All Inductees
Gene McLaughlin

Gene McLaughlin


Born in Chester PA in 1929. Gene began his career at age 3 trick roping for charities and hospitals. He performed at Madison Square Gardens every year from 1934-1946 with his brother Don. Being a World Champion Juvenile Trick Roper in 1936 started him on the road to becoming one of the greatest trick ropers of all times.

Gene literally grew up in a rodeo arena learning and working with the great trick ropers of that era. He also incorporated maguey roping and horse catching he picked up from some of the great Charros.

In 1966 he was runner up in the World Trick Roping contest in Oklahoma City won by Junior Eskew. By that time he had moved to Hollywood and started a second career as a stuntman. His reputation as a roper spread and soon he was teaching actors how to rope for the movies and the theatre. One of his Oscar winning students said “watching Gene trick rope was like watching water flow, smoother and seamless”.

Always looking to be innovative, Gene came up with the idea of trick roping on ice skates. In 1967 he had Ice Capades build him a portable ice skating rink, the first of its kind. He performed on it at numerous rodeos including Denver and the Fort Worth Stock Show. He trick roped in many ice shows here in California and abroad, entertaining crowds and becoming a true ambassador of roping and rodeo.

Gene is still teaching and performing with the same enthusiasm he had as a child, 80 years later. At 84 he is still active in the National Police Rodeos and jackpot team ropings.

Gene truly is the master with a rope.