Kenneth Kelley was born to rope and rope he did. November 26, 1940, is the day Ollie and Louise Kelley welcomed there second born at Decatur, Texas. Being raised on a dairy brought many opportunities to use a rope for Kenneth, his brothers and sister. At one time all five Kelley boys roped. As soon as he graduated from roping chickens on foot, and after he roped his first calf horseback at the age of six, the flame was lit.
After graduating from Weatherford high school, he joined the PRCA in 1961. Managing a job and a family he rodeoed as much as possible and often entered the steer wrestling. It paid off in 1972 when he won the all-around in the Central Rodeo Association, often steer wrestling on his roping horse. He placed at many of the major rodeos including San Antonio, Houston, Albuquerque, Denver, Calgary, Cheyenne, and Fort Worth. 1966 was a pinnacle year when he qualified for the NFR, then at Oklahoma City, finished eighth for the year, and in the top 25 for several years after. He won the Texas Circuit year-end four times, the last year being 1980, also the same year he won the Fort Worth stock show calf roping title.
Turning 45, and with knees that were showing signs of wear, he looked for other ways to stay competitive, which led him to Senior associations like the Texas Senior Rodeo Association, National Senior Pro Association, 4 States Senior Rodeo Association and the Nation Ole Timers Calf Roping Association. He accumulated championships in each. Kenneth always trained his own horses and has sold many horses to top roper’s in his field.
Today life has slowed down somewhat, he still manages to work full time, rope every chance he gets and enjoy his two sons, and seven grandchildren.
Kenneth Kelley has always lived the cowboy way, and truly is the epitome of a real cowboy. The flame that was lit in a young boy so many years ago, still exist today.