Inducted in 2014
Bud Munroe first registered with the PRCA in the Bareback division, but soon found his niche in Saddle Bronc riding. In 1977, he qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in Saddle Broncs, and for twelve consecutive years, he qualified for the National Finals, winning the Gold Buckle in 1986. Eight times in that string of years, he finished among the top five in the world, and he was second in the standings in 1978 and 1980. In 1986, he became the first Saddle Bronc rider to earn over $100,000.
Munroe grew up in Lewistown, Montana, but moved to Billings with his parents and attended Billings Senior High. His father, Dan, was also a saddle bronc rider, and his mother and sister were involved in rodeo as well. Because of its rodeo team, Bud attended Montana State University in Bozeman where he earned a degree in agricultural business and competed in the bareback and saddle bronc riding. For the Bobcats, he won a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association saddle bronc title in 1975.
According to ProRodeo Hall of Fame bronc rider Kyle Pendergraft, Munroe is a “living legend, respected and revered throughout the rodeo system because of his simple, uncomplicated, but thoughtful, perspective on life and the sport.” Joe Kusek of the Billings Gazette said that Munroe’s riding had a “metronome quality.” He was more methodical than flashy or charismatic. Ken MacRae, another Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of fame inductee, remembers him as a “rather quiet, business-like person who rode as well or better than anyone in his era.” Munroe himself said “Rodeo is just a natural extension of the Western way of life. It’s a very pure thing, just you and the animal. I think it’s ingrained in you if you come up around it so much that it’s a part of who your are and you never lose the love for it. At least I never have.”
At Ellensburg, he won the saddle bronc competition in 1977, 1978, and tied with John Smith in 1987. Munroe retired in 1989 and moved to Valley Mills, Texas, which is 25 miles from Waco. He never really retired from rodeo because he stayed involved with the PRCA: as its saddle bronc director, member of the Grievance Committee, or Properties Board member for over twenty years. He was also a committee member of the Heart O’ Texas Rodeo in Waco for a number of years. He has been inducted into other halls of fame: Montana State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Montana ProRodeo Hall of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and in 2007 the National ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, CO. His wife, Jimmie, is a former world champion barrel racer and served as president of the WPRA for thirteen years and was the first chairwoman of Professional Women’s Barrel Racing, a subsidiary of the PRCA. Their daughter, Tassie, competed on the equestrian team for Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and Bud joked “It’s way more expensive than barrels and you don’t get any money back.”