HISTORY OF GARY HARDT MEMORIAL RODEO
During its earliest years, Payson's Spring Rodeo was part of the National Old-Timers Rodeo Association, now known as the Senior Pro Rodeo Tour.
In 1987 it became the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo to honor the memory of the Payson native who died in 1987. Hardt was a well-known roper. He was recognized throughout the Southwest for his bull riding and roping talents. His rodeo career began in 1962 at the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo in Payson.
As a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, Hardt rode bulls for about 20 years. During the last 10 years of his work in rodeo, he became a well-established roper as well.
This memorial event benefits local youth with educational and athletic achievements. The event is coordinated by the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee, led by Bill Armstrong.