2010 Wall of Fame Honoree
Honoree Gordon Burgess, our Tangipahoa Parish President, was instrumental in the creation of the multi-purpose Florida Parishes Arena in Amite. A cattleman by birth, Burgess knew the value of this facility and the success it would experience, once built.
Born in Arkansas, Burgess was raised on a cattle farm. He worked the fields from a young age, and upon completion of high school, he enrolled in college where he would major in animal husbandry. All the while, he continued to work with beef cows and dairy animals until he was gored in the back by a bull during those college years. But Burgess never strayed from the livestock he knew and loved.
In the 1960s, Burgess began working with race horses, raising and racing his own in the Boston and Chicago Fairgrounds. In time, Burgess would become the chairman of the Louisiana Racing Commission. He was also part of the Sheriff's Posse under Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Ed Layrisson.
In the winter of 1978, Burgess purchased his own cattle farm. More than 30 years later, he remains the proud owner of registered bulls and commercial cows.
The Florida Parishes Arena represents a lifetime of Gordon Burgess’ work in the livestock field. And true to his inspiration, the many events held in this facility, from barrel racing to 4-H shows and rodeos, have brought a love of these animals to another generation of children, some of whom may even follow in Burgess’ footsteps. He and his wife, Margaret, have served the citizens of Tangipahoa faithfully as the Parish President and Mr. Burgess’ has brought much opportunity for many with the creation of this first-class facility.