Legendary ropers Roy Cooper and King Merritt, along with dedicated volun-teer Tom Currin and Mac McCormack, the man credited with saving the 1940 Round-Up, comprise the newest class of inductees into the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame.
In celebration of the Round-Up’s 100 years in existence, the board decided to induct four new members this year instead of the usual three.
Roy Cooper started off his career as the 1976 PRCA Rookie of the Year and broke every roping record in the books in the years that followed. The roper earned eight world championships and has won every large rodeo in the country, said board member Tom Forth.
King Merritt, one of Cooper’s predecessors, traveled by train from his Wyoming home to his first Round-Up in 1925 and attended annually for 26 years. Merritt won the steer roping in 1925 and 1935 and the calf roping in 1936.
Mac McCormack, owner of McCormack Construction Company in Pendleton, was commissioned to rebuild stands in time for the rodeo after a 1940 fire destroyed grandstands, wagons, buggies and a sleigh stored underneath just 27 days before the rodeo began. “A crew of 70 men worked day and night for 23 days to build a 3,000-seat, concrete grandstand,” Forth said. “This South Grandstand still remains today, filling to capacity several times a year.”
Heppner cattle rancher and farmer Tom Currin was lauded for his service as a volunteer. Currin started on the stretcher crew and later did stints with the fence, untying and bucking chute crews. Last year, he was relaying scores from the judges to the announcer’s stand when a saddle bronc horse slammed into Currin, leaving him with seven broken ribs, a tear in his lung and multiple bruises. Despite the injuries, Currin plans on returning as a volunteer this September.