All Inductees

Ken Henry

Men Contestant

Ken was born on August 3, 1955, in Amarillo, Texas, to Mary Neal and Tom Henry. He, along with 1 brother and 2 sisters, was raised outside the small town of Happy, Texas, in the panhandle. After high school competition, he drifted a short distance to Clarendon Jr. College, in Clarendon, Texas. Like many, he idolized the great Larry Mahan and completely wore out Mahan’s book, “Fundamentals of Rodeo Riding.” Ken quickly filled his permit in 1975 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) at Pecos, Texas while winning the rodeo and captured that title again, in 1978.

Still in college, Ken, on scholarship at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico, won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association-Southwest Region bull riding title in 1976. He eventually earned his bachelor’s degree at West Texas State University, in Canyon, Texas. In 1977, Ken split the PRCA- Albuquerque, New Mexico rodeo with his favorite traveling partner, Monty Taylor. That same year, Ken and Monty decided to head to Oklahoma City to watch the National Finals Rodeo and set their goal to return in 1978 as contestants.

1978, 1979, and 1980 found these 2 friends competing at the PRCA -National Finals. They often stated that traveling and competing was never a “job”; but more like a yearlong party. A few memorable performances stand out for Ken such as 1979 in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he won the Copenhagen/Skoal Rodeo Superstars Championship. Ken competed on 8 bulls in one weekend, winning his biggest paycheck ever–$18,500. Winning the Ft. Worth Livestock Show & Rodeo in 1979 and 1980 were also big highlights. During 1980, Ken became 1 of only 3 men to ride Harry Vold’s legendary #777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year.

Ken and his wife Karen live in Colorado. Between them, they have 4 children; Josh, Bethany, Jonathan, and Andrew. Ken has worked as a PRCA Rodeo Coordinator and also for the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) and even now he occasionally serves as a judge. Perhaps the man who nominated Ken for the Hall of Fame, the great Wacey Cathy, said it best, “How could anyone ever forget Ken Henry from Happy, Texas?”