The Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame Association (ERHOF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to preserve the history and traditions of the Ellensburg Rodeo. Founding Board members were Mike Allen, Joel Smith, Rick Cole, Nancy Graham, Betsy Billeter, Jerry Anderson, Sandy Bryan, Dick Powers, Sam Kayser, Bob Kelley, Keith Love, and John Ludtka.
Since its founding, the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame has conducted annual banquets on Thursday evening of Rodeo Weekend, selecting and honoring Inductees in the categories of (1) National Contestant; (2) Local Contestant; (3) Participant (clown, judge, announcer, trick rider, stock contractor etc.); (4) Volunteer Organizer; (5) Livestock; and (6) Pioneer Rodeo Family. Inductees are chosen only after careful research and consultation with multiple archives and local rodeo experts.
ERHOF has written a permanent biographical file for each of the Inductees, preserved their mementoes and artifacts, conducted membership drives, hosted annual fundraisers, and established a permanent museum fund. ERHOF publishes a bi-annual Pony Express Hall of Fame Newsletter and annual articles on Hall of Fame Inductees for the Ellensburg Daily Record, Pro Rodeo Sports News, The Ketch Pen (National Cowboy Hall of Fame), and regional newspapers. ERHOF has collected, stored, and displayed saddles and tack, memoirs, photographs, posters, jewelry, buckles, programs, costumes, books and magazines, ephemera, and other historical artifacts from the Ellensburg Rodeo donated by national competitors and local participants, organizers, and their families.
The Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame Association’s goal is to build a permanent Hall of Fame and museum of rodeo history in Ellensburg, open to community members and tourists on a year-round basis. Hall of Fame artifacts are now on display at the Ellensburg Rodeo and Chamber of Commerce Headquarters in the Driver Home on North Main Street. The Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame stages a museum exhibit at our banquet and at the Western Village during our annual rodeo. Alongside other community groups, ERHOF helped plan and install the “Meeting Ground” exhibit at the Kittitas County Heritage Center, underneath the restored main rodeo grandstand of the Kittitas County Fairgrounds.