postheadericon Two missing from list of inductees

From left, Robert Etbauer, Billy Etbauer, Dan Etbauer and Craig Latham sit together as they sign autographs in this photo taken during their riding days together.

From left, Robert Etbauer, Billy Etbauer, Dan Etbauer and Craig Latham sit together as they sign autographs in this photo taken during their riding days together.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association announced the 2012 ProRodeo Hall of Fame class, and all the inductees have earned the right to their place in that magical building in Colorado Springs.

Congratulations to Robert and Billy Etbauer, three-time world champion Frank Schneider, three-time Bareback Horse of the Year Khadafy Skoal, five-time National Finals Rodeo barrelman John Taylor, rodeo administrator Hal Littrell and the Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up, a nine-time winner of the PRCA Rodeo Committee of the Year award.

Between them, the Etbauers own seven saddle bronc riding world championships and 33 NFR qualifications – Billy owns five gold buckles and made 21 straight trips to Las Vegas from 1989-2009.

But there are a couple of names missing from this list: Dan Etbauer and Craig Latham. They were part of that fabulous quartet that helped raise awareness to ProRodeo and its classic event, saddle bronc riding. Dan is the youngest of the three Etbauers and a 10-time NFR qualifier; Latham is a nine-time qualifier.

In addition to the gold buckles, all four of the cowboys finished as reserve world champions at least once in their storied careers. Dan Etbauer and Latham have remained a big part of the sport since they quit riding broncs about a decade ago.

Dan Etbauer is one of few men to have competed in and picked up at the NFR, and Billy Etbauer credits Latham for being a major player in Billy’s $3 million career. You see, even after Latham focused his attention on his family and coaching the Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo team, he still did all the entering for Billy.

The men were recognized as the four Etbauers because of what they did together. They revolutionized the sport by pooling their winnings, sharing a true team atmosphere in a sport that focuses on individual accomplishments. At a time when sponsorships were just slipping into rodeo’s mainstream, the Etbauers and Latham secured identical sponsorships with Express Ranches and wore matching attire throughout the remainder of their rodeo careers. In fact, Billy Etbauer still wears the Express brand wherever he goes.

While I agree that Robert and Billy have the credentials to get in by themselves, the best part of that story is what the four of them did together.

Dan Etbauer and Craig Latham should be enshrined in July, too.

7 Responses to “Two missing from list of inductees”

  • Kasey Etbauer:

    Kudos Ted!! Totally agree with you on this one, I can’t believe the PRCA and Hall of Fame left them out, I am biased of course being Dan’s wife but I feel same. They were a team that changed the sport of rodeo overall, brought in more fans and emphasized it being a family sport. They have all had amazing careers and IMO deserve to all be inducted. I wish it could be changed but not sure how, thanks for writing the article, it’s great!

  • Darrel Adams:

    I agree with Mrs. Etbauer, but another thing I think of when you talk about these four is “what” they have done for college rodeo today. It may be if not for them the college level would not be where it is today too.
    I hope they don’t forget Dan and Craig next year.

  • Ted Harbin:

    That’s a great point, Darrel, but this is the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, so it’s based on what they did while actively competing. I still believe in my heart that the right thing to do is to induct the four of them together, even if you don’t induct anybody else that year. They revolutionized rodeo, and the Taos Muncys and Cody Wrights and others who make their living today are the beneficiaries.

  • LOVE this. They are AMAZING Hall of Fame candidates, then and now, and will continue to be legends regardless.

  • Jessica Lofland:

    Great point Ted. I always think of these four guys as a team, working together and helping each other out. They really show how teamwork plays such a big part of what is known as an individual sport.

  • Kelli Wright:

    I agree with you 100% Ted. I have considered the Etbauers to be a “lock” to be inducted one of these years but I never considered that they wouldn’t go in together (Craig Latham included).

  • I think you said it all when you pointed out they pooled their resources, energies and talents to work together as a team. They definitely pushed each other to excel and celebrate the wins as a reflection on the team as a whole as well as the individual. Dan and Craig are Hall of Famers too! Congrats to all 4 men, their wives and families that created a winning team.

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