© National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo 2015
2017 Judges
Gary S. Pratt
A working ranch cowboy since the age of 18, Gary Pratt has called Oklahoma his home since 1975. An award-winning singer/songwriter who draws upon his military and ranching experience, Pratt offers original and traditional cowboy and western music performances for audiences of all ages. Pratt has produced four studio albums, including his 2011 album, Lomax. He is currently working on the title track for an upcoming full- length feature film. Pratt's achievements include the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum's 2008 Wrangler Award and Outstanding New Artist Award. A touring member of the Mid-America Arts Alliance,?Pratt is sponsored by Purina Mills, Twisted X Boots and Alvarez Guitars.
Michael Hook
Jay was born into a ranching and rodeo family in southwest Oklahoma. Today, he makes his home in Cyril with his wife, Sandi. His dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy; his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.  Jay competed in rodeos during his early years.  He now stays busy raising cattle and ranch horses and team roping.   Writing and reciting cowboy stories in verse since 1996, Jay says he's not sure his English teacher would consider it poetry. Explaining the reason behind the pursuit, he says: "I've been researching the cowboy way for life for nearly 60 years. I felt a need to preserve some of the stories I heard from the old timers, and I wanted to try to relive some of my own experiences. Fortunately, cowboy poetry seems to appeal to most people. I thank God for the greatest super-hero of all times: the American Cowboy."  Jay has appeared  at many of the major cowboy gatherings:  the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine; Cal Farley's Youth Poetry Gathering near Amarillo, Texas; National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas; Arizona Cowboy Poets' Gathering in Prescott; Kamloops Cowboy Festival in Kamloops, British Columbia; and four appearances at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Elko, Nevada. He also appeared on Country Music Television’s  Christmas in Cowboy Country, hosted by Clint Black.  Visit his web site at www.jaysnider.net.    2005 Best of the Best at National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, Kanab, Utah    Jay Snider, 2017 Judge Foreman
Del is a Western Music Singer, Song Writer, Entertainer and Nashville Recording Artist, as well as an award winning Cowboy Poet. Along with being the Cowboy Singer on the top rated Television Show, Best Of America By Horseback, Del is also the Co-Host of the show which has been airing now into its Eleventh year. He was Trail Boss on a trail ride that lead 46 riders from Mexico to Canada in 2009. There are 5 Cruises to His credit on which he entertained both on and off the ships in locations such as Alaska, the Yukon, Belize, on the steps of the Mayan Temples  and Caribbean Islands.  Del has recorded five CDs of which he has had a song stay number 2 on the charts for three quarters of a year and two other of the albums in the top ten. His poetry skills have landed him Runner up at he Echoes of the trail Competition and People's choice award, and Humor Award at the Kansas Cowboy Symposium in Dodge City Ks. Del is regularly featured in numerous Magazines and on Radio shows across the country.  He still loves spending time training and shoeing horses at his home, The High Trail Ranch near Humboldt Ks where he and his Wife Shevawn spend time nurturing the surroundings to make them Grandchild friendly. They are the parents of five children who have in turn given them seven grandchildren to keep up with. Along with the many avenues pursued, Del also has a background in Ministry and preaches as a fill in for the Church of Christ in Iola Ks where he and his family attend. Co-Host of Best of America By Horseback on RFDtv
Jack Carter “Trey” Allen III, 45, of the McDowell Creek Community, Manhattan, Kansas, passed away peacefully with his parents present, July 7, 2016. Trey battled Multiple Myeloma cancer since 2013. Trey was born January 20, 1971 in Richardson Texas, the son of Jack Carter Allen Jr. and Tana (Davis/Wiggins) Gasparek. He went to grade school in Claude, Texas; attended Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, Amarillo, Texas 1983-1988; and graduated from Claude High School in 1989. For some twenty years and change, Jack “Trey” Allen wrote and recited cowboy poetry. He started out gathering intel early in life as a bull-rider/bull-fighter and graduated to shoeing horses and starting colts. To those in the know, this should explain a great deal. At the point he began his family, however, the conclusion was reached that three meals a week and Copenhagen made less than desirable home conditions and he settled into a real job near the present-day metropolis of Hooker, Oklahoma. While earning a regular paycheck, he kept his hand turned at colts and shoeing, day working, and so on. It was during this time he became intimate with a little known group called "Corporate America." Thirteen years of that and he packed his family up, headed for the mountains of south central Colorado, near Canon City, and became a full-time cowboy for the rest of his life. In 2006, he moved to Kansas and for 10 years he managed the Moyer Ranch in the northern Flints Hills of Kansas, south of Manhattan, Kansas. Trey performed cowboy poetry from the Gulf Coast of Alabama to North Dakota and from Missouri to Utah. He was one of four event winners at the first Cowboy Poetry Rodeo and was purty fortunate in subsequent National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo events. In 2011, Kansas hosted its first annual State Cowboy Poetry competition, and a win there offered Trey the opportunity to perform for the "Gubernatorial Entourage" at the Symphony of the Flint Hills, Alma Kansas, in front of Governor Sam Brownback; he considered that a career highlight. The Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Colorado and the Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering in Sierra Vista, Colorado, were among his favorite gatherings to perform, along with local Kansas Livestock Association meetings.  Trey could always be seen wearing his trademark pink tall tops, colorful shirt and just as colorful wild rag on stage. His girls would call him “The Skittles cowboy.” Trey titled himself as “Cowboy Poet, Humorist, Surveyor of Kingdoms, and Practitioner of Quality, Truth and Improvement.” Trey was past president of the Kansas Livestock Association, local chapter in Junction City, Kansas. Trey is survived by his wife, Janice (Hannagan) Allen, Manhattan, Kansas; three daughters, Shandee, Edmond Oklahoma, and Lara and Tera M., Cushing, Oklahoma; two step children, Jenna and Colton, Manhattan, Kansas; mother, Tana (Davis/Wiggins) Gasparek, Tres Piedras, New Mexico; step father (the man Trey called dad) Dee Aduddell and his wife Ronda, Claude, Texas; sisters Tera J. Ingram, Emporia, Kansas and Shana Aduddell, Amarillo, Texas; two brothers, Cody Aduddell, Claude, Texas and Seth Aduddell, Amarillo, Texas; two nephews, Tough Medina, Emporia, Kansas and Trenton Richey, Pampa, Texas; a favorite niece, Evelyn Aduddell, Claude, Texas; along with all his brothers from Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Amarillo, Texas and all his numerous cowboy poet friends. Trey was preceded in death by his father Jack Carter Allen Jr., December 29, 1972. Trey’s wish was to have his three girls take a road trip to scatter his ashes at all the ranches where he was employed and where he day-worked.  There will be a celebration of life, or as Trey would call, it a “shindig,” later this fall at the McDowell Creek Community Center, Manhattan, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to “Allen Girls’ College Fund,” 15601 Hannagan Road, Manhattan KS 66502. Their education was very important to him.
In Memory of Jack “Trey” Allen,
Rittels Western Wear, Abilene, Kansas Excellence through Competition
Director Dickinson County Heritage Center Michael Hook was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but spent his early years immersed in the cowboy culture.  His father, Larry, attended School of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri, and then they moved to Galveston, Texas where Michael was able to see first-hand the ranchers and cowboys that kept the Texas cattle drives alive.  As the family moved back to Kansas City, Michael started playing baseball, and was able to pitch in college for Longview College and Missouri Western State University.  His first job that he took was unloading trucks at Wal-Mart, but he was able to work his way up to Store Manager near Des Moines, Iowa.  There was always a missing void in Michael’s life, and he went on searching for it as he completed his degree in History from Arizona State University.  He ended up in Abilene, Kansas where he was once again immersed in the cowboy culture.  He is the Event Coordinator for the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail; he is the president of the Seelye Foundation; the Director of the Dickinson County Heritage Center; and the Treasurer of the Kansas Cattletown Coalition.