All Inductees

Ronnie Helton

Empty Saddles

Ronnie was born December 2, 1942 and he passed away March 27, 2022.  When Ronnie was 2 years of age, he moved and lived with his uncle, the rodeo clown, Jazbo Fulkerson. Jazbo took Ronnie too many big rodeos such as Madison Square Garden and Boston, along with many others.  It was from that point on that all Ronnie wanted to be was a cowboy.  As a teenager, Ronnie attended many junior rodeos where he competed in calf roping. In 1961, Ronnie graduated from Keller High School in Keller, Texas.  He then attended college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.  In 1964, Ronnie joined the RCA, where he competed in calf roping and steer wrestling at most of the indoor rodeos. In 1965, Ronnie joined the IRA where he was very successful.  In 1970, the IRA had their first finals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ronnie won the All Around Finals Champion. The next few years Ronnie made the IRA finals in calf roping and steer wrestling. He was awarded the Reserve Champion two times in steer wrestling. In 1973, he purchased his RCA card once again. He rode his great steer wrestling horse, Cowboy, and his calf roping horse, Big Meat.  In 1975 Cowboy injured himself and Big Meat passed away. The same year Ronnie was in Mercedes, Texas and hurt his knee. Ronnie turned in his RCA card and rehabbed his knee, and joined the IRA once again. In 1976, he made the IRA finals in calf roping and in 1977, the steer wrestling. Ronnie served as Calf Roping Director for four years in the IRA.  In 1979, Walt Garrison and the United States Tobacco Company hired Ronnie to attend college rodeos and promote the brand. In 1981, Ronnie joined the RCA once again and competed in the calf roping where he made the Texas Circuit Finals in 1981 and 1982. After 1982, Ronnie continued to compete at a few rodeos. Ronnie entered and competed at his last rodeo when he was 60 years old. Ronnie will always be remembered as a cowboy!