his honesty, and his true love for the sport of rodeo.