FORT WORTH January 10th, 2003; Country music singer George Strait and his wife, Norma, grin before the singer is inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. San Antonio Express-News Strait, who reached a record 50 No. 1 singles last month, was one of six inductees honored Friday evening before about 500 guests at the cavernous brick and concrete museum, at one time a horse barn, in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District.
"Being successful in the country music business has given me the opportunity to do a lot of things I always wanted to do have a place of my own and live a life I always wanted to live," said Strait, who grew up in Pearsall and learned to love horses and cattle at the family ranch in Big Wells.
Saying he feels fortunate to be able to do the things he loves, Strait added, "Someone thought enough of that to say, 'Hey, let's nominate him for the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.' That means a heck of a lot to me. ... I'm real proud to be included here."
The honor puts Strait alongside such Hall of Fame members as Ty Murray, world champion all-around cowboy seven times; six-time all-around cowboy Larry Mahon; eight-time world bull riding champ Don Gray; and four-time world bull riding champion Tuff Hedeman.
The other 2003 inductees are Fred Whitfield of Hodkley, who won his seventh world championship in calf-roping last fall; Guy Allen of Santa Anna, a 16-time world champion steer roper; Neal and Kay Guy of Mesquite, co-founders of the Mesquite Championship Rodeo and producers of the Fort Worth Stock Show, which opens today; and legendary cutter Helen K. Groves, who grew up on the King Ranch and spent three decades breeding and riding cutting horses.
Hall of Fame member Phil Lyne of Cotulla, two-time world champion all-around cowboy, nominated Strait for the honor. Strait was introduced by Lyne and fellow Hall of Famer Roy Cooper of Childress, eight-time world calf roping champion.
Strait began his team roping event 20 years ago in Kingsville. It grew to one of the nation's largest and moved to the San Antonio Rose Palace several years ago. Almost $300,000 in cash and prizes was awarded last year. This year, the competition is scheduled for March 14 and 15.
The Hall of Fame, which moved to Fort Worth in 2001 after opening in Hico in 1999, honors people who excel in supporting the Western lifestyle as well as the rodeo industry and competitors in Texas. Strait was introduced by Phil Lyne and Roy Cooper Hall of Fame member Phil Lyne of Cotulla, two-time world champion all-around cowboy, nominated Strait for the honor. Strait was introduced by Lyne and fellow Hall of Famer Roy Cooper of Childress, eight-time world calf roping champion. As a Strait fan I am very happy, and very proud. I know this is an experience and recognition that means alot to Mr George Strait, the real deal, a Cowboy at heart in the true Texas Cowboy tradition, a Legend in Country Music, and an all-around nice guy. It means alot to me for you to be nominated by your friends and peers, and to be inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. ~ Congratulations George.