December 6, 1955 - March 4, 2017
March 4, 2017
Bob Pimentel, Fifth President of IGRA, has passed away after a tenacious fight where he showed again and again his devotion to his family, his passion for rodeo, and his ever present grace and good cheer. Bob was a Pioneer of gay rodeo and a Founding Member of the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association as well as having strong ties to Arizona Gay Rodeo Association. From the earliest conception of this "gay rodeo thing" Bob was one of those who ensured it would catch on.
No matter which Association he chose to represent at the moment, Bob was a constant and zealous worker promoting IGRA and our rodeo family. He served as Trustee multiple times, Rodeo Director, Annual Convention Chair, and infinite resource of the stories of who we are and how we got here, among other roles.
As IGRA President, he oversaw an unprecedented expansion with the addition of several Associations, among them ASGRA and NGRA, and the truly first "international" expansion of IGRA into provinces of Canada.
Just a few weeks ago, Bob watched the unfolding of the final rodeo he directed as he watched the beginning of this year's Phoenix Rodeo take place.
Bob will be remembered and celebrated by a vast array of friends within IGRA. He also has a loving partner in Arnie Chavez, who cherished and supported him, as well as three sisters and his father. IGRA extends our love and condolences to them, to the members of NMGRA and AGRA, and indeed to all who called Bob friend.
Bob Pimentel Jr.
By Arnie Chavez
Bob Pimentel has been a leader in gay IGRA rodeo for years.
Bob was born in Redwood City, California just south of San Francisco. Bob started with gay rodeo in 1984 and continues to today. He has always maintained a personal commitment to gay rodeo, the western life style, and various AIDS/HIV related causes. Bob has assisted other gay rodeo participants and has provided advice on many different aspects of gay rodeo. He is also very knowledgeable on IGRA's history. He knows "where the bodies are buried".
Bob moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1972. Then in 1984, along with Mark Marshall and Larry Lewis, he started NMGRA. Bob learned and worked closely with other gay rodeo associations, such as AGRA and CGRA.
Bob was elected IGRA's President in 1991 and served through 1992. During Bob's tenure as IGRA President several new associations were sanctioned into IGRA. These associations were the Atlantic States (ASGRA) representing Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. and the Southeast (SEGRA) representing the state of Georgia in Atlanta. Additionally, new rodeo locations were approved for Colorado Springs, San Francisco, and Tucson. While Bob was President of IGRA the organization split the rodeo circuit into three divisions with plans for a fourth division when at least one more rodeo was scheduled in the eastern part of the USA. Also, Bob was instrumental in getting the Miller Brewing Company as IGRA's first International Sponsor.
The 1992 Bob welcomed the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association (NGRA) which became a Member Association and the Northwest Gay Rodeo Association (NWGRA) added the Canadian Province of British Columbia to their group of three states, making IGRA a truly International organization.
AT NMGRA Bob served in many official offices as NMGRA's President, Founding Treasurer, Rodeo Director, Trustee, Contestant Registration, Bylaws Committee Chairperson and IGRA Convention.
Later Bob moved to the Phoenix area and was instrumental in moving the Roadrunner Regional Rodeo to a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona at the Rawhide Wild West Town.
Bob was asked to be an instructor for IGRA University. He has been Chairperson of the Hall of Fame Committee for 5 years and in 2008 was asked to be the Assistant Director at the IGRA Finals in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2009, he was given the opportunity to be the IGRA Finals Rodeo Director.
Bob was fortunate to have experienced the mentorship of John King, another IGRA Hall of Famer. Bob has donated so much of his life to IGRA, and we are proud today to induct him into IGRA's Hall of Fame.