The Cowboy Museum was more than happy to answer a call for help when Rodeo News Publisher, Siri Stevens called and wanted to feature our own Bill Martinelli in the magazine’s December issue in the “Back When They Bucked” article. This is a popular article for the bi-monthly magazine and this issue will be on hand in Las Vegas during the WNFR. “We were excited to get the call, and it brought back great memories as we were going through our pictures of our rodeo lifestyle. Was it really that long ago?” laughed Bills wife Kay Martinelli.
Bill went to the National Finals eight times, winning the average once. He spent three months riding broncs in Europe for Rodeo Far West, a Wild West Show owned by Buster Ivory. The show traveled to Europe by Freight Liner and it took them 28 days to get there. When he retired from rodeo he took a job hauling the Winston Rodeo scoreboard to many rodeos. He was also a great hand and cowboy’d for many ranchers.
Bill was honored by the Oakdale Cowboy Museum in 2006 along with friends and traveling partners Jim Charles and the late Bob Eidson. It was a great event filled with classic rodeo stories that included greats like Casey Tibbs and Harley May. Bill enjoyed telling the stories and one story led to another leaving people laughing. Sadly, it was only days after standing in front of 500 people that he suffered a stroke and lost his speech. The article can be found on www.rodeonews.com.