Year Inducted: 1992
Nominated By: Alex "Sandy" Clark III
Sports Competed In: Rodeo
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete
Attended McClave H.S., McClave, CO...Yates played basketball, baseball and track for the Cardinals.
Went to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO.
● Rode race horses and took tap dancing lessons to improve his dexterity.
● Has won so many belt buckles and saddles rodeoing that he can’t hardly remember them all.
● Not surprising that Yates can’t recall the details of all the hardware he’s collected, the 55 year old [11/14/1992] St. Charles Mesa cowboy has won at almost every major rodeo in the country.
● Recalls his several trips to the national Finals Rodeo - the Super Bowl of rodeo - there is one event Yates will probably never forget, when he won the “Presidential Rodeo in Washington D.C.” President Ronald Reagan personally presented Yates with a gold buckle at a White House ceremony.
● Known as "The First Family of Rodeo" in Southern Colorado (which includes Dick and Jan Yates, along with their children, Kelly and Y.D.,).
● Venues were Dusty corrals and rodeo arenas rather than state reception rooms and denim substitutes for glossy satin and lace.
● The foursome was together for a rare moment Tuesday morning during the slack session of the Colorado State Fair Rodeo before heading off in different directions. "I'm roping tonight and then going to Walla Walla, Wash.," said J.D. Yates 31-year-old team roper who learned the sport at his father’s knee. Kelly, 32, wrapped up her barrel racing appearance in Pueblo Tuesday morning before driving off to Fort Worth to compete.
● Dick, a longtime team roper and horse trainer, teamed with his son for years on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit before tapering off in 1988 to rope with his nephew, Jay Wadhams and still ropes with him in area rodeos.
● Jan keeps track of the travel plans of the family, occasionally hauls a horse trailer and basks in her family’s successes of the past 17 years.
Get the three Yates riders together and the competitive juices fill the air... They might be relaxed and joking with other rodeo contestants and friends around the arena, but when they talk about rodeo, It’s all business and, when the flag goes up, stay out of their way -- there’s work to be done. "I'm proud that both kids have been able to make a living out of the horse business -- not just rodeoing, there’s not enough money in that because your expenses are too high -- but they’ve diversified," said Dick, still a gritty competitor at 54 and satisfied with the career he’s had centered around horses and his family...Dick came to Pueblo as a brand inspector more than 30 years ago. "I worked for the state 20 years and I might have had a better retirement if I’d stayed longer but I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the last 10 years," said Yates, who made numerous appearances in the National Finals Rodeo as a roping partner with J.D. "He's the best friend I’ve ever had," said J.D. about the father who taught hI'm all he needed to know about roping...The biggest disappointment of his life came in 1983 when the World Championship in team roping just slipped away from us at the finals." Meanwhile, J.D., who like his father, trains roping horses, competes on the national PRCA circuit with Doyle Gellerman of Oakdale, CA.
Garnered a national reputation to train horses.
Lives in Vineland, CO with his wife, Jan Hutchison.