All Inductees

"Rodeo" Rex Bland

Men Contestant

Rex Bland was born June 4, 1946 in Abilene, Texas, the first son of R.L. and Rosemary Bland.

Rodeo has always been a part of Rex’s life. Growing up in a rodeo family, he dreamed of the day when he would make an appearance at the National Finals Rodeo. Rex entered his first rodeo at 12 years old in Big Lake, Texas where he won the goat roping and placed in the steer riding. This began a lifelong love for rodeo competition. Going to AJRA rodeos every summer winning a few buckles and saddles along the way continued to strengthen his appetite for the sport. As a member of the rodeo team at Tarleton State College and winning the Southwest Region steer wrestling proved Rex was on track to reach that goal. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Rex married Kathi and started a family with Brandon (1974), Dee (1972) and Kaci (1981). While raising a family and rodeoing part-time he enjoyed helping get the Texas circuit off the ground. Along with Bob Crill, they started and produced the first three circuit finals in Abilene, Texas. One of the greatest honors Rex has received was the 1975 Texas Circuit Man of the Year award.

Winning or placing at most of the large rodeos such as Denver, Houston, Pecos, Calgary, Greeley, Nampa, Salt Lake, Ogden, Cheyenne, Salinas and many more were great experiences for Rex, but reaching the goal of qualifying for three National Finals Rodeos was the highlight of his rodeo career.

Being nicknamed “Rodeo” by Barry and Roy Burk and the many friendships developed during these years are very fond memories. Rex thanks God for blessing his life. The three best feelings he can remember as they happened: his first grand entry at his first NFR, marrying Kathi, and the birth of his children.