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Larry Peabody, 1984 National Finals Rodeo

Larry Peabody rides during the 1984 National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Peabody, of Three Forks, won the world bareback title.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Montana world champion bareback rider Larry Peabody was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame as part of the 12-member class of 2019 on Saturday. 

The Cody (Wyoming) Stampede Rodeo was also inducted. 

Peabody made a steady climb in rodeo to his 1984 bareback riding world title.

Within three years of becoming a member, Peabody had qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo. He went on to make five total, all consecutive, and crowned it with the 1984 bareback riding championship.

Saturday he was still trying to come to grips that he is now a ProRodeo Hall of Famer.

“Yes, it did (catch me off-guard),” said Peabody about his induction. “You get emotional, you get to wondering why you got chosen. Sleepless nights (since getting here for the ceremonies). It’s been a very enjoyable deal, but it’s almost like it’s too overwhelming.”

Peabody also won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association bareback riding title in 1981. He won the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit bareback riding year-end title four times, the circuit team roping title once and the all-around once.

In 1981, that first NFR trip, he set a then-NFR record with an 89-point ride on Growney’s Dreamboat Annie. He also split the NFR average in 1983 and finished the season in third place.

He edged fellow Hall of Famer Lewis Feild for the 1984 title by $2,000. The race was so close it came down to the final round of the NFR. Even after he’d been declared the champ, it took a while for Peabody to truly believe it.

“It (the world title) meant I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish,” Peabody said. “That’s why I slowed down after that. I never had the drive to rodeo and pursue another world championship.”

The class was headlined by four-time world champion team roping heeler Allen Bach (1979, 1990, 1995 and 2006).

“I’ve just been reflecting on how cool our sport has been,” Bach said. “Everything about my life is based around rodeo. The team roping schools I do, the business that I do. Had it not been for rodeo, I would not have anything. I’ve just been doing a lot of reflection on how cool it was to live this kind of life.”

Bach holds the PRCA record for most qualifications (including invitations) by a team roper to the National Finals Rodeo with 30 (1978-96, 1998-2008).

The rest of the 2019 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductees included Commotion, one of the greatest bucking horses of all time; stock contractors Elra Beutler and his son, Jiggs, posthumously; two-time world champion steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch (2006, 2010); world champion bull rider Doug “Droopy” Brown (1969); notable Jerome Robinson; contract personnel Tommy Lucia, posthumously; and three Women’s Professional Rodeo Association inductees — barrel racers Jimmie Gibbs Munroe and Sammy Thurman Brackenberry and notable Florence Youree.

In addition to the inductees, Guy Elliott, a former arena director for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and a number of others, received the Ken Stemler Pioneer Award, which honors individuals in recognition of their groundbreaking, innovative ideas and forward thinking.

Cody, Wyoming, is often called the “Rodeo Capitol of the World” — and for good reason, as it’s home to the Cody Stampede Rodeo, which now in its centennial year has attracted countless tourists to the small town just east of Yellowstone National Park since 1919.

“It is still really overwhelming, and to be part of this impressive class of inductees means the world to us,” said Marc Thompson, a co-president of the Cody Stampede with Mike Darby.

 Darby also was thrilled about the ultimate recognition given to the Cody Stampede on the year of its 100th anniversary.

 “It’s the icing on the cake, and that’s an understatement,” said Darby. “It’s a dream come true and a whirlwind of happenings and an honor to be here. We try to put on the best possible rodeo every year with the best athletes and best stock and showcase the very best the sport has to offer.”

 Thompson knows the Hall of Fame induction is something that was years in the making.

 “I feel blessed with this honor because it honors our 100-year history,” Thompson said. “We know how much time, effort and energy they put into making this the lasting legacy and getting Hall of Fame status is an honor to the past directors and the Cody community.”

The Cody Stampede won the PRCA’s Best Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year in 1998 and 1999.

Bach also won NFR average titles in 1979 and 2006, roping with Jesse James and Chad Masters, respectively. In 1990 and ’95, Bach paired with Doyle Gellerman and Bobby Hurley.

In 2007, Bach became the 11th rodeo competitor to surpass $2 million in career earnings. Bach joined the PRCA in 1978.

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