Hadley Barrett

Greg Westfall

By Ann Bleiker

The rodeo world lost a true icon of the sport and a dear friend of the WPRA on March 2, 2017 with the passing of rodeo announcer Hadley Barrett. He passed away at the age of 87 at the University Hospital in Denver, Colo., as a result of heart failure.


Hadley Barrett, Announcer of the Year Award Recipient
Photo by Kenneth Springer

Born Sept. 18, 1929, in North Platte, Neb., Barrett started his career as a contestant and formed his own dance band, but found his place in rodeo history behind the microphone. 

A PRCA member since 1965, Barrett has announced all of the big rodeos and a great number of the smaller ones across the country. He was named PRCA Announcer of the Year in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 2002 and won the WPRA Announcer of the Year award twice in 2001 and 2011. He worked five National Finals Rodeos (1968, 1976, 1979, 1983 and 2008) and the 1967, 2007 and 2010 National Finals Steer Roping, as well as called the action at the Canadian Finals seven times. He worked as an NFR television announcer from 1980-1990 and 1994-2004. He was among the first to announce while on horseback and has always been credited with an honest approach to arena accidents and mishaps. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1999. Barrett’s legacy was in his willingness to share his talent and experience with others. He was known for taking rookie announcers under his wing and sharing hard-earned information.

He had recently finished announcing the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo on Feb. 25. 

A memorial service will be held for Barrett Monday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. (MT) at the Budweiser Events Center, 5290 Arena Circle, Loveland, Colo., 80538. A reception will follow in an adjacent building. For information about the service, visit

The WPRA sends their condolences to the family.