By KATE LUDLOW
The Liberty Hill Rodeo Hall of Fame will be welcoming its first inductee this year — lifelong Liberty Hill resident Elroy Foust.
Hall of Fame committee member Courtney Adair said that Foust was the perfect choice.
“We wanted someone who had been around Liberty Hill for their life. With Elroy, you don’t even mention Liberty Hill without his name coming up,” she said.
Born in Liberty Hill in 1925, Foust has spent his lifetime here.
“He was born here, and went off for a bit. He was in the Merchant Marines. When he was done, he got back home to ranching,” says Connie Sue Mather, Foust’s daughter.
Foust’s love for Liberty Hill makes his Hall of Fame induction that much better.
“If I was going to get in any Hall of Fame, this is where I’d want it to be. At home, with all the people that I know around. That would really be the best honor a man could have,” said Foust.
In his life, Foust has done everything from calf roping and steer dogging to team roping.
“He never did ride bulls or bareback horses. He just roped. That was his love,” said Ms. Mather.
Over the years, Foust has won numerous buckles – so many he lost count.
“I guess there’s over 20-something back there. I don’t really know,” he said. “I used to win about one every year.”
Foust has also worked to impart his knowledge on those he encounters. He taught his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren the cowboy way, and helps others around town.
“I used to go with him everywhere when I was little. We’d go gather cows in the pasture. When I was a freshman in high school, he taught me to train and break my horse. He taught me everything I know,” said Ms. Mather, an accomplished barrel racer and instructor.
“Oh, the phone just rings day and night. Everybody in town calls him with their questions,” said Ruby Floyd, Foust’s longtime friend.
“All the family calls for advice. To get his knowledge of everything. He’s just amazing,” Ms. Floyd said.
“He is the original cowboy that has taught himself everything throughout the years. I wish I knew as much as he did,” said Ms. Mather. “I was so thrilled when they announced they were giving him this. It just made my day.
“If anybody deserves it, it’s him. You know, he’s so funny. When I told him they were honoring him, he just joked, ‘Well, what’d they do that for?’” said his daughter. “So, I said, ‘You deserve it.’ He just went, ‘Awww, heck.’”
In addition to working with cattle and horses, Foust also trained his own border collies. Usually, he could be found running his cattle, not with a hired ranch hand, but with four to eight border collies.
These days, Foust is retired from the rodeo, but is by no means idle.
“He tends to his cattle, does the feed and waters them,” says Ms. Floyd.
The Hall of Fame Committee includes Adair, Trent Boatright and Ricky Andrews. All have been involved with the Liberty Hill rodeo scene for years. They had a desire to see Liberty Hill get its own Hall of Fame after seeing the number of rodeo participants coming from this area.
“Every time we all go to a rodeo, from Pro to Youth, there is always someone from Liberty Hill. We just felt that needed some recognition,” said Mrs. Adair.
Foust will be honored Saturday night during the Liberty Hill Pro Rodeo and Bull Riding hosted by Williamson County Cowboy Church. Some 25 others will be recognized, cowboys and cowgirls of all ages.
For more information about the four-day event, visit www.wccowboychurch.com.