Butch Knowles inducted to St. Paul Rodeo Hall of Fame

ST. PAUL — The St. Paul Rodeo announced its 2019 Hall of Fame inductees on Friday, and a Heppner cowboy has made the cut.

Among the five inductees is Butch Knowles, who is best known as a commentator for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The Heppner native made the list due to his saddle bronc and all-around championship wins at the St. Paul Rodeo in 1979.

Knowles is also a four-time competitor at the WNFR, where he won the saddle bronc average in 1987. He began his broadcast career the following year. His son Blake has taken up the rodeo mantle and competes in events across the globe.

Woodburn cowboy Bob Gregory, longtime St. Paul resident and rodeo member Elaine Smith, St. Paul Rodeo treasurer Grant McKillip, and seven-time St. Paul wild horse race champion Richard Ernst were also selected as inductees.

The 2019 class will be honored at the rodeo’s annual Hall of Fame barbecue on Monday, July 1 at 5 p.m. at the arena. A dinner and a silent auction will take place to raise funds for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.

Tickets for the dinner are $32 and must be purchased in advance online at stpaulrodeo.com.

The rodeo will follow on July 2-6 with performances every evening at 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee on July 4 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are sold online.

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