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Son of famous Pueblo family rodeo trio being inducted into ProRodeo Hall of Fame

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - The Yates family has been a staple within the professional rodeo circuit for nearly 50 years. Now one of their own is about to be enshrined within the sport's highest honor the same week the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo kicks off in Colorado Springs.

J.D. Yates, the son of Dick Yates and brother to barrel racing champion Kelly Yates, got news recently of his induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

"It’s been pretty lucky that we’ve had such a tight-knit family because we all had to be there to support each other. There was a lot of moving parts," said Yates to KRDO 13's Josh Helmuth.

J.D. said he got an initial call from the PRCA but he ignored it, thinking there was a problem. He grinned and got emotional when a second call came in immediately seconds later.

"[He] said, JD, ‘this is Tom Glause. I'd like to tell you, you got inducted to the Hall of Fame.' It's pretty cool," said J.D., nearly choking up.

At 15 years old, J.D. became the youngest PRCA contestant to qualify for the National Finals. Several years later, he and his sister and father became the first such family trio to qualify for the National Finals in 1984. Since then, J.D. has appeared in the team roping National Finals 21 times.

“When we went in the arena it was business," said J.D. "There was no ‘father-son.’ It was, we were gonna do this and professionally for a livin’. And it had to be business. Now when we walked out of the arena, he was my dad.”

Dad is grateful for the journey, being able to be part of and witness what his family continues to accomplish in the arena.

“They grew up liking the horse business and they just learned to be successful at it through hard work," said Dick Yates.

“I don’t know how I could have had a better life and doin’ what you wanna do and raisin’ the family I got, so it’s been a good ride," he said.

J.D. added, "Our family has been tight-knit since we were kids. I mean, we all did it together.”

Trey Yates, J.D.'s son is carrying on the family tradition, and a world champion team roper as well.

J.D., amongst several other historic inductees, will be enshrined at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs on Saturday, July 13. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15. 

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Josh Helmuth

Josh is an anchor for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Josh here.


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