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Category: Cowboy Heroes

by Jim Olson

Have you ever noticed the bucking horse on a Wyoming license plate? Most historians agree this bronc is the legendary horse, Steamboat. While Steamboat is forever immortalized on the license plate, his owner was also an extremely popular character of the early 1900s.

Charles Burton (C.B.) Irwin was born on August 14, 1875 to Joseph Marvin Irwin and Mary Margaret Irwin. Joseph was a blacksmith in Chillocothe, Missouri.Read the rest

 

by Jim Olson

He is best-remembered for being Gene Autry’s business partner in the World Championship Rodeo Corporation. Pretty much everybody has heard of Autry, his star power is still alive today. Everett Colborn however, could arguably be remembered as the greatest rodeo producer of all time.

Born Everett Edward Colborn to Mark and Mary Colborn on July 26, 1892, he entered this world into a ranching family near DeLamar, Idaho.Read the rest

 

My Cowboy Heroes

by Jim Olson

Jessie Stahl – First Black Bronc Rider

Most everyone has heard of Bill Pickett, the man credited with inventing the bulldogging event of rodeo. Bill was also the first black man to be inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame and is often referred to when people talk about historical black cowboys. A lot of people may think Bill was about the only black man to make a name for himself in those early days of Wild West Shows, Stampedes and Rodeos because he garnered so many headlines.… Read the rest

 

My Cowboy Heroes

by Jim Olson

Harry Brennan – Father of Modern Day Bronc Riding

The great Earl Thode is often credited with creating the spurring style which is now the standard in Saddle Bronc riding. The spurring motion, fore and aft, from the point of the shoulder to the flanks of the horse was his trademark style. However, if we look back a little further in history (Earl was five-time World Champion in late 1920s and early ‘30s) we find a man using this style around the turn of the last century.… Read the rest

 

Cowboy Heroes

by Jim Olson

“Tex Austin – Daddy of Rodeo”

Circa the 1920s, Rodeo began to make a transition from “Wild West Show” to being more of a “Rodeo” like we think of in today’s terms. One man who took a large part in that transition was a big-time promoter called Tex Austin.

Much of Tex Austin’s early life is a mystery. There is an abundance of conflicting stories. Many sources claim he was born in 1886 while others say the year was 1887.Read the rest

 

Cowboy Heroes

by Jim Olson

Vicente Oropeza — First World Champion Trick Roper

The first recognized champion of the world in the “Trick and Fancy Roping” event belonged to Vicente Oropeza (sometimes spelled as Vincente Oropeso) of Puebla, Mexico. The year was 1900.

It has long been accepted that the American Cowboy first learned his trade from the Mexican Vaquero. The Vaquero had been “cowboying” in what is now the American Southwest and Northern Mexico since the 1500s.Read the rest

 

Cowboy Heroes

by Jim Olson

Geronimo – Last Surrender to the First Rodeo

When Sitting Bull agreed to appear in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in 1885, he gave world-wide attention to the Native American Indian and their participation in Wild West Shows (the predecessor of today’s rodeos). Buffalo’s Bill’s Wild West Show captivated audiences from 1883—1913. Other famous Native Americans who performed with the show at various times included Geronimo, Chief Joseph, and Rains In The Face.Read the rest