Gary Gist was born September 6, 1945, to a rodeo family. After receiving his RCA card at the young age of 12—which kick-started a professional roping career—at age 16 Gist, along and his dad, Byron, won the 1964 National Finals Team Roping Average. Gist also had the highest season earnings that year as a heeler. Competing in roping from 1952 through 2015, Gist put his rodeo career on hiatus to join the Marine Corps and serve as a demolitions expert in Vietnam. In 1968, he started Gist Engravers and, by 1970, his design talent and craftsmanship received the PRCA gold buckle contract. Gist continued providing gold buckles for the NFR and PRCA for more than 20 years, as well as a number of other major events in the Western sports industry including the World Series of Team Roping, National Barrel Horse Association and multiple major rodeos. Gist has also supported youth rodeo as a national sponsor of the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) for four decades, while also serving as the presenting sponsor of the NHSRA Junior High Division. Gist resides in the Sierra Nevada foothills with his family, while continuing to impact the rodeo world through his influence and legacy at Gist Silversmiths.