Judi VanDorn Thacker
Class of 2018
Judi is an Idaho native. She began her rodeo career at a young age, competing in junior rodeos in Oregon and Idaho with her brother Jed Baker. She won her first championship in 1958 at the Caldwell Idaho Junior Rodeo. In 1960 she won the year for the Idaho Girl’s Rodeo Association in Barrel Racing. She competed in high school and served as Secretary for District Two. She also competed in ICA Rodeos and as a Miss Rodeo Idaho Contestant. She joined the pro ranks in 1964 and rodeoed at that level for 25 years. She worked as a PRCA timer for the Beutler brothers and then the Christensen brothers rodeo companies, alongside legends like June Ivory and Linda Christensen. Before the circuit system, she served as a director for the GRA (WPRA) tri-state chapter, then as spokeswoman under Northwest Director, Kay Davis, for 17 years.
In the 1970s she formed and incorporated the Gem State Rodeo Association for Idaho Youth, with Laoma Fullen and Marilyn Taylor.
Judi traveled throughout the United States competing in rodeos, winning the arena record at the Pocatello Idaho Pro Rodeo. She was in the top 15 in the Wilderness Circuit from 1978-1986, winning the finals in 1982 on her horse Andy.
Toward the end of her barrel racing career, Judi went to the American West 4D, earning spots in their final. She rode her daughter Joey’s horse Bye Bye U All to win several championships in the senior division.
Upon retiring, she served on the board and as Vice President of the Idaho Barrel Futurity, where she received the Chris Linden Humanitarian Award. She also sponsored the Idaho Bred Championship.