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The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has a mission to preserve the history of rodeo. Since 1998, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has been dedicated to honoring and memorializing the great performers in rodeo and its related professions through the Ben Johnson Award. This annual award is presented to a living person who has been involved in the rodeo industry for a number of years and has contributed to the growth and betterment of pro-rodeo. Involvement with youth and/or community activities also is a pre-requisite for the honor. The recipient must be someone who, like Ben Johnson, creates a positive image for rodeo and the Western lifestyle. Induction into this prestigious hall of fame is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on an honoree.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Rodeo Committee reviews each nominee thoroughly and annually selects a slate of nominees. The Rodeo Committee Chairman and former Ben Johnson nominee’s vote by secret ballot to determine the nominee for the Ben Johnson Memorial Award, with induction ceremony being held each fall during the NCWHM Rodeo weekend.

Applications must be received at the National Cowboy Museum by December 31 to be considered for the coming year’s nomination slate. Use additional pages as needed. Applications will be held and considered for three years. After this time, the application will be returned to the submitter. Returned applications may be resubmitted with updates and additional materials. Nominations must be complete; incomplete applications will be returned and not considered.

Criteria for Nomination

Applications must include the following:

  • Nomination Letter (submit at least one letter of recommendation)
  • Detailed biography, including rodeo accomplishments and community youth/involvement
  • Completed Nomination Application; be as detailed as possible
  • A minimum of two photographs (these will be scanned and returned)
Nominee Name(Required)
Youth and /or Community Activity Involvement:(Required)
Indicate each on a new line. Use the plus sign to add a new line
Rodeo/ Community Involvement or Honors(Required)
Indicate each honor or contribution on a new line. Use the plus sign to add a new line
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, Max. file size: 20 MB, Max. files: 6.
    Image of nominee needs to be in a jpg format and nomination letter and biography need to be in pdf format. A minimum of two photographs must be submitted.

    Contact Information for Submitter


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