Wheatland rancher Les Gore is a founding member of the Old Timer Rodeo Association (now called the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association). He ranches with his family on Fish Creek at the base of Laramie Peak.
Reared on the family ranch, Les Gore began an early love affair with rodeo that has lasted his entire life. He joined the rodeo team at the University of Wyoming before seeing the opportunity of a professional rodeo career. Les started his rodeo career when the Rodeo Cowboy Association (now PRCA) was in its infancy. He competed in all three rough stock events as well as the steer wrestling. Les won at rodeos in arenas such as Madison Square Garden, Boston, San Francisco, Ft. Worth, and Dallas. He also competed closer to home at Denver, Sterling, Laramie, Ft Collins, and Greeley.
He qualified for the NFR the first time in 1963 and qualified a second time in 1965.
Coincident with his rodeo career, in 1949, Les and partners Pete Burns and Jim R White started the Summit Rodeo Company. They provided bucking stock for the first NFR, which was held in Dallas, TX. Les sold his share in Summit in 1954 but bought it back in 1957 along with Pete McKee’s bucking stock and combined the two. He called the new operation Rocky Mountain Rodeo Company. In all, Les spent 10 years providing bucking stock for PRCA rodeos.
Gore was instrumental in starting National Old Timer Rodeo Association, (NOTRA) which was started in 1978. He also served as a member of the board.
He began competing at the NOTRA rodeos when he was 54. He stopped competing at the age of 64 when he went out with a bang by winning the All-Around Title at the National Old Timer’s Rodeo in Hyannis, Nebraska, by competing in the bareback riding and steer wrestling.
Gore also judged rodeos including PRCA, college, and NOTRA rodeos as well as the National High School Rodeo Finals. He served on the Platte County Fair Board and continued for years to put on the PRCA rodeos in Wheatland. He also put on a yearly rodeo for the Wyoming Rodeo Association and National Old Timer Rodeo Association, and helped put on the Wyo-Braska All Girls’ and Wyoming Cowgirl Finals when they were held in Wheatland, WY.