MEET THE FRONTIER STAFF

Gerald Nelson Jr. - Owner 

Jerry.jpg

Jerry Nelson started with humble beginnings. At age 18, Jerry's father loaned him and his brother $5,000 and told them to "make it work." Jerry now operates one of the most successful oilfield equipment businesses in the world, Maverick International, based in Beaumont, Texas. But when asked which business he is most proud of, with a chuckle and a grin, he will always say, Frontier Rodeo Company. 

 

Frontier Rodeo Company started in the early 1990s with a small plot of land and one livestock rig. In the 20 years since Frontier's start, it has become one of the most successful rodeo companies in the world and has been awarded PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year and PRCA Remuda Award—awarded to rodeo companies that demonstrate the highest quality, consistency and compassion for the business. 

Frontier Rodeo Company's breeding program has produced some of the top bucking livestock in the country winning not one, not two, but seven PRCA World Championships for Bucking Stock of the Year. The infamous Medicine Woman, 4x PRCA Saddle Bronc of the Year, along with her pasture mates, Full Baggage and Maple Leaf, have made Frontier Rodeo Company a household name in the rodeo industry. 

While Jerry has achieved much success in his many entrepreneurial endeavors, he is quick to tell you that his greatest accomplishment is his family. Jerry and his wife of 40 years, Beverly, have two children, Candace and Jerry III, and four grandchildren.  

Still just as industrious as yesteryear, he enjoys 12 to 14-hour workdays at Maverick International and credits his grandmother, his mother and his father as the most influential people in his life. He would most like to be remembered as someone who helped those in need—a man who strived for the impossible and a man of his word.

Heath.jpg

Heath Stewart - Rodeo Manager

580-747-0233 - hstewart302@gmail.com

Frontier Rodeo’s slogan is "Breeding Ground of Champions" and Heath Stewart is the man behind the slogan. Heath Stewart and Jerry Nelson started their partnership in the early 1990s when he came to work as a ranch associate. Shortly after, Jerry and Heath began working on a breeding program to produce the best livestock in the world. 

Over the next 20 years, Heath worked to put together one of the best bucking horse and bull breeding programs in the country with livestock winning numerous awards in the PRCA and the PBR. Heath began this herd with 20 retired NFR bucking mares from the Harry Vold string. After many years of experimenting and adding in bloodlines from top stallions in the country, Heath developed a bloodline like no other—with many of these animals being named World Champion for more than one year.  

 

Heath was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana and soon moved with his family to Collinsville, Oklahoma where his mother and father worked. Heath has always been involved in the Rodeo industry with his father being an IPRA World Champion Bareback Rider and a managing staff member for the association. 

Heath handles all negotiations for event contracts. Contact him at hstewart302@gmail.com.

Don Gay.jpg

Don Gay - General Manager

214-289-4460 - frontierrodeo8x@gmail.com

Don Gay is an 8x Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion Bull Rider. Don grew up in Mesquite, Texas and started rodeoing at age 6. His father, Neal Gay, was a well-known rodeo competitor and rodeo producer. Don was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979, and his father was inducted in 1993, becoming the only father and son to receive that honor. Don retired from professional rodeo in 1989 and in 1997 received the PBR’s Ring of Honor.

Since 2002, Don has been the general manager of Frontier Rodeo Company, providing livestock to professional rodeos and bull riding events across the United States. Don also does television commentating for pro rodeo and pro bull riding events throughout the country. From the 1980s to 2000s, he was a commentator for the Mesquite Championship Rodeo when the weekly event was televised. He commentated for Professional Bull Riders (PBR) big-league events on TNN from 1993-2001, Championship Bull Riding (CBR) big-league events on Great American Country from 2009-10, and PRCA Xtreme Bulls big-league events on ESPN from 2003 to 2010 and GAC from 2011 to 2013. From 2003 to 2017 and again since 2020, Don has provided commentary for the bull riding during the live telecasts of the National Finals Rodeo each December. He continues to be involved in CBR, providing live announcing at some events, including the CBR finals.

Awards

  • Earned membership in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assoc. (PRCA) in 1970 while a sophomore at Mesquite High School

  • Graduated Mesquite High School in 1972 and qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Oklahoma City, OK in bull riding

  • Qualified 13 years at NFR in bull riding (11 consecutive)

  • Won record 8 PRCA world bull riding titles: 1974-77, 1979-81, 1984

  • Broke PRCA’s bull riding single-season earnings record eight consecutive years, 1974–81

  • First rodeo cowboy to receive Special Achievement Award by All Sports Association (ASA) - 1975, 1981, 1984

  • Scored career-high 97 points on RSC’s famous bull ‘Oscar’ at Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA in 1977; the bull was retired at 1978 NFR after Don rode him in the final time

  • Retired from bull riding in 1989

  • Owner / Stock Contractor of All-Star Rodeo, 1989–1996

  • PRCA Board of Directors (Stock Contractor), 1995–1996

  • An original inductee in Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs, CO in 1979; joined by his dad Neal in 1993; The only father-son team in rodeo shrine

  • TV color analyst: ESPN, TNN, OTDCH, RFD

  • Wrangler Endorsee

  • Boyd Gaming Rodeo Ambassador

  • National Finals Tonight Show, Las Vegas, NV – Host since 2007

Rex.jpg

Rex Bugbee - Pick-Up Man

In Memory "One of the Best"...

November 8, 1954 ~ August 25, 2020

Teri.jpg

Terri Gay - Rodeo Timer

Terri Gay is the wife of Don Gay, 8x World Champion Bull Rider and General Manager of Frontier Rodeo. Terri considers daughter Talli her greatest reward in life. Terri has been a PRCA secretary/timer since 1977. She has been privileged to work for Neal Gay, Jim Shoulders, Cervi Brothers and currently Frontier Rodeo Company. Terri has timed the National Finals Rodeo three times, as well as The American in Arlington, Texas three times. Terri is also involved in assisting with publicity while at Frontier events.

Jennifer.jpg

Jennifer Jeanes - Rodeo Timer

Jennifer has worked for Frontier Rodeo Co. since 2011. She is an official rodeo timekeeper.

John Patterson.jpg

John Patterson - Livestock

John Patterson started working for Frontier Rodeo Company in 2008. John is from Mesquite, Texas and is no stranger to the rodeo industry. He started working for Neal Gay when he was 10 years old and he continued working for them for 50 years. He now makes his home in Freedom, Oklahoma where he is one of the main truck drivers for Frontier Rodeo Company. When they are not at a rodeo you can find him in the shop as the Frontier mechanic. John has two sons and is the proud grandfather of four granddaughters.

Butch Stewart.jpg

Butch Stewart - Livestock

Butch is the father of rodeo manager, Heath Stewart. After retiring—if you want to call it that—he and his wife, Brenda, moved to Freedom, Oklahoma to help take care of the day-to-day duties on the Frontier Ranch while the rest of the crew is out producing rodeos. Since starting in 2013, he enjoys looking after the four-legged athletes of Frontier Rodeo Company.

Tom Neuens.jpg

Tom Neuens - Livestock

Tom comes to Freedom from the beautiful state of Wyoming. He's been with Frontier Rodeo Company part-time since 2012. He drives a truck and acts as arena director for Frontier Rodeo Company. When not on the rodeo road or working on the ranch you can find him in his leather shop. Tom also serves as the Chute Boss at the NFR. He has one daughter, Sloane.

Chase Finell.jpg

Chase Finnell - Livestock

Chase is the son of Heath & Shay Stewart. He graduated from Mooreland High School of Oklahoma in May of 2017. He attends Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. Chase started working for Frontier Rodeo Company in 2012. He works on the ranch and travels to the rodeos.  He also enjoys taking the young bulls to American Bucking Bull, Inc. events.

Denton Mars.jpg

Denton Mars - Livestock

Denton started working for Frontier Rodeo Company in 2014. He's a graduate of Mooreland High School and now attends Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma where he is a member of the rodeo team. In the summer you can find him on the rodeo trail as part of the Frontier Rodeo crew. When they are home in Freedom he works on the ranch.

Preston Kafka.jpg

Preston Kafka - Livestock

Preston is from Wagner, South Dakota. In March of 2018 he made the move from Goodwell, Oklahoma to Freedom. He is a graduate of Panhandle State University, where he was a member of the rodeo team. Preston, a Saddle Bronc rider, has slowed down and enters a few rodeos a year when he is not busy calving at the ranch. Preston and wife, Bailey, live on what we call the backside of the ranch, where he oversees approximately 500 head of cattle.