All Inductees

NaRay McHood Ratliff

Born in Belton, Texas, on October 20, 1919, NaRay spent all of her elementary through high school years attending and graduating from Belton Public School System.  She then entered the then “all girls college” of Mary Hardin Baylor, attending 2 years.  Her father, Albert W. Finch, Sr., was the foreman of the farm at Mary Hardin Baylor for 25 years. After she left college she moved to Washington, DC, and worked for 2 years at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia in the Adjutant Generals Office.  After 2 years she returned to Texas and settled in Fort Worth. Her father had oved the family to Fort Worth when he became employed at Convair (General Dynamics/Lockheed). She found employment and then began her career in the rodeo world.

NaRay, along with the late Velda Tindall Smith (well-known trick rider) decided that there needed to be a barrel racing association. Recognition has been given to Velda and NaRay in the book “The Cowgirls”, written by Joyce Gibson Roach, Texas Christian University Teacher in Fort Worth in 1978 and again in 1997.  Voluntarily, she handled all the groundwork, including all letters, memos, and surveys of rodeo producers and prospective members, to determine the amount of inters. A Charter Member, she served as the TBRA’s (Texas Barrel Racing Association) secretary from before the official day one through 1963.

Holding down a full-time job as secretary to a busy oil company in Fort Worth, NaRay found time to compete in the area rodeos and secretary them for over 15 years for the M-S Ranch Rodeo Company. In 1963-65 she secretaries the Central Rodeo Association Finals held in Graham.  From 1965-67 she published the bulletin for the CRA and ran their finals each year.  She wrote a barrel racing article for the International Association Monthly with headquarters in Oklahoma City. With the young TBRA growing stronger the decision for a National Barrel Racing Association to be formed was made. State barrel racing clubs across the country and in Canada got the help they needed to organize through her efforts and the TBRA became the basis and stronghold for what is now the WPRA.  Several of their saddle winners went on to join the WPRA such as Mildred Farris, Martha Josey, Sherry Price and many others.

She rode enthusiastically from 1948 to 1968. From then on, most of her time went to her new position at the Miller Brewing Company and to her husband, Jim Ratliff, also new in 1968. He was an employee of General Dynamics for 41 years and his interests include hunting and fishing.  Together they still enjoy trips to the horse races, National Finals Rodeos and for several years continued to attend the TBRA Roundup.

Past president of the 700 member Beta Sigma Phi, Vice-President and President of the Miller Brewing Company Activity Club and a working career of 25 years with them, she secretaries the annual Employee Rodeo each year.  Since retiring from Miller she has served two terms as first president of the Retirees Association of MBC and on its Planning Committee.

NaRay McHood Ratliff thrives on keeping constant with members of the original TBRA and keeping in touch with the other original group and those instrumental in getting the Association off the ground during its inception period. She has priceless souvenirs and articles from her past years of the TBRA. But most of all – she has priceless memories that will last a lifetime.