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Legends Hall of Fame

Join us Saturday, September 2nd at our PRCA Rodeo where we will be introducing and honoring our 2023 Legend Hall of Fame inductees.

2023 Rodeo Legend Greta Hassler

Greta Hassler and her family moved to Milton-Freewater from Kansas to escape the Dust Bowl. Her parents, Lyle and Wilma “Billie” Brown, eventually purchased acreage outside Milton-Freewater, where she grew up, surrounded by horses and cattle. She and her family have been involved in the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days for literally decades.As a youngster, Greta competed in pony races and exhibited livestock at the Fair.Her father and brother (Ramon Brown) provided the roping calves for the rodeo for many years.Greta served as 4-H horse superintendent for the Fair.Her husband, the late Gene Hassler, was a PRCA rodeo competitor of some note, competing in calf roping, steer roping, and steer wrestling/bulldogging throughout the Pacific Northwest.Her daughter Kathy was on the Walla Walla fair court and competed in high school rodeos, and her son Cody also competed throughout high school and then went on to compete professionally in calf roping for years.

When she was a Fair Farmerette her court horse became lame.The advisors asked some of the rodeo cowboys who were competing at Walla Walla if they had a horse she could use.Future husband Gene Hassler agreed and that’s how they met, at the Walla Walla rodeo.After her tenure as a Fair Farmerette, she became an advisor to the Walla Walla Wagonettes, readying the members for participation in parades and for drilling at Walla Walla.After their marriage she and Gene acquired their ranch outside Lowden, where they built a roping arena and farmed and raised cattle and horses.

For many decades cowboys who were competing at the Walla Walla Rodeo stayed at the Hassler ranch and utilized the roping arena there to practice calf and steer roping and bulldogging/steer wrestling before and after slack and the nighttime rodeo competition.Greta has always been a presence in the arena at Walla Walla, helping line out the contestants, giving advice and anything else needed, as all competitors and arena personnel know her, respect her, and listen to her.Many times, she has known several generations of those competitors.

Greta and Gene spent 50 years together at the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Rodeo and then she and Don Powers enjoyed another 18 years at the rodeo.

She and Gene were both members of the PRCA, which was necessary for her to time at rodeos, and both received PRCA gold cards.For over 40 years she timed rodeos in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, including their various circuit finals.Locally, she and Billie Talbot timed together for many years, a well-known and respected duo.

Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days is special to Greta.When she was a member of the Washington State Fair Commission, she campaigned successfully for grant money for special projects on the grounds.

She has been a judge of at least ten state rodeo royalty contests, as well as Canada’s, for the young women to represent their state at the Miss Rodeo America contest at the National Finals Rodeo.States include, but are not limited to, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California (twice), Oklahoma, as well as Miss Rodeo Canada and others.She also judged many rodeo royalty pageants.

Greta also worked in the rodeo office at the Pendleton Round-Up for over 50 years and rode in the Happy Canyon pageant for many years, and received a lifetime gold card for the Roundup for her volunteering.

Greta and her dear friend Shirley Dickerson were charter members of the Milton Freewater Pioneer Posse when it originated 76 years ago and Greta remains involved to this day.In 2005, she and Shirley were named parade marshals for the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days and rode their horses in every parade and at each introduction during the Frontier Days Rodeo.In addition, her late husband was one of the first Walla Walla Rodeo Legends, being named in 2008.

The Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days Board of Directors is honored to induct Greta Hassler into the 2023 Rodeo Legends Hall of Fame.

2023 Rodeo Legend Troy Frazier

Troy Kenneth Frazier was born to rodeo. He was raised in the Walla Walla Valley and is a PRCA Card Holder who competed in Calf Roping and Team Roping. His dad, Ken Frazier was a PRCA card holder and his mom, Judy Curcio Frazier is a Gold Card holder in the WPRA. Both of his parents competed in rodeos and are both Rodeo Legends of the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days. His grandfather, Frank Curcio is also a Rodeo Legend.

Troy competed in High School and College Rodeos. During his High School Rodeo career Troy won several, Calf Roping, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling and Cutting titles, As well as the State All Around winner for three years.

In 1989, he won the coveted Big Four Winner award (the most money won at the Big 4 Rodeo’s Walla Walla, Pendleton, Ellensburg, Lewiston). He also won the 1989 Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Champion (the top 100 teams are invited to compete in a six-head average roping).

Also in 1989, Troy and his partner Wade Jess missed the NFR by one spot. They were 16th in the world and the top 15 qualified for the NFR. Back then they took teams and a team ahead of them split, so it knocked them to 16.

Troy has been the All-Around Champion at both the Ellensburg Rodeo, the Lewiston Roundup and is a past Columbia River Circuit Calf Roping and Team Roping Champion. He's won a horse trailer, at least ten saddles, numerous buckles, several sets of spurs, and a few rifles.

Along with his wife Maryanne, Troy has three daughters who have followed in his footsteps. His oldest daughter, Courtney was the World’s Champion All-Around Cowgirl for the 2012 Indian National Finals Rodeo Association. His middle daughter, Carley attended college in Oklahoma on a Rodeo Scholarship and Cloey his youngest, has won numerous barrel racing awards. Maryanne is also an avid barrel racer.

Troy is still involved with Team Roping and usually has an arena full of steers. Starting in August, several of Troy’s PRCA cowboy friends and several NFR bound contestants who are in the northwest to rodeo, layover at the ranch to practice rope some those steers before heading off to their various locations.

The Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days Board of Directors is honored to induct Troy Frazier into the 2023 Rodeo Legends Hall of Fame.

2023 Fair Legend Sheryl Cox

As one of two inaugural Fair Legends, Sheryl Cox continues to be a "first" at the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days – starting with being the first woman appointed to the Fair Board of Directors in 1981 – as well as one of the youngest.

Sheryl is part of a fourth-generation Walla Walla Valley farm and ranch family, and an active rancher herself, with a long history of involvement at the Walla Walla Fair – starting as a 4-H exhibitor and a member of the Walla Walla Valleyettes young women's riding and drill club, then moving to the role of Director of Exhibits, nine years on the Fair Board of Directors, and continuing to the present with the Youth Market Stock Sale, member and participant in the 1866 Club, serving as the Beef Barn Hostess for Fairtime school tours, and volunteering for the annual Showcase.

Sheryl explained her role as Director of Exhibits in a nutshell as "being responsible for every posey, potholder, and pig that came to the Fair each year."This meant coordinating the needs of the exhibitors, superintendents, judges, clerks, and volunteers.Without a doubt, Sheryl's top priority was the Fair department superintendents – those volunteers who give their time year 'round, not just during the Fair, to ensure the exhibitors, particularly the youth exhibitors, were provided an opportunity to display their skills, given a positive learning experience, and the chance to build memories for themselves and their families.

Annually, Sheryl volunteered tirelessly, hundreds and hundreds of hours of hard work, with her only pay off – and the one she wanted the most – to have a young exhibitor proudly show her the ribbon they had won for their exhibit and announce, "I'm already planning my projects for next year's Fair!I can't wait!"Or watching the face of a young "town" kid touch and pet Randy Kessler's big bull!

Sheryl has always advocated that this is the reason we treasure our local exhibitors, and the learning opportunities fairs provide.She believes no one will ever know nor be able to measure how many new hobbies and interests have been stimulated by walking through the Pavilion exhibits at the Fair.This is how family fair traditions begin and continue through generations.

With a slightly embarrassed grin, Sheryl shared one of her learning opportunities as a Fair Board Director."When I was on the Board, the Board of Directors rode their horses into the rodeo arena each night to be introduced.As a ranch girl, this was not a challenge for me.It was, however, a challenge for my ranch horse who made it only as far as the calf chutes and decided he did not like the arena lights.So, he bucked me off!My saving grace was landing on my feet, getting back on my horse, and finishing my ride into the lineup.Then, when the arena lights dimmed for the posting of the colors, rodeo announcer Bob Tallman approached me in the arena and quietly said, 'I score you an 80.' When the arena lights came back on, my face was still as red as the jacket the Directors were wearing that night.The Fair always provided me challenges, blessings, and learning opportunities."

Sheryl's work ethic has always been and continues to be, show up when and where work needs to be done, roll up her sleeves, see a job through to completion, and speak up for those she represented.One year when she was on the Board, she didn't show up for the opening night concert.Why?Because on her way to the concert, a windstorm hit the midway and she jumped in to help hold down vendor tarps until the storm passed – then she continued on to the concert.

Sheryl says her time as a Fair Director was the best volunteer job she has ever had and would encourage anyone who loves fairs to consider sharing their time and talent.

The Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Board of Directors is honored to recognize Sheryl Cox as one of its inaugural Fair Legends Hall of Fame.

2023 Fair Legend Terry Atchison

When the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Board of Directors decided to institute "Fair Legends," it was not only appropriate but obvious that one of the inaugural recipients to be so honored would be Terry Atchison.

Terry began his involvement with the Walla Walla Fair/Fairgrounds at the age of 14 – helping his grandfather in the months leading up to the annual Fair in a variety of ways – cleaning stalls, mowing lawns, picking up rocks on the horse race track – even after his grandfather retired, but always living by his grandfather's core values of honesty, integrity, and the desire to help.And he continued his service to the Walla Walla Fair for six decades, until retiring in 2021.

Terry chose to serve his country; enlisting in the U.S. Army and serving in Vietnam, then returning home to Walla Walla to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until his retirement in 2009.

His commitment to service was certainly not limited to the Walla Walla Fair.In terms of the fair industry, his service has included:

  • Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days
  • Board member, officer, tireless volunteer
  • Walla Walla Frontier Days Foundation
  • Walla Walla Fairgrounds Pavilion Preservation Foundation
  • Washington State Fairs Association
  • Oregon State Fairs Association
  • International Association of Fairs & Expositions

But that's just the fair industry. Terry has devoted many, many years of service to our community as well:

  • Walla Walla Valley Residential Services
  • Walla Walla High School Army JROTC Boosters
  • Reserve Officers Association, Walla Walla Chapter
  • Kick'n Cancer New Beginning
  • Dayton All-Wheels Weekend
  • Local American Veterans "AMVETS"
  • Walla Walla City Planning Commission

And his efforts have been recognized by others, such as:

  • Washington State Fairs Association 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is a recognition of service, dedication, and commitment to the Washington state fair industry and was awarded to Terry during the Association's annual convention.
  • International Association of Fairs & Expositions 2018 Heritage Award. This Award honors "volunteer fair personnel who have worked long and hard to see that the annual event they are associated with is able to continue as a valuable community showcase."
  • Walla Walla Public Schools Graduate of Distinction 2018.Terry was cited as a "humble community leader with tireless devotion to the Walla Walla Fairgrounds and local military efforts."
  • Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce Award of Merit 2016.Praised for his work with veterans in the formation of the AMVETS Jonathan Wainright Post 111, service to the City Planning Commission, many years of volunteering at the Walla Walla Balloon stampedes, and involvement in the Walla Walla Symphony Board.

Among the many notable accomplishments Terry has achieved on behalf of the Walla Walla Fairgrounds, was his leadership role of a core group of individuals who raised over $1 million to preserve and improve the historic Pavilion built in 1906.

In the years dedicated to the Walla Walla Fairgrounds, Terry has been involved in almost every major improvement to facilities and infrastructure. He has left his mark on every part of the Fair and Fairgrounds.

The Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Board of Directors is honored to recognize Terry Atchison as one of its inaugural Fair Legends Hall of Fame.

Past Rodeo Legends

Walla Walla Frontier Days
Rodeo Legends

This award began in 2008 to honor the Cowboys and Cowgirls of our valley who have participated as a contestant in the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days arena, exemplified the "cowboy way of life" and had the courage and stamina to blaze a trail for future generations.

GL Longood
Jim Vinti
Jake Stephens

2020 & 2021
Ned Londo
Terri Norwick
Bernard Moro

Bob Tallman
John Growney
Sonny Hansen

Darrell Mayberry
Joe Bronkhurst
Tim Corfield

Brent Palmer
Kelli Currin
Brad Gleason

Pam Talbot Thompson
Rocky Robbins
Leland Kelly

Judy Frazier
C.R. "Bud" Schubert
Monte Thomas

Joe Bergevin
Tom Bergevin
Bob Sorey

Lee Pennell
Dewey Drumheller
Dick Kelly

Ken Frazier
Ron Miller
Ted Millgard

Damase Bergevin
Bob Frazier
Joe Talbot, Sr.

Howard Barnes
Don Parsons
Francis Stiller

Charmaine Beck
Frank Curcio
Curtis Tarwater

Shirley Dickerson
Gene Hassler
Chuck Maiden
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