It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Hadley A. Barrett on March 2, 2017.
There will be a service at the Budweiser Events Center on Monday, March 6 at 1:30 PM.
About Hadley Barrett:
A legend is a word that comes to mind for many, a hero, a friend, the voice of rodeo and so many more.
Hadley was born in North Platte Nebraska and started his rodeo career in the early 1950’s. In the early days, Hadley would ride bulls and bareback horses, fill in for the announcer, then set up and play the rodeo dance all night long. Hadley and his band “ Hadley Barrett and the Westerners” played music for 34 years and was inducted into the Nebraska country music hall of fame and even featured in the Smithsonian.
Hadley continued to play in his band while his announcing career as his profile grew around the Nebraska rodeo circuit. Once other rodeo presidents and stock contractors heard about Barrett, it wasn't long before professional rodeo came calling in the early '60s.
A PRCA member since 1965, Barrett has announced all the big rodeos and a great number of the smaller ones across the country.
Barrett was named PRCA Announcer of the Year in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 2002.
He has worked as an NFR television announcer since 1980.
He was among the first to announce while on horseback, and had always been credited with an honest approach to arena accidents and mishaps.
Barrett’s legacy is his willingness to share his talent and experience with others. He is known for taking rookie announcers under his wing and sharing hard-earned information.
For 200 plus days of the year Hadley was out doing what he loved, bringing the rodeo cowboys and cowgirls to life for the fans. Hadley described the action in the arena with his golden voice, he knew every horse and bull and every cowboy and cowgirl. Hadley painted pictures with his words that we all could see, we hung on every word. We all felt like we knew each and every rodeo athlete that Hadley spoke about on a personal level, we all felt like part of the family.
There are few people in the world of rodeo, inside or outside of the arena, more recognizable and respected than Hadley Barrett.
Hadley reached fans out on the road, through radio, movies and on TV. Hadley shared his colorful and entertaining world of rodeo with millions of fans across the world. Hadley once said, “ I guess you are a cross section between a sports reporter, master of ceremonies and in some cases a stand up comedienne and entertainer.”
Hadley never met a stranger. When he saw you he made you feel special, like you were the superstar. Hadley said, “I don’t think the fans will ever know how important they are to rodeo and I don’t think they will ever know how important they are to me.”
Lee Barrett of Kersey, CO
Trent (Rebecca) Barrett
Michelle (Randy) Corley
Travas (Alaina) Brenner
Shawn (Kim) Barrett
Audri (Joe) Pelton-Johnson
Taylor (Katie) Barrett
Kassi (Scott) Ashby
Amanda (Trent) Corley-Sanders
Cole (Nicole) Corley
Brittany (Alex) Corley
Kyle (Stephanie) Jurgens
Lindsay (Craig) McAtee
Travis (Nicole) Jurgens
The following hotels have availability, for those looking to stay Sunday, March 5 or Monday, March 6th nights.
-Wingate - Mention Budweiser Events Center, when calling Wingate directly, for a discounted rate.
-Best Western: Mention the Budweiser Events Center, when calling Best Western direct, for a speical rate. There is also a shuttle service.
-AmericInn: Mention Budweiser Events Center, when calling AmericInn direct, for discounted rate
-Fairfield Inn: Mention Budweiser Events Center, when calling Fairfield Inn direct, for discounted rate
- Residence Inn: Mention Budweiser Events Center, when calling Residence Inn direct, for discounted rate
-Hampton Inn:Mention Budweiser Events Center, when calling Hampton Inn direct, for discounted rate
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association lost a legend March 2.
Announcer Hadley Barrett, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1999, passed away in the early morning hours of March 2 as a result of heart failure while at University Hospital in Denver, Colo. He was 87.
“I’m having a hard time dealing with this because he was not only my dad, but my best friend,” said Trent Barrett, Hadley’s son.
The last rodeo Barrett announced was the San Antonio (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo, which ran Feb. 9-26.
Veteran announcer Wayne Brooks, who has worked with Barrett for years, was trying to come to grips with his passing.
“I’ve talked to everybody in the last two or three hours this morning, and the consensus is that he was supposed to be bulletproof,” Brooks said. “Because that’s not only the way everybody depicted him, but that’s the way he came across. Regardless of age, the numbers don’t count, he was just an ironman. We all know (passing away) is going to happen to us someday, but it doesn’t seem possible that’s happening now with him. It’s unreal for sure.”
Brooks worked with Barrett some, most recently at San Antonio, and was scheduled to work with him at Rodeo Austin (Texas) March 11-25.
“The level with which everybody around him held him was unbelievable, even to this day, whether it’s fans, committees, cowboys, stock contractors, the list goes on and on,” Brooks said.
“Not just because of his tenure, but because of the kind of man he was. To not have that piece of the puzzle in these locations is going to be very odd, very strange, very different. The thing that created his longevity in our game is after a rodeo performance when you went and listened to him, you felt like he was your friend.”
Barrett was born Sept. 18, 1929, in North Platte, Neb. This ranch-raised Nebraskan started his career as a contestant and formed his own dance band, but found his place in rodeo history behind the microphone.
A PRCA member since 1965, Barrett has announced all the big rodeos and a great number of the smaller ones across the country. He has been the voice of the Sidney (Iowa) Championship Rodeo since 1983; worked the Buffalo Bill Rodeo (North Platte, Neb.) for more than 30 years; the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede for more than 20 years; and worked for more than a decade at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days.
Barrett was named PRCA Announcer of the Year in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 2002. He worked five National Finals Rodeos (1968, 1976, 1979, 1983 and 2008) and the 1967 National Finals Steer Roping, as well as called the action at the Canadian Finals Rodeo seven times.
He has worked as an NFR television announcer since 1980. He was among the first to announce while on horseback, and had always been credited with an honest approach to arena accidents and mishaps. Barrett’s legacy is his willingness to share his talent and experience with others. He is known for taking rookie announcers under his wing and sharing hard-earned information.
“He had that capacity just to get up and love every day he was in touch with the rodeo business,” Brooks said. “It’s that passion that kept him going. He loved the game as much as he loved his family. He was an amazing man.”