“Ya know, a cowboy is only as good as his best horse.”
Barry Elliott was born on June 27, 1947 in Wamego, Kansas to O.N. and Gladys Elliott. At the early age of 10, Barry began working with his father on the Sells Ranch in Pexico, Kansas. After graduating from High School, he worked for the Dewey Ranch in Manhattan, Kansas and did day work on various other ranches in the area. Then for 10 years he served as ranch manager at Booth Creek Ranch in Olsburg, Kansas. It was during this time he began competing in rodeo. He won the 1966 Stockyards Championship Rodeo Association Bareback World Championship; the 1967 Salina, Kansas Bull Riding Championship; and the 1968 Bronc Riding Championship. He held memberships in the Southwestern Rodeo Association, United Rodeo Association, United States Team Roping Championships and Rodeo Cowboy Association. Barry met his wife, Martha, at St. George, Kansas where she was training horses and giving lessons at her Powder Puff Downs boarding stables. Here the two trained horses together from 1977 to 1984. In 1984, the couple and their two daughters moved to Jetmore, Kansas where Barry worked as head cowboy at Harms Cattle Company. In 1986, Barry began working as a pen rider for the Ford County Feed Yard, which moved the family to Wright, Kansas. That same year he was involved in an accident while team roping and was life-watched to Wichita. After being in a coma for 37 days, doctors informed him he would never ride a horse again. However, after months of grueling physical therapy and encouragement from Martha, he resumed being a pen rider, horse trainer, team roper and farrier for the next 30 years. In 1999, he won top heeler at the Winter Feed Yard Team Roping. Barry worked at many local feed yards until partial retirement in 2016, when he worked for Winter Livestock taking cattle out of the sale ring on horseback to load out. Barry retired completely in 2017, but still assists his son-in-law and his neighbors when a cow or calf needs doctoring or cattle need to be gathered. Barry is a past member of the Dodge City Days Roundup Association. The Elliotts live in Wright and have four grown children, Megan (Shawn) Kaufman, Shana (Slade) Tilley, Mitch Elliott and Russ Elliott. They have five grandchildren Macy Elliott, Myah Elliott, Harlee Tilley, Logan Kaufman and Kyle Elliott.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame connections: Early in his career, Barry spent several days working with 2014 KCHF Working Cowboy Dusty Anderson. He also worked forRichard Ingland (2003 Working Cowboy) and day worked for Jerry Peck (2015 Working Cowboy).