Pam Minick doesn’t hesitate when asked about her great passion in life.
It’s horses, of course.
Growing up in Las Vegas, her family owned acreage but no horses.
“Like all little girls, I wanted a horse,” she said.
When she was 9 years old and her sister was 7 years old, her wish came true. A company planning to build a new Western-themed hotel drove a horse-drawn wagon up and down the strip to promote the upcoming property.
The hotel deal fell through but Pam and her sister came out the winners when her parents bought two of the horses from the promotion scheme.
Owning Rebel and Rio shaped Minick’s destiny. Not only did she learned to ride and care for the animals, she joined 4-H to show her horse at the county fair and participate in riding events.
Before long, she began competing in rodeo competition, frequently driving 400 miles alone to participate in an event. She was most successful at barrel racing.
Minick planned to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas but her success at horsemanship sidelined those plans. She won the title of Miss Rodeo Nevada and soon thereafter, at age 19, became the youngest-ever Miss Rodeo America.
During her reign in 1973, she traveled the country promoting rodeo. That experience put her on a path for a career in broadcasting and marketing.
Opportunities to work as a rodeo commentator and announcer, and even as an actress, continued to come her way. In 1992, she was the first woman to co-announce at a major professional rodeo event, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Minick also worked with RFD-TV and the Cowboy Channel, producing shows watched by millions of viewers.
All the while, she continued to compete in the rodeo arena. Among her many successes, she won the World Championship in Women’s Breakaway Calf Roping in 1982.
In 1982, she came to Fort Worth to attend a concert at Billy Bob’s Texas, and met Billy Minick, a professional rodeo rider who was general manager of Billy Bob’s at the time. The two married several months later and she settled in Fort Worth.
“Life comes full circle,” she said. “A chance meeting brought me to Fort Worth.”
Economic conditions forced Billy Bob’s out of business in January 1988 but the club reopened later that year when Billy Minick and three partners teamed up to resurrect the establishment heralded as the world’s largest honky-tonk. Pam Minick took over as vice president of marketing, a position she continues to hold although she is no longer involved in day-to-day operations. The Minicks remain part owners of the club.
Throughout the years, she has been involved with many community organizations and currently serves as president of Friends of the Fort Worth Herd. She is past president of the Speedway Children’s Charities, serves on the boards of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Among her many awards and honors, she is an inductee of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Minick attributes her success to her mother’s advice: “if you can dream it, you can do it.”
At age 68, Minick believes that riding a horse at the beginning or end of every day “makes everything worthwhile.”