All Inductees

Tommy Owens


Although born in San Angelo, Texas, on January 20, 1940, Tom Owens grew up on the family ranch out of Barnhart, Texas, and after graduating from Sul Ross State College, now ranches near Rankin, Texas, with his wife Edra. They have two children, Shanna and Cody.

Tom began his rodeo career going to junior and amateur rodeos from 1955 to 1958. He then started competing in college rodeos at Sul Ross College in Alpine, Texas, where he was a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) bareback champion at Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1961. He was the region champion in bareback riding in 1962. His rodeo career branched out to bringing the first high School rodeo to West Texas at Big Lake, starting Region II in 1980. Tom also started the Red Devil Rodeo Club in Rankin in 1987. Tom served as an American Junior Rodeo Association (AJRA) director from 1987 to 2003. He was honored in 2005 for his generous support of the organization. He was a director for the Region II Rodeo Association in the Texas High School Rodeo Association (THSRA) in 1990 and became president of the association from 1991 to 1998. He was also served on the state board of the THSRA from 1990 to 2000. Tom was honored by the 4-H All Kid Rodeo in Rankin in 1970 and 1997 for his dedication to the sport.

Another face of rodeo Tom enjoyed was clowning. He began his clowning career doing open shows at Rocksprings, Ozona, Sonora, Rankin, Sweetwater, Rotan, and Roby. He also clowned at the NIRA rodeos for Sul Ross State College from 1958 to 1962 as well as the Texas Western College in El Paso in 1961 and the AJRA Finals in 1963 and 1964.

Tom’s rodeoing extended to judging the AJRA Finals from 1965 to 1974. In 1970 he judged the Finals in Pueblo, Colorado. He judged the Texas High School Finals from 1979 to 1982. In 1980 with the beginning of the Circle T Rodeo Company, Tom began producing rodeos and bull ridings. He was the producer of the AJRA finals 11 times, Region High School rodeos, and the State High School Rodeo Finals in 2006. He produced the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event in Odessa in 2003 and the Jr. Bull Riding Association. Tom began the Bar-B-Doe bull riding at Rankin, Texas, in 1997.

Tom has been very active in community affairs. He served on the Rankin Hospital Board from 1964 to 1994. He has been a 4-H leader since 1963. He was a West Texas Boy’s Ranch Wagon Boss from 1972 to 1975. Tom has been a member of the First Methodist Church since 1964 and held every chair, including finance chair when the new church was built in 1965. The 4-H livestock show was dedicated to him in 1996 and Wal-Mart honored him for his service to the community in 2001. He was honored by the Upton County Historical Commission in 2006 for an outstanding family. Tom was elected County Commissioner in 1994 and in 2001 he served as president of the For West Texas Judges and Commissioners.