Gold Buckle Network™ Advisor Receives Top Honor

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"Mr. Black Rodeo" Cleo Hearn Nominated for National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame

Gold Buckle Network™ (GBN™) ( Rodeo Advisor Cleo Hearn was recently nominated for the 2005 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame. A legendary calf roper and rodeo producer, Hearn advises GBN™ on rodeo operations and production and directs the GBN Rodeo Team.

Cleo Hearn is founder of the Cowboys of Color Invitational Rodeo Tour, the largest multicultural rodeo circuit in America, which promotes the historical contributions of Africans, Hispanics and Native Americans to the settling and development of the western United States.

"I’m proud to say I have received a number of honors in my life, but this nomination to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum ranks right near the top," said Hearn. "Rodeo has been my dream and my life for more than 55 years, and I will continue working to increase the exposure of the sport and to create more opportunities in rodeo."

For the past several months, Hearn has advised GBN on all aspects of rodeo production and competition. He also directs the GBN Rodeo Team, a group of professional Western athletes promoted by Gold Buckle Network. About GBN, Hearn says "My work with GBN is about bringing rodeo to a worldwide audience and promoting the hardest working athletes on professional sports — rodeo cowboys and cowgirls. Now, with GBN, just about anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can watch digital streaming videos of not just rodeo, but also horse training shows, documentaries, and even kids’ shows and classic Western movies."

A Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) member since 1959, Hearn still competes in rodeos across the country. Known as "Mr. Black Rodeo" in professional cowboy circles, he is truly a legend in his own time. He was the first African American to win the calf-roping event at a major rodeo, the Denver Livestock and Rodeo Show in 1970. He has competed at all major rodeos including Cheyenne for 36 consecutive years. Throughout his career, Hearn has won many ribbons, trophies, buckles, saddles and thousands in cash prizes.

A proud father, all four of his sons attended college on Rodeo scholarships and competed in professional rodeos, like he did. The Cowboys of Color Tour is a family event even though all of them work weekday jobs in addition to producing rodeos. He recently retired from a 30-year career with Ford Motor Company’s Southwest Division.

Now Cleo Hearn has more time to devote to future generations, including his grandchildren who are carrying on the family tradition by riding in junior rodeo events. According to Hearn, "I believe to be happy in life you need three things: something to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. Rodeo has filled those needs for me and my family."

About Gold Buckle Network (GBN)

GBN is an online TV network, music source and department store for everything Western. At visitors watch rodeos and other Western sports, classic full-length Western movies, documentaries, lifestyle programs, kids’ shows and more. In addition, the GBN General Store offers a great selection of unique Western-influenced products. GBN is The New Way To Access The West™ — an entertaining and informative online community for millions of Western enthusiasts all over the world. Businesses rely on GBN for one-to-one access to this significant consumer market. For more information about GBN, please visit

The Gold Buckle Network name, the GBN acronym, the Gold Buckle Network Logo, and The New Way To Access The West are trademarks of Gold Buckle Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Liz Lawless, Gold Buckle Network

Phone (214) 929-6884

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Liz Lawless - Public Relations