Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine | Premiere Edition

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P rem iere Issue | CowboyL i fest yle Net



Hear “Syracuse” and you think “Italian.”

We think “great sausage.” Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. It doesn’t matter what you call it, or what time you’re dining, the best way to handle that appetite, is Syracuse Sausage. Why? We’re a family-run company, right here in the great state of Texas, and we know sausage. Serving Italiana? Try our authentic Italian sausage. Want to kick it up a notch? Try our Texas Smokers, with the bold, smoky flavor of the Lone Star State, our chorizo, or maybe explore our jalapeño and cheddar variety. Or if you’re up at the crack o’ dawn, start your day with Ponder Farms breakfast sausage. From the flavors of the great Southwest, to the homestyle tastes you remember, serve the sausage from our house in your house at your next meal. Made right here in Ponder, Texas, and available at your neighborhood Market Street and Tom Thumb supermarkets as well as wherever quality meats are sold. Syracuse Sausage. Great products for great people.SM

Available from your local


How Rodeo Promotes Community



Cowgirls Rising

Western Lifestyle 8

How Rodeo Promotes Community

12 Top 10 Western Baby Names 42 Best Guest Ranches in Arizona 44 Bucks for the Brave Contest Winners



Top 10 Cowboy Towns of 2020



Fashion & Retail 20 The Wrangler Difference

22 Best Cowboy Boot Brands

24 What to Know About Concho Belts 34 Holiday Gift Guide

48 NASCAR’s Natural Cowboy

60 Hobby Horse Insider: Q&A with Kristin Darnall-Titov

52 Differences Between Cowpunchers & Buckaroos

Food & Nutrition

58 Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days

10 Total Feeds: The Best in Animal Nutrition

62 Rodeo Rewind: Photos From the Early 1900s 66 5 Ways to Support Local Rodeo




Tony Stromberg’s Passion for Photographing Horses



18 How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

19 Syracuse Sausage: A Family Tradition



Please Drink TX Responsibly. TX® Blended Whiskey. 41% Alc./Vol. © 2020 Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., Fort Worth, TX.

Hello there, and welcome to the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine!


he Cowboy Lifestyle Network was founded in 2010 by the O’Donnell brothers after they discovered rural communities had limited resources to connect individuals, information, brands, products, and services together with any lasting or growing success. We started by creating a community of folks who wanted to support the western lifestyle as much as we did. That community quickly grew to the 1.8 million fans that follow us today on social media to get their cowboy lifestyle fix. Then we started introducing our fans to businesses in the industry that we loved and trusted, and soon enough those businesses were seeing a tremendous amount of growth from being introduced to our fans. Fast forward several years, we have had the opportunity to do some incredible things, meet some phenomenal people, but most importantly, support the community and industry that has given us so much. We are truly excited about this opportunity to reach our audience in a new way and partner with several of the businesses in this magazine to make it happen. While there are several other magazines out there, there is only one that lives and breathes the Cowboy Lifestyle and it’s this one. From all of us here at Cowboy Lifestyle Network, we hope you enjoy the stories enclosed in this magazine and hope that you will continue to support your rural communities now more than ever. Thank ya’ll for supporting us and God Bless. - Cowboy Lifestyle Network



We are Cowboy Lifestyle Network, a community built around and for the western industry.


e work with brands on a personal level to boost sales, increase brand awareness, reach new audiences or strengthen existing ones, and introduce your business to millions of fans who already love the western industry! The CLN methodology is all about the ideal combination of personalizing consumermessaging, accelerating sales, geo-targeting, increasing brand awareness, intelligent listening, driving conversations, improving brand image, and growing sustainable brand loyalty. We do all

of these things through our combined audience of over 1.8 million people. We have worked with brands such as Wrangler, Boot Barn, Molson Coors, Papa Johns, Resistol, YETI, Hobby Horse Inc., Total Feeds, Record Rack Feed - Powered by Cargill, Ak Chin Indian Community, Earnhardt Auto Centers, Calgary Stampede and so many others. If you’re ready to take your western lifestyle brand to the next level, then it’s time to get in touch with us. Check out what we were able to accomplish with our long time partner, Wrangler.

“It was becoming more difficult to maintain year-over-year growth. Now, after working with Cowboy Lifestyle Network our sales growth is up between 25% - 240% depending on the market and campaign.” - JEFF CHADWICK, DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL EVENTS FOR WRANGLER


How Rodeo Promotes Community BY TARYN CANTRELL

“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility… and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.” - ROBERT F. KENNEDY


he world of rodeo and the word “community” go hand-inhand. With roots dating back to America’s agricultural and ranching past, rodeo has continued to pave the way for the preservation and protection of a lifestyle that is still relevant in our modern world. While modern advancements have changed the course of America’s Western Heritage, the love for this lifestyle continues to thrive through the sport of rodeo. Along with the hard work that goes into our beloved sport comes a strong sense of community. But what exactly is our favorite western past-time doing to promote this sense of community? Rodeo found its roots in the cattle industry in the American West when skills of working cowboys on the range were put to the test during competitive contests. As popularity caught on, the sport of rodeo was born into communities across the United States. Many of today’s rodeos have roots dating back to these early ranch competitions and have been kept alive by the dedicated rodeo committee’s that support them. However, no rodeo is possible without the support of its community. While the broncs and bulls are exciting to watch, eight seconds in the arena isn’t quite enough time to make a lasting societal impact on a community. Because of this, many rodeo committees throughout


•• Rodeo found its roots in the cattle industry in the American West when skills of working cowboys on the range were put to the test during competitive contests. •• The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo alone has committed more than $475 million dollars in scholarship money to the youth of Texas. the United States have taken the sport of rodeo to the streets through sponsorship, donation, scholarship and volunteerism. One of the various ways rodeo promotes community is through education. It is not uncommon to find rodeo queens in the classroom during rodeo week, sharing presentations on the ins and outs of rodeo events, western tack, cowboy and cowgirl attire, ranching history, and the importance of America’s western heritage. A peek into the Wild West, for some students, this is the first introduction they have had to this integral part of American history. Through education in history, we can positively influence the present, protect the future of rodeo and educate our youth on the importance of hard work and perseverance. Many rodeo committees also have the privilege of supporting local education through scholarship opportunities for local high school students. Whether it be through FFA involvement, community service, or simply

•• Rodeo committees are dedicated to the promotion of rodeo’s western heritage and the strengthening of their communities.

recognizing the outstanding character of a local student, many rodeos across the county make a point to give back to those within their community. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo alone has committed more than $475 million dollars in scholarship money to the youth of Texas since its first rodeo in 1932 ( Rodeo thrives through the hands-on experience it creates for its visitors. With a focus on family, kids’ rodeos invite local children to compete, learn, and participate in the thrill of the Wild West. Many rodeos also present special rodeos catered to children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, making sure every community member has the opportunity to enjoy the full cowboy experience. You can research rodeo’s societal impact by exploring the charities supported by rodeos through donation and volunteerism. Local and national charities alike benefit greatly from the sport of rodeo. Whether a rodeo donates to a nationwide campaign like Wrangler’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink Organization, funds Breast Cancer research, or contributes to smaller local charities benefiting families in need, it has the unique platform to create change. From Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, to veteran support, themed rodeo performances often raise money for and donate to local and countrywide charities. Through such philanthropic acts, rodeo is able to involve its community in a praise-worthy cause. Whether at town council meetings, local cultural festivals, fundraising activities or in the classroom, rodeo committees are dedicated to the promotion of rodeo’s western heritage and the strengthening of their communities. Rodeo is proud to bring people together one bucking bull at a time.


Total Feeds

The Best in Animal Feed Products BY DAN GUTTENPLAN


otal Feeds is dedicated to providing the highest quality animal feed products for a wide range of animal species. Dr. R. Harry Anderson’s 50 years of experience formulating animal rations and his endless search for the best ingredients come together in every Total Feeds formula. From the first product, Total Equine®, produced in 2000, to more recent specialty formulas and supplements, the focus has always been on optimum health and performance through excellent nutrition. Dr. R. Harry Anderson recently joined Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine for a Q&A. WHAT SEPARATES THE TOTAL FEEDS PROGRAM FROM OTHER ANIMAL FEED PRODUCTS? •• “Three things. No. 1 -- Everything we make is extruded. In the manufacturing of the feed, it’s the ultimate processing. It’s far more digestible than pellets or whole grains. No. 2 -- We use nothing but chelated trace elements. They are the most biologically available form of minerals. Very few companies use them. It’s so efficiently absorbed and used by the animals. No. 3 -- We use Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed from the North Atlantic. It’s a cold-water species. It has a profound effect on the immune system and improves the digestibility of fiber in animals. It saves anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the hay that an animal eats. Those are the critical points of why it works so well.” HOW DID YOU GET IN THE BUSINESS OF PRODUCING ANIMAL FEED PRODUCTS? •• “I’ve been in the teaching, manufacturing nutrition and consulting business for 50 years. Twenty years ago, somebody asked if I could make a formula. I was a beef cattle consultant at the time. I felt I could do something that hadn’t been done before. It worked. I started selling Total Equine myself, then expanded into a small family business with my wife and two sons -- owned and operated. It’s grown to something more than a small business. We’re in 50 states; we have 1,300 dealers nationwide.”


The YouTube Campaign THE ANDERSON

•• Total Feeds Founder Dr. R. Harry Anderson HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO ENSURE THE SAME QUALITY AS THE BUSINESS HAS GROWN? •• “We created a unique business model -- something the feed industry hasn’t seen before. We do everything through independent distributors. We don’t have one field employee calling people. We also believe the people selling for us should make as much money as they want. There’s no cap and no reduction to their geographic barriers. If they make too much, I couldn’t care less. The more they make, the happier they are, and the company does well. I don’t have to motivate field salesmen. If they don’t sell, they don’t make money. There are no contracts. It’s a personal agreement.” HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS BEEN AFFECTED BY THE PANDEMIC? •• “We haven’t noticed any major blips in the marketplace. It did not falter one bit. We’ve seen a little increase from last year. People stayed home with their horses, looked at them, and maybe fed them a little more or a little better. Something has motivated horse owners to spend more money on feed.”

family has created a Total Feeds YouTube channel with more than 450 video testimonials from satisfied customers. Visit the YouTube channel at www. TotalFeeds “We have personal interviews with customers who have great stories to tell,” Anderson said. “It’s quite a marketing program. It takes a little time and effort, but that’s how it’s worked for all these years. The personal contact and personal attachment people feel watching these videos helps us reach the public.” Total Feeds is also a sponsor of the National Finals Rodeo live broadcast on the Cowboy Channel.

Waves lapping. Sand between your toes. Warm coastal breezes. Steam rising off a plate of fresh shrimp. When you’re ready, come experience the sights, sounds and scents of the Alabama Gulf Coast. We’ve missed you.



Top 10


In case you find yourself needing a western baby name for your 2020 quarantine baby, I have put together a list of the top ten western baby names for you to peruse. As always, I appreciate your feedback and would love to know what you think about the top ten picks! The picks will be split for the top five boy names and the top five girl names. BY COWBOY LIFESTYLE

Top Five Western Boy Names •• Beau. This name, in its original context, means pretty or handsome. Margaret Mitchell also used the name Beauregard in her best selling 1936 novel, “Gone with the Wind,” as the baby born to Melanie and Ashley Wilkes. •• Austin. This has been a popular name, at the top of the charts since the 1980’s. Austin means great, it is an English version of Augustus. Also in Latin, it means magic dignity. Not to mention, Austin is just a great name. •• Boone .This name started becoming insanely popular in the last 20 years. The original meaning means “good” or “blessing”. If this is a name you are considering, you should also know that this is the name of Dale Brisby’s horse. •• Granger. An English name meaning “worker of the granary”, basically a farmer. We picked this name because 1.) Granger Smith is a badass. And 2.) Granger is a great country name that isn’t overused. We highly recommend this one! •• Wyatt. It may go without saying, but the popularity for this name stems from the famous, Wyatt Earp. It may also be that Wyatt is just a phenomenal western name.

Top Five Western Girl Names •• Genevieve. Through the last few decades, Genevieve has increased in popularity. It has Germanic roots, and it means “leader of the tribe”. •• Annie. The meaning of Annie is ‘blessed with Grace’. Annie was the name of one of the most popular cowgirls of her time. Being born in a poor family, Annie took over to hunting to feed her family after her father passed away. She became the first woman to feature on the Buffalo Cody’s Wild West Show. •• Cassidy. Do you remember Kathie Lee Gifford, the tastemaker of the early 1990s? She chose Cassidy for her daughter. Soon after, thousands of parents followed the suit. This Irish name means ‘clever’ or “curly-haired”. •• Marybeth. A combination of two names, Marybeth is a popular cowgirl name that means “star of the sea”. •• Wynonna. Wynnona is of Sioux, Native American origin which means “firstborn daughter”.



Cowgirls Rising The Impact of Women in Rodeo



The Western World has always included colorful cowgirls. However, there has truly been just one event in the sport of Professional Rodeo suited for women. That event, of course, has historically been Ladies Barrel Racing.

A Brief History of Women In Rodeo I’ve always been a fan of the women who are widely considered the “greats” or “pioneers” of the rodeo arena. A few come to mind:


•• •• •• •• ••

Fanny Sperry Steele. (American Bronc Rider/Performer) Ruth Roach. (Professional Bronc Rider/World Champion Rodeo Performer) Mabel Strickland Woodward. (Hall of Fame Rodeo Performer) Sammy Thurman. (Barrel Racing Champion/Rodeo Performer/Movie Stunt Rider) Prairie Rose Henderson. (First Female Bronc Rider)

•• •• •• •• •• •• ••

Brownie Smith. (Montana Rancher, former Bronc Rider) Floydena Garrison. (Montana Rancher, Horsewoman, Trainer, Breeder) Suzie Montero. (Nevada Rancher, Horsewoman, Trainer) Vicki Christensen. (Oregon Rancher, Rodeo Personality/Producer, Professional Trick Rider) Charlotte Priddy. (Montana Rancher, Rodeo Competitor) Becky Fuchs Mahoney. (WPRA All-Around Champ, Clinician, Trainer, Coach) Virginia (Jinx) Grazier. (my grandmother – Montana Rancher, Horsewoman)

And other women of the western and rodeo lifestyle who’ve directly influenced my early life are:

For hands, neck & face

“Adding a second event means a whole lot to me and my circle.” - LARI DEE GUY

Rodeo has always allowed – and even encouraged -- women to try their hand at whatever event they desired. After all, women could draw an audience and “put butts in seats”. Cowgirls currently compete alongside men in Team Roping. However, on a professional level – a level at which such prestigious rodeos such as Pendleton, and Denver exist – there has been just the one gender-specific event of Barrel Racing. It has shared an equal part of the prize money. However, men compete for money in seven other events, five of which have been specifically suited for the male athlete (Bareback Riding, Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, and Tie-Down Roping). It was 1901 when Prairie Rose Henderson debuted at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo as a Bronc Rider; and by 1920, rough stock events, relay races, and trick riding were all the rage for other daring, free-flying women. By 1928, Barrel Racing became the first Professional Sport for women on horseback. As early as August of 2013, promoters began a push for Ladies Breakaway Roping to turn Pro. In September of 2017, a group of lady Breakaway Ropers made history as they competed at the famous Pendleton Roundup ProRodeo. For years, there have been female competitors in goat tying, pole bending, team roping, steer/ cow riding, cutting and breakaway roping at Little Britches, Junior High School, High School, College and amateur rodeo events.


•• Ladies Barrel Racing has historically been the one event for females in professional rodeo. •• In September of 2017, a group of lady Breakaway Ropers made history as they competed at the famous Pendleton Roundup ProRodeo.

Cowgirls Rising At the 2019 “The American“, Breakaway Roping made its debut. And it didn’t disappoint. Sixteen-year-old Madison Outhier won a record $100,000 – beating out hundreds of other ropers throughout the competition – busting the gates wide open for all the other girls who were ready and waiting to start competing on a professional level. That win meant so much, on so many levels. -Lari Dee Guy, World Champion Team Roper/Clinician/Breakaway Roper (excerpt is taken from the 2020 International Women’s Day WCRA video) Rope and tack sales, horse sales, horse training and clinicians, truck and trailer sales, jackpot ropings, special events, and new arenas built and managed by women, are just some of the areas that have recently surged. Breakaway events with large payouts: The “Feather S Invitational” in Pawhuska, Oklahoma (April) has drawn world champions such as Lari Dee Guy, Hope Thompson, and Jackie Crawford to compete; as well as the “Rope For The Crown” event – Las Vegas – in December. The addition of Breakaway Roping in the Professional world of Rodeo has certainly been a welcome addition for women.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin 3 Different Ways

Grilled Grilling is going to give you a crisp piece of meat that your guest will love to eat. The key to grilling is preparation, marinating, and seasoning.

•• 2 cups of brewed coffee chilled or room temp •• 2 cans of your favorite beer •• 1 cup of soy sauce •• ½ cup of brown sugar •• ½ cup of coffee grounds •• 1 tablespoon of salt •• 1/2 tablespoon of pepper •• ½ tablespoon of garlic powder Combine all wet ingredients into a large ziplock bag and add pork loin. Place in the fridge overnight. Remove pork loin when ready to cook and let sit on a plate for 10 min. Take all dry ingredients and mix together in a bowl. Place pork loin in a bowl and rub into meat. Place on grill at high heat for searing outside then reduce heat to medium (350) and cook for 20 min. Once done, take out and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes in order to lock in the juices.

Baked Baking is going to give you a juicier and moister piece of meat. We recommended using the same wet as the grilling recipe above but remove the soy sauce and add 1 cup of melted butter. Your prep for baking is the same the day before but do not discard the juice you have from marinating. Put that aside to add to the baking dish. Step one in cooking is to sear the marinated tenderloin in a heated cast iron pan on the stovetop first. Then place the meat in a pan on an elevated rack above the juice from marinating. The pork should be sitting just above the liquid. Seal the pan with tin foil to keep all the flavor in from the juice. Bake at 320 for 45 min. Once done, take out and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes in order to lock in the juices.

Roasted Same as baking above (not to sound lazy). The only thing different is we are not covering or using the juice in the pan. Place in oven 430 for 20 min (or until meats at 145). Once it is, set the oven to broil and watch closely as the top begins to blacken. Don’t overdo it and remove and let stand for 10 to 15 min.


Syracuse Sausage: Making People Happy with High-Quality Proteins BY DAN GUTTENPLAN

For 38 years, Syracuse Sausage has brought the great taste from the Musacchio family kitchen to your grocery stores and restaurants. Making high-quality sausages and meatballs has been a staple of the family business, and the homemade taste keeps customers satisfied and coming back for more!


nthony and Bobby Musacchio grew up in a house in which the aromas of pasta, sausage, meatballs and sauce filled the air each and every Sunday. They took the family experience of bonding over delicious Italian foods to Texas in 1982 and haven’t looked back since. For 38 years, Syracuse Sausage has been serving national restaurant chains, major grocery stores and other food-service firms. Anthony Musacchio, co-owner of Syracuse Sausage (along with brother Bobby) and VP of Sales, recently connected with Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine for a Q&A. I KNOW YOU HAVE A RICH FAMILY TRADITION OF PREPARING AND EATING PASTA, SAUSAGE, MEATBALLS AND PIZZA. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR FAMILY MEALS? “We grew up like a lot of other Italians. Bobby and I had a great childhood and family. Mom and Dad used to wake up at 5 a.m. on Sunday mornings to make a new batch of Sunday Sauce. For breakfast, they’d pour us a bowl of warm sauce, fried meatballs and bread. We’d eat it while watching Bugs Bunny. We’d have the traditional spaghetti dinner at 1 in the afternoon. Then on Sunday night they’d roll out pizza dough and we’d have a pizza pie for supper while we watched Wild Kingdom and a Disney movie. Our Uncle Paul had started a sausage plant in New York and named it after his brother Carmen Basilio, who was boxing’s welterweight and middleweight champion of the world from 1955 to 1958. He was a hometown boxer who fought and beat Sugar Ray Robinson at Yankees Stadium for the middleweight title. Uncle Carmen was on my mother’s side of the family. So, my mother’s name was Basilio, and my father’s name was Musacchio. You can’t get many more vowels in there. My parents lived next to each other, and they got married

•• Anthony Musacchio (left) and brother Bobby have owned Syracuse Sausage for 38 years. when my Dad came back with the Marines after world war two. This all took place in an Italian town 18 miles outside of Syracuse.” YOU SOLD VEGETABLES WITH YOUR BROTHER TO PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. HOW DID THAT SHAPE YOUR FUTURE? “My Dad had a huge garden. He grew everything from tobacco to green peas. He’d come home from the garden with vegetables. We were the only house that had a row of garlic, a row of flowers, and another row of garlic in the front yard. Dad came home with corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. We’d pull a big wagon, and we even had a change-maker. We sold the vegetables and learned to be entrepreneurs. We got to make some money and make people happy.” HOW DID YOU END UP STARTING THE BUSINESS IN TEXAS? “Back in the late ‘70s, my brother Joe was running Basilio Sausage for my uncle. He wanted to buy it, but Uncle Paul wasn’t ready to sell. We reached out to a cousin in the Dallas area. We opened a tiny shop in Flower Mound -- it was 1,800 square feet. We put in the mixers and grinders, and started making sausage. Tom Thumb was our first account. We still have it 38 years later.” HOW DID THE BUSINESS EVOLVE? “We kept getting little restaurants. We got a phone call one day from two guys that had one restaurant. They wanted to build more. That customer was Norman Brinker, the legendary pioneer of the casual dining, chain restaurant concept. It took off from there.” AS THE BUSINESS HAS GROWN, HOW MUCH OF A CHALLENGE HAS IT BEEN TO RECREATE THE SAME TASTE AND QUALITY? “We kept it lean and didn’t cut any corners. We made the sausage a little spicier and leaner down here. When people cook our sausage, they’re surprised there’s not more fat in the pan. It’s done well. The business is growing and growing. We feel we have an inspirational story. We came down here with nothing. We were in stores cooking Sausage and Peppers. People could smell it, and they gave us a try. We’re loyal to our vendors and employees. I truly believe we were blessed when we chose ‘The Great State of Texas’ to be our home. We were country boys in upstate New York who loved the outdoors, and that has not changed and never will. God Bless Texas, and God Bless The USA!”

Syracuse Sausage | 800.525.8540


The Wrangler Difference What does the American Dream, cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo all have in common? Wrangler, of course!


he company has stood the test of time and proven to be America’s trusted brand for blue jeans. How does a company like that start, and how has it grown into the leading western attire brand that competitors, farmers, and everyday Americans have grown to love? Let’s take a look!

History Surprisingly, Wrangler hasn’t always been “Wrangler”. The story starts in 1897 with 20-year-old C.C. Hudson, who at the time lived in Tennessee and wanted to get into the textile business. He found a job sewing on


buttons for 25 cents a day. Little did he know that this would be the beginning of something legendary. In 1904, Hudson and his brother opened up their own overall shop called “Hudson Overall Company”. This company took off in the next 15 years, and the brothers moved the headquarters and renamed the company “Blue Bell Overall Company”. By 1943, Blue Bell had grown exponentially. So much so that they bought Casey Jones Company, a manufacturer of work-clothing, and, with it, the rights to Casey Jones’ rarely used brand name. Just a few short years later, the rarely used brand was launched to the American

consumer back by celebrity tailor Rodeo Ben. Some of Wrangler’s first “endorsees” included 16-time world champion Jim Shoulders, Bill Linderman and Freckles Brown. After this, the company continued to grow and expand, becoming the country’s No. 1 brand for Western wear.

So What’s the Wrangler Difference? Through the years, regardless of company changes, what Wrangler stands for has remained the same. They vow to uphold the WEstern way of life and support all the men and women who are doing the same. To this day, you will see Wrangler being represented by some of the top competitors in the PRCA, PBR, WPRA and so many more. Western celebrities like George Strait, Jon Pardi and Cody Johnson are just a few of the name celebrities that not only wear the brand but live the brand. To me, that is what Wrangler is all about, living the brand, that is the Wrangler Difference.


Best Cowboy Boot Brands If you’re a working ranch cowboy or cowgirl, competing in the arena, going for gold at the rodeo, or if you just want to look like the “real deal”; then any of our “Top 5 Best Boots” will keep you in step with the favorites of champions. BY KRYSTA PAFFRATH

Justin Since 1879 Founded by H.J. Justin in Spanish Fork, Texas. After his death, his sons moved the business to Ft. Worth, Texas, and were responsible for the invention of the classic “Roper” boot style. They are major supporters of the Western Industry and are currently the official boot of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Selection: Justin Brands have anything and everything the real cowboy could ever want or need. Justin Brands

can be found everywhere from the ranch to college campuses, to executive boardrooms. Below are just some of the types of boots you can find with the Justin name. •• Work boots (including steel toe) •• Dress boots •• Working ranch cowboy boots •• Kids boots (even kids’ work boots) •• Accessories •• Apparel

Ariat – Since 1993 Founded by Beth Cross and Pam Parker, and located in Union City, California. Ariat is the newcomer on this block and embraces an emphasis on technology and innovation. Selection: Ariat caters to the equestrian athlete, and also has a selection of cowboy work boots with steel toes that can be worn in the construction industry. Ariat has a huge inventory to choose from. Their men’s, women’s, and children’s collections range from corral work to a night out on the town. They have a good selection of English riding boots and are active with the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), and US Equestrian organizations. Ariat also has a full line of accessories and equestrian apparel.


Corral Since 1999

Lucchese Since 1883

Born in Texas, Corral started with the purpose of redefining western fashion. If you take a peek at their website, it won’t take you long to notice that their main focus is western fashion. These are not the boots you want to be wearing to go muck out your horse’s stall, but they are the boots you want to put the finishing touch on your fave western outfit. Worn by most western fashionistas, there is a Corral style for everyone. They have both men’s and women’s boots in every shape, color and style. If you are looking to add a statement pair of boots to your wardrobe then we highly recommend purchasing a pair of Corral boots. Learn more about them by heading to their website.

Founded by Salvatore Lucchese, son of a shoemaker, who immigrated to the U.S. from Italy. They are currently located in El Paso, Texas. Lucchese has made custom boots for people like Bing Crosby, various notable politicians, and, in 1961, outfitted the entire Dallas Cowboys roster. Selection: The Italians are known for their quality in shoe and boot craftsmanship. They are also well-known for their leathers. Lucchese boots reflect their Italian influence both in their design and in the quality of leather. Lucchese boots are well-known as a durable, quality dress, and executive boot.

Rocketbuster Since 1989 Founded by Marty Snortum, who created this brand for his hero Roy Rogers. He works with his wife, who is also a fashion designer, Nevena Christi. Their shop is located in El Paso, Texas. Rocketbuster boots have a vintage flair and are famous for their vibrant colors, detailed inlay and overlay and bold statements. They are perfect for today’s fashions. Show them off by wearing them over a pair of skinny jeans, match them with a skirt – or be daring and wear them with a mini-skirt! Choose a design from hundreds of very detailed, distinct styles and have that design made especially for you! Rocketbuster has been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine and has an impressive list of well-known customers.



Come see us at Cowboy Christmas booth 3214

Concho Belts in Western Fashion BY KRYSTA PAFFRATH


he word concho comes from the Spanish “concha”, which actually means “conch” or “seashell” but has come to mean “round disks of silver”. These disks are often used to decorate saddles, bridles, clothing, or used as jewelry for things like pendants, bolo ties and leather belts. Concho belts are a long-time Navajo tradition, although it has been guessed that the Navajo took conchos from Mexican tack items or from the Plains Indians and started creating their own after that.

History There were several stages or “phases” in the days of early concho creation. The beginning of concho belts is referred to as “First Phase” belts. These conchos were made before Native Americans had learned anything or very little about soldering silver. At that time, the conchos were hammered from melted coins, cut and filed into shape, engraved, and then they would cut a diamond shape slot out of the middle of the concho for the leather belt to loop through. These were very basic conchos that didn’t require any soldering. This style of concho was generally created between the late 1860s to the 1880s depending on the geographic area. The “Second Phase” of concho belt development was when the Native silversmiths started to solder. They would solder a silver or copper bar across the back of the concho to run the belt


through the back. This allowed the entire face of the concho to be engraved or decorated and kept the belt on the backside of the concho. This phase roughly lasted between the years of 1890 through the early 1900s. The last or “Third Phase” of concho belt development was when the “butterfly” design started to appear between conchos, as well as the use of turquoise on the face of a concho. A “butterfly” is another smaller concho in between the bigger conchos, and its shape resembles that of a butterfly. The use of copper for the bar across the back became more prevalent than silver as it evolved closer to current fashion tastes. A belt with butterflies (and sometimes turquoise) from the early 1900s through the 1930s is generally thought of as “early third phase”, and a belt from the 1940s through 70s would often be referred to as “vintage”, while anything newer would be modern to contemporary.

Concho Belts in Today’s Western Fashion In today’s current world of western fashion, the concho belt is something that hasn’t yet gone out of style. It is timeless, as some would say. Concho belts have taken on a life of their own and now you can find them in any design, with or without turquoise, copper ones, blingy ones, the list goes on and on. We recommend following your favorite western influencers on Instagram to see what style concho belts you do and don’t like before committing to buying one yourself. If you are looking to buy a concho belt to add to your western fashion collection, there are a couple things you should consider.

Do you want the real deal? Real, Native conchos can start anywhere from $500 and go up significantly from there based on how intricate you want it to be. These belts are often made out of the best materials and are handmade. You can always buy a cheaper version for between $40 and $70. Some of our favorite brands are Tony Lama, Ariat, Shyanne or Nocona.

Do you want it to be custom? Looking for something that is unique to just you? Get ready to pay for quality! Our friend, Brit West, does custom belts that start at $2,998. But you rest assured that the quality of what you’re getting is the real deal and 100% unique to you.


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‘It is a sacred thing for me’ Tony Stromberg’s life work is paying homage to horses through photography WORDS BY DAN GUTTENPLAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY TONY STROMBERG



ony Stromberg spent more than 20 years as a high-end advertising photographer in San Francisco before realizing he was depressed. He seemingly had everything anyone would want – a great job, money, exotic experiences. But he couldn’t find fulfillment in his work. Stromberg recently shared how horses brought that fulfillment to his life and how he’s continued to make a successful career out of photographing his favorite species.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY? •• “Oh, my early 20s. I think I battled with it as a kid. I had a little camera and snapped pictures, but I didn’t take it seriously until I was 23 or 24. I didn’t study it in school; I was self-trained. I dabbled with it for a bit before I dove fully into that world. “I put together an advertising portfolio and went to ad agencies and design firms looking for jobs.”


WHAT PROMPTED THE MOVE TO PHOTOGRAPHING HORSES? HOW DOES ONE MAKE THAT SWITCH? •• “After 20 years of advertising work, I was extremely burnt-out on the business. I found myself depressed. I was lackluster, lacking direction. I knew I needed a change and didn’t know what it was. I went up to visit a friend north of San Francisco. She spent weekends with horses and invited me. I went around with


my camera, and she went riding. I hung out in the pasture with horses. I had a great time and it grew from there. I couldn’t explain it at the time. Something about it made me feel happy.” IT WAS THERAPEUTIC, WASN’T IT? •• “I learned later about equine-assisted therapy. I got fascinated with that. There are different types of styles. In that type of work, they use horses because horses don’t like incongruity at all. If a person is pretending to be something they’re not, they’ll know right away. They get uncomfortable. They taught me who I was and who I wasn’t. What happened after 20 years of working in advertising was I was a chameleon – not just with work but in general. I realized I could do any type of photography work for anybody. I became a person people wanted me to be, but I lost touch with my true self. Horses brought me to that and taught me who I was. It got me through my depression and back on track. The work I did with horses … initially … I had no intention to make money. It was for pleasure. Now, it’s an homage to horses for what they did for my life.” HOW DID THE HORSES EXPRESS TO YOU THAT YOU WERE NOT BEING YOURSELF? •• “That’s a good question. I’m not going to say I was trying to be macho in the beginning, but I was pretending to have it all together. I was the boss. They saw right through me. They told me, ‘No, that’s not who you are.’ It’s hard to explain how they do that. It’s by their behavior and attitude.” THAT MUST STOP YOU DEAD IN YOUR TRACKS. HOW DID YOU REACT TO THAT? •• “I was in Northern California, and I joined a local writing club in the hills of Nevada, Calif. Every afternoon, I would go to my friend’s place to visit the horses. A friend of mine joked about it. She said, ‘This is your church.’ It is a sacred thing for me. I became the kind of guy who they let ride new horses as a guinea pig. I rode quite a bit. I was out in the Redwoods doing some beautiful riding. Something about being the presence of an animal like that is very honest. I learned I can be whoever I am and be completely accepted. It gave me a sense of freedom I wasn’t finding with humans.” WELL, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY IS BREATHTAKING. IS THERE A BIG MARKET FOR THAT TYPE OF WORK? •• “Once I started that type of work, doors started to open from there. I worked with a woman in Arizona; she wrote books on equine-assisted therapy. She introduced me to her publisher. They offered to do a book of my work. It happened effortlessly and easily. It’s very strange that after 20 years of heavily marketing and pushing new things to have doors open, it’s been relatively easy ever since. There was a point when I moved back to Santa Fe (N.M.) in 2000, I got my first book published. People asked me about teaching workshops. I taught an equine photography workshop in 2001, and that has grown. That’s 75 percent of my income. When you stop trying so hard, it finds you. People tell me I have their dream job. I take photographs in wonderful places and get paid for it.” THAT’S WHAT THEY SAY, RIGHT? FIND YOUR PASSION, AND IT WILL NEVER FEEL LIKE WORK. WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE PHOTOS OF WILD HORSES? •• “I’m partial to Portugal and Spain. The Lusitano and Andalusian horses are my favorites. I started doing workshops in Southern France, so I have a soft spot in my heart because that’s where I started. I also like variety. I’ve done a lot with wild horses in the United States; that’s near and dear because of their plight. They’re struggling to survive.”






2020 holiday

Gift Guide The cowboy lifestyle is synonymous with fashion, art, music and travel. With the holiday season approaching, we want to help you find gifts for the cowboys and cowgirls in your life. Here is a mix of products that embodies the cowboy lifestyle.

Yoder Smokers Barbecue Pits Yoder Smokers are not the typical barbecue pit you buy down at the local department store. These pits are designed for use at the biggest BBQ competitions, and in your own backyard where the competition can be just as stiff. Yoder constructs its line of competition-grade smoker pits to last a lifetime. In fact, that’s how long they guarantee them against burnout. Their pits have so much steel in them that even the smallest pit weighs in at 255 pounds… and the biggest pits weigh well over 1,200 pounds, before they even add a trailer to the weight. So, when your neighbor’s shiny polished-steel grill has burnt through and is headed for the dump, you’ll still be smoking away. YODE R S MOK E R S .COM


YETI V Series Stainless Steel Cooler This model combines two YETI icons: the cold-holding power of our Rambler® Drinkware and the iconic Tundra® Cooler. The YETI V Series™ Stainless Steel Cooler is the result of relentless dedication to innovation, taking legendary insulation to the next level in a look that’s a classic nod to the past, but built with downright futuristic technology.

Roadie 24 Hard Cooler The Roadie® 24 Hard Cooler is a fresh take on a triedand-true YETI favorite. It’s 10% lighter weight, holds 20% more, and even performs 30% better thermally than its legendary predecessor. Plus, it is built tall enough to accommodate critical bottles of wine but slim enough to squeeze behind the driver’s or passenger’s seat of a car. Now that’s what we call a road trip buddy. And hey, this guy is compatible with a Tie-Down kit, which means you can also transport this cooler on your boat, truck bed, or trailer — no problem. Customize this cooler with a collegiate or MLB™ logo. Available in white only.

Rambler 24 oz Mug It’s tall, it’s insulated, and with its sizable handle, it’s the beer lover’s new drinking buddy. The YETI take on a beer mug is designed to keep all 24 ounces (that’s a lot, by the way) nice and frosty. And unlike glass, it’s safe for camp. This stainless steel beer mug and its lid are dishwasher safe and easy to clean for any basecamp Happy Hour. Your new favorite beer mug comes with a standard lid, or you can purchase a MagSlider™ Lid. Bottoms up, y’all. Layered with an advanced, oleophobic coating (which is science for: it’s fingerprint-proof), tested to the highest level of UV resistance, and equally as dishwasher safe, durable, and insulated as its predecessors.

For all Yeti products, visit


Martin Guitar Modern Deluxe Guitar The OM-28E Modern Deluxe is packed with vintage appointments, custom features, and modern technology. A Sitka spruce Vintage Tone System (VTS) top, dovetail neck joint, and natural protein glue construction deliver the rich, fully-aged Martin tone that has inspired generations. European flamed maple binding, stylish gold frets, gold open-gear tuners, and a unique 1930s-style script logo inlaid in pearl on the headstock give it a look to match its sound. The OM-28E Modern Deluxe comes with a ply hardshell case and is strung with Authentic Acoustic Lifespan 2.0 light gauge strings. M A RT I NGU I TA R .COM

Wrangler Watch The new Wrangler Smartwatch line features three different series with varying styles and features. They are compatible with both iPhone and Android and track message notifications, along with health conditions, fitness data and farm and ranch weather conditions. The models feature sleek, modern designs fitting for today’s trends, including western-inspired faces and Horween leather straps with a turquoise leather option for women. From looks to functionality, this new line of smartwatches is specifically geared towards the western lifestyle and individuals who live it every day. The Wrangler Smartwatches are the latest in the extensive Wrangler Watches line, which also offers more than 60 traditional watch offerings from Paradox Fine Watch Company, an official licensee of the Wrangler brand. W R A NGLE R .COM

Mr. Steak Mr. Steak’s ranch to table steaks and burgers are hand-selected, hand-cut, and delivered directly to your door from local midwestern ranchers. Mr. Steak’s goal is to bring steakhouse quality steaks to your home by offering the same steaks sold to many of the finest steakhouses in America, featuring no additives, humanely raised, and with a focus on sustainability. Mr. Steak’s USDA Prime and Choice steaks are available at a fraction of the cost of a steakhouse and are much higher quality than you can find at a grocery store. For every box sold, Mr. Steak donates a meal to hungry families in our community. NASCAR fans, let’s turn up the heat! Sign up now and receive FREE CRAFT BURGERS FOR LIFE. M R ST E A K .COM/R ACI NG


Airstream Airstream Bambi ‘Bambi’ has been a nickname for Airstream travel trailers for decades and earned that moniker on the famous Cape Town to Cairo Airstream caravan trip through Africa, led by Airstream founder Wally Byam. Since then, Airstream has given the ‘Bambi’ nickname to all single-axle travel trailers to denote their light, nimble size and their highly durable quality. Now, the brand is officially giving the Bambi name its own line of travel trailers. This travel trailer is an approachable way for novices to start their adventures and start living the Airstream life. The Bambi line represents some of Airstream’s smallest, easy-to-tow travel trailers and are available in 16’, 19’, 20’, and 22’ floor plans. Similar to the Basecamp and Nest, each new model can be towed by a wide range of crossovers, trucks, and SUV’s, which make them more accessible to novice campers and younger buyers. Bambi comes in four floor plans with two new décor options. The Bambi interior centers on bright neutral tones that allow light to bounce around the trailer. Bambi, which starts at $48,900, is now available to purchase at Airstream dealerships across the country. For more information or to learn about other products in Airstream’s lineup, please visit their website. A I R ST R E A M .COM

big ticket holiday gifts Intimidator When work is the focus of your UTV then the Intimidator GC1K Truck Series is the right choice for you. With a 1000-pound payload capacity the industryleading 6’ x 5.25’ bed can haul whatever you need to get the job done. The electronic bed dump and fold-down sides of the bed create even more opportunities. Need to haul work gear, no problem with the two steel storage boxes on each side of the unit. Under the hood features a 1000 TGB engine, class leading max 83 HP and speeds up to 60 mph allow for speed and performance. Comfortable shocks, suspension and overbuilt frame help take on any task. Visit to learn more and see how Intimidator can help you conquer your next adventure. I N T I M I DAT ORU T V.COM


Honda Generators Honda’s Super Quiet Series generators – the EU1000i, EU2000i, EU3000is, EU3000i Handi and EU7000is – are inverter-equipped, lightweight models that feature extremely quiet performance. Designed for the ultimate in quality, portability and convenience, these models are ideal for tailgating, camping or any trip to the great outdoors. Honda is proud to support several teams such as Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Stewart-Haas Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Rev Racing with EU series generator products that provide smooth, reliable power for their racing needs. POW E R E QU I P M E N T. HON DA .COM

Walther Walther continues its tradition of superiority with a handgun designed specifically for those who only buy the best and nothing less. This is the ultimate representation of high-class performance in a concealed carry package that just can’t be found anywhere else. When increasing performance on pistols, simply adding weight to the frame provides little difference. The Q4 Steel Frame is precision machined to properly distribute 40 ounces of weight to drastically reduce felt recoil, improving shooter performance. The ergonomics of the Q4


Steel Frame is a feat in firearms engineering that simply must be felt to be believed. With the creation of the PPQ came the Quick Defense Trigger from Walther, a trigger second-to-none. The Duty Optimized Beavertail provides the shooter increased grip height on the pistol, resulting in reduced felt recoil. The Q4 Steel Frame is unparalleled proficiency in a platform designed to meet your individual needs. It’s available in either platform preferred, iron sight or optic ready. support. WA LT H E R .COM

Case Knives Tru-Sharp Knives The Patriotic Kirinite Trapper features a highly durable Kirinite acrylic grip draped in America’s own red, white and blue colors with Case’s own TruSharp surgical steel Clip and Spey blades that can conquer almost any task. The knife is crafted at Case’s only factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and has a retail price of $74.99. Visit CaseKnives. com for this and hundreds of other unique Case knives, each made with popular handle materials in a wide variety of colors and hard-working steel blades, all covered by a limited lifetime warranty. CAS E K N I V E S .COM

Tailgater Tire Table When every inch of space in your rig matters, the Original Tailgater Tire Table is a must-have for those who need an extra surface for your cold drinks or hot pans. It attaches to any of your vehicle’s tires, including the spare, and comes fully assembled with all pieces secured. Weighing 12 lbs., it is easily maneuvered and can be tucked away and stored flat for your next adventure without wasting valuable space. Works regardless of flat or uneven ground, holds up to 50 lbs. and creates a sturdy, usable surface area anytime you need it. There’s also a retractable leg for extra support. TA I L GAT E RT I R E TA B LE .COM .

Channellock Straight Jaw Tongue & Groove Pliers Channellock 440 12” Straight Jaw Tongue & Groove Pliers are the tool every home and garage needs. They’re built to last with a PermaLock fastener to eliminate nut/ bolt failure, reinforcing edge to minimize stress breakage, and laser heat-treated teeth to provide a longer-lasting grip. These versatile pliers, made from high carbon U.S. steel, are durable enough to pass down to your kids. Channellock is proudly run by 5th generation family members in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Available at Walmart, Lowe’s, Amazon and many more retailers. C H A N N E LLOC K .COM


Forney Industries 220 ST PRO Forney Industries recently launched three welding machines and one plasma cutter. The Forney 220 ST PRO is among them, offering DC TIG and Stick capabilities, dual input power of 120V/230V, and can weld ½” thick material. The printed circuit board and its assembly are completed in P.R.C., but technicians at Forney assemble the rest of the machine with sheet metal, aluminum die cast parts, aluminum extrusion handles and knobs—all of which are made in America and locally manufactured in Fort Collins, CO. Forney believes in the value of supplying jobs in the U.S.A, while providing exceptional value to their customers. FOR N E Y I N D.COM

Joe’s Original All-Purpose Hand Cleaner For more than 65 years, Joe’s Original All-Purpose Hand Cleaner has been manufactured and distributed in the heartland of America. Aside from its powerful cleaning ability to remove the toughest grease and grime off your hands, it’s a true water-less hand cleaner that contains lanolin and petroleum jelly for that extra help in the battle against the effects of water. Water can be very drying, especially for those who wash their hands multiple times a day. If you can remove water from that equation, you will begin to see improvements in your skin. It’s also very convenient for those who do not have access to water. There are no harsh chemicals and it can be used multiple times per day. Apply cleaner to dry skin and simply wipe off with a towel. Give your hands a wake-up call with Joe’s Hand Cleaner. JOE S H A N DCLE A N E R .COM

TX Straight Bourbon Released in 2016, TX Straight Bourbon is one of the only “truly Texas” spirits on the market and was recently awarded Gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Gold at the 2020 International Spirits Challenge, and a 94 rating at the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. TX Straight Bourbon utilizes a “single farm expression” with its yellow dent corn, soft red winter wheat and onceunachievable Texas barley being sourced from Sawyer Farms in Hill County. The resulting spirit has a dark amber color, with floral, maple and cinnamon on the nose. Flavors of fig, allspice and brown sugar come through on the palate and the finish is balanced, smooth and warm. TX Straight Bourbon is the perfect bar staple to add to any whiskey-lovers collection. Suggested Retail $42.99. FR DI ST I LLI NG.COM/T X-BOU R BON/




Best Guest Ranches in Arizona If you’ve been dreaming about a dude ranch vacation for as long as you can remember, now is the time to make your dreams a reality. These five Arizona guest ranches are the best of the best. Are you ready to plan your vacation? BY STACEY LORTON

Rancho de los Caballeros Rancho De Los Caballeros, situated in The Team Roping Capital of the World, Wickenburg, Ariz., has wowed guests with its beauty and luxurious amenities for decades. Whether you’re staying for a weekend or staying for an entire week, you’ll enjoy activities such as horseback riding, team penning, ATV and Jeep tours, tennis, swimming and hiking, just to name a few! VISIT RANCHODELOSCABALLEROS.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION

White Stallion Ranch If you’re searching for the ultimate dude ranch vacation experience, set your sights on White Stallion Ranch, located in Tucson, Ariz. The award winning ranch most recently was named as one of the 12 Best-All Inclusive Resorts in the United States for 2019. Guests at White Stallion Ranch enjoy a wide range of activities, including rock climbing, horseback riding, shooting and a weekly ranch rodeo. VISIT WHITESTALLION.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.


Tombstone Monument Ranch Visiting Tombstone is a right of passage for any Western movie fan, and what better way to celebrate the days of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday than with a trip to Tombstone Monument Ranch? The greatest aspect of this ranch is that guests have the chance to feel like they actually live in the days of cowboys and outlaws as the ranch is designed to replicate an Old West town. There’s no shortage of fun to be had at Tombstone Monument Ranch, from live music and trail rides to learning how to play Texas Hold ‘Em in the ranch’s “Old Trappmann Saloon,” there’s something for everyone to enjoy. VISIT TOMBSTONEMONUMENTRANCH.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Circle Z Ranch Arizona is so beautiful, and a visit to Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia, Ariz., is a great way to see all of the sights this gorgeous state has to offer. While the ranch has amazing amenities for guests to enjoy, one of the most exciting features is the specialized vacation packages that are offered, such as the “Holidays on Horseback” package that allows guests to trade in the stress of holiday planning for some saddle time. VISIT CIRCLEZ.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch An award winning vacation destination, Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch is another great option for guests who want to feel as if they are staying in a true Western town. The ranch, located only two hours away from the Grand Canyon West Rim, offers some of the most scenic horseback rides in the state, including more advanced excursions where riders can trot and lope through some of Arizona’s most gorgeous landscape. VISIT STAGECOACHTRAILSRANCH.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Whether you’re planning a dude ranch vacation for this year or the next, is a great resource for deciding which ranch is the best fit for you and your family.


Celebrating Heroes Through the Bucks for the Brave Contest STAFF REPORT


he 2020 Record Rack® Bucks for the Brave Contest recognizes the men and women that served in our armed forces, and as first responders, had jobs that required them to be willing to sacrifice their own lives every day in order to protect or save someone else’s. Not many of us can say that, nor understand what that truly means. What they have witnessed and the sacrifices they’ve made in their daily lives can have a profound impact on them. Bucks for the Brave is a platform that allows these loved ones and communities that support them, to share their stories and unite us all in honoring and

recognizing their service to our great nation. This contest allowed people to nominate Veterans (no longer serving) and retired First Responders (Law Enforcement, Firefighters and EMTs) to win the hunt of a lifetime. This all-inclusive hunt was slated for Veteran’s Day weekend, November 11-15, at Trinity Oak’s Thumbtack Ranch in Batesville, Texas. The contest recognizes one winner from eight categories: Air Force Veteran, Army Veteran, Coast Guard Veteran, Marine Corps Veteran, Navy Veteran, Retired Firefighter, Retired Law Enforcement and Retired EMT.


And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 This is the what my husband heard when he decided to enlist in the United States Air Force. Since September 11, 2001, he knew that he had to do something to make this world a better and safer place. He knew he was called to serve our nation. At just 17 years of age, he enlisted in the Air Force and waited patiently to begin his training. He completed his training in 2006 and headed to serve overseas in his new position in Security Forces. He was deployed twice and did all he could to serve our nation well. He separated from the military in 2009 and began working on life after the military. It was a bit of an adjustment, to say the least, but he still felt called to serve. He remained in the USAF Reserve and pursued a career in law enforcement. Though he no longer serves our nation through the military, his calling is still the same. He knew something needed to be done to make this world a better place and safer for our generations to come. I believe he is deserving of this hunt because he continuously puts others before himself, whether he is wearing a uniform or not. This hunt would be a dream hunt because not only would he get to live out his dream to get an amazing buck, but most importantly he would get the camaraderie that only happens with other members of the military. My hope is that you select my husband because of selfless, sacrificial service in the United States Air Force.



Thomas Stone


Boatswain’s Mate with the US Coast Guard (19802008). He currently resides in Northern Michigan with his wife of 38 years. Jeff has three children and four grandchildren. He touched countless lives during his 28 years in the Coast Guard. Being a Chief at the Stations, Jeff shaped the lives of many young people into high quality productive adults for this great nation. Jeff is a certified boat operator on vessels ranging from 14-foot ice skiffs to 140-foot icebreakers. Jeff has operated boats and cutters on the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Great Lakes, Saint Lawrence Seaway and Alaskan waters. Operation of these boats was conducted day and night, including the harshest weather conditions and the most urgent situations when lives were on the line. Jeff was the Executive Officer of Coast Guard Station Manistee, Mich., and Station Marbleheard, Ohio, during his career. Both of these stations were multi-mission stations including search and rescue, law enforcement and ice rescue. For example, when Jeff was at Station Marblehead, he was the on-scene commander for the largest ice search and rescue case in Lake Erie history. These heroic acts saved 175 people off of an ice shelf that had broken away from shore. Jeff was Executive Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Point Ledge, home port in Fort Bragg, Calif. This cutter’s mission included search and rescue and fisheries law enforcement. While assigned to Fort Bragg, Jeff earned a Coast Guard Achievement Medal as Coxswain of a 44-foot Motor Lifeboat (MLB). During this rescue a trawler was disabled in the Surf in heavy weather. Jeff was the Coxswain of the 44 MLB and was able to battle the breaking surf to tow


the trawler into deeper water during this horrific storm. Three days passed before the storm subsided enough to allow Jeff to safely tow the trawler back to shore, saving the crew and trawler. Jeff was First Lieutenant of Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, home port Cleveland, Ohio. Cutter Neah Bay is an Ice Breaker in the Great Lakes. Their mission included ice-breaking in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and all connecting waterways. Jeff is a certified Surfman - the highest level of Coast Guard boat operations. He’s received two Coast Guard Commendation Awards, four Coast Guard Achievement Awards and nine Coast Guard Good Conduct Awards. After retiring from the Coast Guard, Jeff has continued to honor his country and local community. Jeff now serves as the Harbormaster for the city of Frankfort, Mich. He has been a high school softball coach in Frankfort for 21 years. He gives back his time to the community on the Frankfort Board of Athletic Association. Jeff has always been an outdoorsman with a passion for fly fishing. Jeff is a member of Sport Fish Michigan, where he passes his love and knowledge for fly fishing to others.

years, retiring as a Sergeant Major. He was active duty, National Guard and Reserves. He was deployed to combat three times in his 25 years, and during his service received a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart. Tom served in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. After active duty, he became a police officer, and has been with the LAPD for 22 years. He has worked several assignments and is now a sergeant in the Metropolitan Division. In 2017 Tom joined the board of directors of Dark Horse Project. It is a 501C3 veteran and first responder charity organization. Tom has done so much for others and given his life to service and helping others.



Army Cavalry Division, 82nd Airborne, retired firefighter and paramedic. He has been spending part of his retirement teaching his son-in-law and granddaughter how to hunt.

and turned 19 in boot camp. He served on five different submarines in his first 14 years. He survived the fire and loss of the USS Bonefish where he lost three shipmates. He didn’t hesitate to take orders to four more submarines. He received his officer’s commission as a nurse and served 10 more years. He deployed to Kuwait and served with the Army Coordinating medivacs out of Southern Iraq and Kuwait. After his retirement, he was hired by The Army as a nurse and continues to serve our active duty service members and their families. On Aug. 25, he completed 35 years of continuous service between the Navy and Army. He currently works in the mental health field working with families struggling with mental health issues and coordinating care to make sure our servicemen and servicewomen can focus on the mission.



27 years/ During his service, he received several medals of honor for his rescue and bravery. He has a humble side and never boasts or brags about the rescues he made during his time of service. Just another day in the life of a firefighter was the motto he lived by. Since retiring, he continues his work for the line of duty. He rides bicycles 500-600 miles in a week with the Brotherhood organizations around the country raising money for the families of the line of duty deaths (police, firefighters, EMTs, and service animals killed in the line of duty). He has traveled from North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky and Texas to honor these families. Last year, he nominated Danny Foley. Danny was a FDNY firefighter that lost his brother FDNY Tommy Foley when the South Tower collapsed on Sept. 11. Danny spent 11 days at Ground Zero and found Tommy. Sadly, Danny developed pancreatic cancer from all the toxic exposures at Ground Zero. He got to enjoy this hunt while battling the cancer. We lost Danny in February of 2020. Bingham is an avid hunter and fisherman. He also competed on the rodeo circuit as a bareback rider and steer wrestler for many years. But more importantly, he loves the Lord, his wife of 34 years, three sons and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. He is a family man. He has passed on his love of the sport of hunting, fishing and rodeo onto his sons.


model does not do it justice. The oldest of seven, Patrick and his younger siblings grew up in a very abusive household. At a young age, he was forced to leave his home. In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, Patrick chose to drop out of high school and enlist with the U.S. Marine Corp. At the age of 17, Patrick deployed to Vietnam where he proudly served his country. During this time, Patrick was infected with malaria and was severely wounded while in battle, requiring several operations and hospitalization or one year. His heroic efforts as a Marine in Vietnam led to him being awarded a Purple Heart. While recovering in the hospital, he managed to obtain a GED. Once he returned home, Patrick decided he was not done serving. In 1972, he joined the City of Miami Police Department, where he served for 25 years, eventually retiring in 1995 as a Major. During his service with the police department, Patrick virtually worked in every capacity of law enforcement including training field officers and commanding tactical units. Prior to retiring, Patrick received the very prestigious Medal of Honor from the City



that got surrounded by the Chinese at the Chosen Reservoir. He loves to share stories of how he survived, especially how cold it was and how they all froze during the fighting. He also served in the Air Force during Vietnam. He tells stories about his time there and other countries that he was stationed at. He also took part in the nuclear bomb testing that was done in the ocean. He was on one of the ships when they exploded nuclear bombs to see what the effects if any would be on him and the others. He ended serving over 20 years in between the Marines and the Air Force before retiring.

of Miami for his work in the 1980 Miami riots (a very violent time in Miami’s history). Due to growing up in such an abusive household, Patrick wanted to do his part to make sure kids in a similar situation had a chance to make something out of themselves. As a police officer, he introduced an inner-city boxing program aimed at keeping young boys off the streets and out of trouble. What started as his own project soon became a City of Miami Police Department Community Relations program with five boxing gyms located in the most trouble-stricken neighborhoods of Miami. Patrick is responsible for keeping a number of kids out of the gang life and for giving them something to fight for. He eventually went on to coach six world champions in the sport of boxing, including some popular names you may know today. In 1988, Patrick would go on to marry the woman of his dreams and now has two wonderful children that are also doing their part to make an impact in this world. Although he is on 100% disability from his injuries sustained fighting the Vietnam War, there is nothing that Patrick loves more than hunting. Patrick is someone that so many people can say had such an amazing impact on them and to this day, he would still give you the shirt off of his back. Speaking from my heart, Patrick is someone that deserves nothing but the best.

NASCAR’s Natural Cowboy Q&A WITH SPENCER BOYD Driver of the No. 20 Record Rack Chevrolet In the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series


n his second season as a full-time NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver, Spencer Boyd spends many weekends at racetracks around the United States. But when he’s not hunting big trophies, he’s usually hunting wildlife. Raised in the humble hamlet of Creve Coeur, Missouri, Boyd has long embraced the western, cowboy lifestyle. “My mom grew up on horses, my aunt grew up racing horses, and my uncle rode bulls,” Boyd said. “My dad’s side of the family was into fast cars.” Boyd uses his platform as a NASCAR driver to be an ambassador for Record Rack — one of his primary sponsors and Sportsman’s Choice® brand of wildlife feeds. In addition, Boyd is a celebrity guest of Bucks for the Brave, an annual event that gives deserving veterans and retired first responders the opportunity to participate in the hunt of a lifetime. At the end of the day, Boyd might be best described as NASCAR’s quintessential cowboy — a role that he clearly relishes. Get to know him better in the following Q&A:



•• Boyd: “These days, I hunt more with guns, but through my teenager years and going back home, I did a lot of bow hunting. In Missouri, the places we hunted are so heavily wooded that bow hunting was better. Then as you get out in Texas and some of these big places to hunt out here in North Carolina, you’ve got a lot more land, you’ve got a lot more fields. So with gun hunting, you’ve got a lot more reach.” Q: WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVORITE HUNTING PARTNERS OVER THE YEARS? •• Boyd: “Growing up, my dad was who I hunted with the most, but it was kind of like a family thing. I’ve been hunting with my cousins, most of whom were 5-10 years older than me, and my dad was pretty much the guy that got all of my cousins into hunting. Being outside of St. Louis, they weren’t the biggest hunters — they were big fishermen — so my dad was kind of the guy who got them into hunting. As I got older, I started going to hunting camp with some of my dad’s best buddies, and that was just always fun, talking about racing stories and hunting stories. I was just a 15- to 20-year-old kid hanging out with all the 40- to 50-year-olds, so hunting camp was always fun just learning a lot about life lessons. As I got into NASCAR, I’ve been able to do some cool hunts with Record Rack taking me hunting and hanging out with ‘Pigman’ (Brian Quaca) and guys like that — some big, influential folks in the hunting world.”

•• Charro performer Tomas Garcilazo and his horse, “Hollywood”, pose with Spencer Boyd.

Q: WHAT’S YOUR FIRST REAL MEMORY OF HUNTING AND BEING OUTDOORS? •• Boyd: “Probably one of the first hunts that I recall at least off the top of my head was down in Southern Missouri with my grandpa. Our first hunt that I remember was turkey hunting. You’ve got to get up real early to go turkey hunting, so we got up real early. He had about 200 acres down there and all the turkeys are roosting by the creek. We had to walk across the creek, and I remember him holding my hand because I was just a little kid. It was freezing outside, and we sat down under an old oak tree in these old — I remember it to this day — there were two orange little like elementary school chairs, and we were just sitting there waiting for the turkey and for the sun to come out. Even with all the hunting I’ve done — and I’ve been blessed to go hunting with a lot of people — that day still stands out in my mind.”

Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HUNTING SPOT? •• Boyd: “Hunting for me is going out in Texas and with all the guys with big ranches. I’m lucky to get to do that. But out here in Midland, North Carolina, my buddy owns some land. That’s one of my local spots to whitetail hunt, and we still have some family friends with land back in St. Louis. Just outside of St. Louis in Warrensburg, we go hunting there for a week once a year. My dad and I and his old work buddies, we’ve been gone from St. Louis for 10 years but we go back every year and do that. It’s fun that I’m still included. I’m not quite the little kid anymore, so we can relate on a few more things.”

•• Spencer Boyd attends rodeos near his residence in Mooresville, N.C..


•• Boyd: “Whitetail deer hunting has been my favorite. That’s what I’ve done the most of, probably, because of racing season, and whitetail is something you do more of in the offseason in October/November/December months. So growing up, that was something my dad and I did a lot of. Growing up, you do a lot of hunting — turkey hunting, dove hunting. Mule deer hunting is on the top of my list, but I haven’t gotten to do that yet. But whitetail is what I primarily did, and in Missouri, of course you do a little coyote hunting.”


Q: YOU LIKE TO FISH, TOO. WHAT’S YOUR BIGGER PASSION? •• Boyd: “I’d say hunting. Hunting’s so difficult when you set your mind on, ‘Hey, I’m hunting here, these are the whitetail that are around, this is the big buck, I would consider this a trophy to harvest this animal.’ I love eating deer meat. So, I get excited about deer hunting.” Q: WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF NASCAR’S ULTIMATE MODERN-DAY COWBOY? •• Boyd: “I’m definitely the outdoorsman. I love the rodeo. The rodeo’s something that I’ve fallen in love with probably since I turned 20. I went to some rodeos growing up, but it wasn’t something I went to all the time as a 10-year-old. But now here in Mooresville we have J.B. Mauney, a big professional bull rider from Mooresville, North Carolina. So, I started paying attention to that and went to a few rodeos at some local places here in North Carolina. Through Record Rack and their connections, that led to me getting to go to some pretty big rodeos, and now I’m friends with Dakota Eldridge and some big-time rodeo guys. I’m lucky to call those guys friends, and now it’s something that I keep up with. PBR is something I love watching on TV, but the big NFR national rodeo finals usually in Vegas are going to be in Texas now, and that is incredible. I’ve been to a lot of big NASCAR races and sporting events and it’s incredible the amount of people that go to these arenas to watch it and just the pride for country. I think there’s a huge crossover with NASCAR with just everyone wearing American flags and the pledge of allegiance and national anthem before the events. There’s a lot of synergy there, so me coming over from the professional NASCAR side to experience that, I have a lot of respect. I’m like, ‘Man, if I wasn’t a race car driver, I would love to do this, but these guys are pretty bad ass.’” Q: EVER HEARD THAT TOBY KEITH SONG, “SHOULD’VE BEEN A COWBOY”? •• Boyd: “Oh, yeah! I crank that one every now and then (laughing). I ride horses from time to time, but it’s not something I do all the time. I definitely fish and hunt more. I don’t want to say I feel like I fit in, but those folks welcome me. I love it. I go hunting in my cracked up Chevy and drive to the race shop and stop at Tractor Supply and pick up Record Rack. So outside of the race car, I’m definitely an outdoors guy, and I love rocking a cowboy hat.” Q: HOW MANY COWBOY HATS DO YOU OWN? •• Boyd: “I’ve got three or four — a couple of different colors.” Q: COULD THERE EVER BE A MORE FITTING SPONSOR FOR YOU THAN RECORD RACK? •• Boyd: “Oh, I love it. It’s a great partnership. Everyone over there embraces NASCAR and the cowboy lifestyle and western lifestyle, and there’s just a huge crossover between the NASCAR fan and what we believe in. I catch myself posting on social media and realize I have the same hat on every time — my Record Rack hat.” Q: WHAT’S YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE WITH BUCKS FOR THE BRAVE? •• Boyd: “The biggest takeaway for me is I had no idea how the participants and I could continue to communicate after the hunt. By the end of the hunt, you’re high-fiving, you’re hugging, at some point you probably all cried together. It’s just a great experience. Six months, a year, two years from meeting some of these guys, we still talk almost weekly and he’s telling me good luck, and those are the things I didn’t expect. It just brings a smile.”


WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.






Differences Between Cowpunchers & Buckaroos BY STACEY LORTON


here has been some debate over the years regarding if cowpunchers are more efficient than buckaroos or vice versa. The truth? Cowpunchers and buckaroos both have the ability to do the same job exceptionally well; they just do it differently. Read below to discover some of the major differences between cowpunchers and buckaroos.

•• Cowpunchers wear full-length chaps, batwing or shotgun while buckaroos wear armitas or chicks. •• Cowpunchers have to account for unpredictable terrain when choosing tack. •• Cowpunchers use a shorter rope than buckaroos when tending to cattle.


The tack: Buckaroo gear stems from the Spaniards who occupied California centuries ago. Horsemanship was of the highest importance to the Spaniards, and, as such, they took great pride in developing tack that was not only highly efficient but also provided extra protection for the horses they rode. Fast-forward to the present, and buckaroos are still embracing tradition by using saddles without swells and romal reins. Cowpunchers have certain geographical concerns to consider when choosing tack, such as unpredictable terrain and an abundance of brush, and opt for saddles with swells and split reins. It is also uncommon to see a cowpuncher with tack that is as embellished as the tack that buckaroos sport, a difference that can be attributed mainly to culture.


Clothing: A key difference between cowpunchers and buckaroos is that the former wears full-length chaps, batwing or shotgun when ranching, and the latter wears armitas or chinks. As mentioned above, cowpunchers often ride through harsh terrain which is why they prefer maximum leg protection. Handling livestock: The way that cowpunchers and buckaroos rope and tend to cattle is very different. Cowpunchers use a considerably shorter rope than buckaroos, generally working with a 35- or 40-foot rope vs. the 60-foot rope that a buckaroo is likely to use. This contrast can again be attributed to differences in the region. The Lingo: You won’t hear a cowpuncher say a phrase like “cavvy,” but buckaroo uses this term, they are simply referring to a pack of saddle horses. The reason for the difference in lingo is simply that most buckaroo phrases derive from Spanish words. For example, the word above “cavvy” comes from the word “caviata”. There are other differences between cowpunchers and buckaroos, but these four help define the variations in lifestyle. It’s important to remember that not every rancher will be 100% cowpuncher or 100% buckaroo. At the end of the day, personal style and horsemanship skills say the most about who you are.




TOP 10

Cowboy Towns of 2020 There is just something about a cowboy town. You know the ones, where you can’t help but get a little pep in your step, a little “y’all” in your talk, and the ones that make you want to ride off into the sunset. Here are 10 examples. BY PETER VARLET

Cody, Wyoming

Cody is so much more than just a gateway for Yellowstone National Park, this town prides itself on being the “Rodeo Capital of the World”, in honor of William Frederick Cody – the charismatic American showman known by local folk as Buffalo Bill. Come summer, Cody is home to the Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo, which runs every day from June-August. It’s also home to the Old Trail Town – an awesome collection of artifacts such as the grave of mountain man John Johnson, the original cabins used by Wild West outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a saloon frequented by the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, and the home of Curley – the Crow Indian scout who famously survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

•• Cody, Wyo., is

home to the Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo.


Fort Worth, Texas Fort Worth is the 13th-largest city in the United States and plays a huge part in Texas tourism. Fort Worth welcomes more than 9.4 million visitors annually. Fort Worth, “where the West begins,” was established as an Army outpost in the middle of the 19th century, later becoming a major livestock center. If you are planning a trip, make sure to head to the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District to see the massive steers amble down the street in a twice-daily cattle drive, take in re-enactments of gun battles, explore the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and much more.

Wickenburg, Arizona

Wickenburg is the oldest town north of Tucson and the fifth oldest town in the state (established in 1863). In its heyday, Wickenburg was the third largest town in Arizona. In 1866, it missed becoming the territorial capital by two votes. Today, Wickenburg is known for its clean air, wide-open space, team roping, dude ranches, tourism, and quiet, small-town living. In the late 1800’s Wickenburg was a boomtown reveling in silver, copper and gold. Its residents, perhaps in excess enthusiasm, exaggerated the potential of wealth in the area to the point that it became common in the West to call any teller of tall tales a Hassayamper, in honor of the river that flows through the area.

ADVENTURE DOESN’T WAIT. And neither should you. Come experience the true West. You’ll see the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, nightly rodeos, and the western charm that makes Cody so special. Explore our wide open spaces with plenty of room to roam. Get a vacation guide at or call 1-800-393-CODY.

Pinedale, Wyoming

Mountain guys like Jones and John Bridger and a fundamental part played in the quest for the vast, uncharted land between the Pacific Coastline and the Mo Lake. Pinedale Museum of the Mountain-Man is something of a shrine to such guys that are very impartial, ingenious, and severe. The memorial also functions some Indian displays, including a rare zoysia-disguise tipi, complete with zoysia robes, palm-decorated conduits, drum, and additional items, giving visitors an awe-inspiring glimpse into a life that is Indian when the Old-West was still not old.

Tombstone, Arizona Tombstone, Arizona is a historic ghost town that was founded in 1879. The frontier town enjoyed a population boom in the mid-1800s, due to the local mining industry. Tombstone is best known for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, one of the most famous gun battles in Wild West history. Famous lawmen Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were involved in the shootout. As far as Wild Western Towns in the USA go, this one is probably the most recognized. Perhaps due to the infamous movie Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton, it was a great representation of how events went down back in the day.

Pendleton, Oregon

Pendleton, Oregon, is known for the Pendleton Roundup, an annual rodeo that was founded in 1910. The Roundup is within the top 10 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) events in terms of prize money. Pendleton itself, where “the West is still wild”, began as a western trading post. It later became home to immigrant rail workers as well as the Pendleton Woolen Mills, which is still cranking out its iconic wool blankets after 150 years. Tour the mills or join one of the Pendleton Underground Tours for a look at the city’s turn-of-the-century red-light district.

Elko, Nevada

Tons of cities that are American follow their origins to railways or ranching. Lots, to any or all three, had ties like Elko. Very few, although, reveal Elko’s historical links with the Basque tradition. The north-eastern Nevada town is not any Johnny come lately regarding observing its American tradition–it’s sponsored the Countrywide Cowboy Poems Gathering for more than 30 years, the Countrywide Basque Event for more than 50 years as well as the Gold State Stampede Rodeo (Nv’s earliest) for more than a century.

Scottsbluff/Gering, Nebraska

Who knows just how many emigrants handed by the legendary rock formations recognized as Masonry Rock and Bluff as they slogged across the Oregon Trail? Now’s Scottsbluff ( the town is one word, the stone development is two) houses some interesting historical attractions. Primary included in this is, needless to say, Scotts Bluff Countrywide Monument, which informs the stories of the colonists on the Mormon, Or and Ca paths. The facility also offers many pictures by photographer Bill Mom Fitzgibbons and a famous performer.


Santa Clarita, California

It’s maybe not always simple to distinguish the misconceptions of the Old-West from the world, particularly in a spot like Santa Clarita. Television programs and motion pictures chance here created several of the stories that, consequently, nonetheless support the world desire for the Outdated Western that was real.

Miles City, Montana

Located in the heart of the Big Sky Country, Miles City, Montana, is a living homage to cowboy heritage. Soaked in Western history, Miles City remains a true Western town. Vast stretches of plains and badlands branch out in all directions. The Yellowstone and Tongue rivers flow unblemished in long sections. Once the horse-trading and livestock center of the country, Miles City still has weekly livestock auctions and, once a year, puts on the Bucking Horse Sale for rodeo stock buyers and breeders.

Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days:

The Oldest Continuous Rodeo in the Nation BY KRYSTA PAFFRATH

T •• The Gunnison (Colo.) Cattlemen’s Days rodeo started in the 1800s. •• Cattlemen’s Days is the fourth-oldest professional rodeo in the nation. •• Gunnison Valley celebrates its Western way of life with annual demonstrations of roping, racing and riding skills.

he Gunnison (Colo.) Cattlemen’s Days rodeo started in the 1800s between spring calving and summer haying, a time when area ranchers took a break to test their skills with riding and roping contests on Main Street. In the early years, the event added horse races and tried out various names such as Pioneer Days and the Helldorado Stampede. By 1901, the celebration came under the sponsorship of the Gunnison Valley Stockgrowers Association and the rodeo officially adopted the name “Cattlemen’s Days.” Between 1913 and 1928, the rodeo and race events moved to the campus of Colorado Normal School, now Western State Colorado University, using the school’s track and stands. The celebration moved back downtown from 1929 to 1936. When the Cattlemen’s Days Association was created, it built facilities at the current site. Cattlemen’s Days is now the oldest continuous rodeo and the fourth-oldest professional rodeo in the nation. The celebration persevered during World War I, the 1918 Pandemic, World War II, the Great Depression, and most recently, the 2020 Pandemic. The 2020 Cattlemen’s Days celebration took place as a three-day event over Labor Day weekend. The event was

held with a cap of 350 fans and was nationally televised on the Cowboy Channel for the whole cowboy nation to enjoy. The celebration of the cowboy lifestyle offered a record payout ($90,636, in total). It was a “who’s-who” of professional cowboys and cowgirls, unlike any other in the long and illustrious 120-year history of Gunnison’s signature local event. While the event lacked the crowd that’s crammed into the county fairgrounds in recent years, it did play host to a record number of contestants. Cattlemen’s Days Committee President Kevin Coblentz said the event went off without a hitch. For more than a century, the Gunnison Valley has celebrated its Western way of life with annual demonstrations of roping, racing and riding skills. This annual gettogether of local cowboys and cowgirls is a PRCA event that attracts the world’s top cowboys, the best livestock from across the country, and much more. Cattlemen’s Days features a county fair, parade, carnival, live music and dancing, horse shows, horse races, and of course rodeo events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).




How to be Good at

Not Winning An Interview with Kristin Darnall-Titov, CEO of Hobby Horse Clothing Company



ristin Darnall-Titov, CEO of Hobby Horse Clothing Company, has unique views on “not winning”. One would think that with over $130,000 in NRHA earnings including multiple aged event championships and two NRHA Non Pro Futurity Reserve Championships, she would flush out the non-wins. However, she claims learning to fall short is just as important as learning to win. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT EVER ONE SHOULD KNOW GOING INTO A COMPETITION? “Not winning happens to everyone. We tend to only see the wins and shining moments on social media, but everyone has had bad days, bad runs, and spells of nonwinning. Always remember that it happens to the very best, and it is going to happen to you as well.” HOW CAN PEOPLE MOVE PAST NOT WINNING TO BETTER THEMSELVES AND THEIR MINDSET? “Don’t dwell on failure — learn from it. I could think about each time I was a non-winner and be disappointed. Or I could move on from it with the lessons it taught me. With each time you don’t win, there is a lesson in it for you. You will be more prepared for the next challenge and will be able to pull from the new knowledge when you need it most.”

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN WHEN YOU STARTED COMPETING? “Not to take things personally. It is easy to focus on your nonwinning and let it get you down. The key is to review the run one time (ideally with an objective third party) and discuss what went well and what didn’t. Take your learnings and figure out how to incorporate them into your next show. Then let the rest go.” WHAT IS SOMETHING COMPETITORS SHOULD PRACTICE AFTER EVERY SHOW REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME? “Stay positive. Don’t keep negative thoughts in your head. Tell yourself what you will do next time instead of focusing on what not to do. Don’t tell yourself to not run short. Instead, tell yourself, to run long. Negativity doesn’t help anyone.” HOW CAN COMPETITORS SUPPORT EACH OTHER? “Be a supportive friend to everyone. Don’t let your non-winning get in the way of you supporting your friends and fellow competitors. Whether you are a cheerleader, moral support, or help them in their routine, don’t let non-winning get in the way. At the end of the day people won’t remember you by your success in the show pen, they will remember who you were outside of it as well.” For more on Kristin and Hobby Horse Clothing Company, make sure to check out their website and their new spring line of show blouses.


Rodeo Rewind T

he National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the Museum collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to promote interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. In half a century it has grown from a Hall of Fame honoring the American cowboy to a world-class institution housing extraordinary collections of history, material culture and art. The Museum today collects a broad array of material that reflects the variety of peoples, cultures and historical currents found in the West. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum shared the photography collection of Ralph R. Doubleday with “Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine”.

•• A RIDE WITH AN AUDIENCE. A photo of Shorty Davis at the Miles City Round-Up in 1917.

•• GETTING OVER HIS SKIS. A photo from a rodeo in 1917. •• EXIT STAGE LEFT. Adolph Goodman gets thrown from Salt Peter in 1924.









GALLOP. Anarchist attempts to throw a rider at a rodeo in Douglas, Wyo., in 1916.


Mamie Stroud rides at Pikes Peak Rodeo in 1924.


DIFFICULTY. Abbie Rayl practices trickriding at ComptonHughes Rodeo in 1935.

1924 1935

•• PEER RESPECT. A.A. Cooper rides “Brown Jug” at Belle Rourche, S.D., ranch in 1925.


CONTROL. A.L South rides “Old Paint” at North Platte Rodeo in 1945.


WEAVE. Adolph Ebner rides at Bulldogging Springfield Rodeo in 1945.





5 Ways to Support Your Local Rodeo Now more than ever, it is SO important to know how to support your local rodeo. In a time of uncertainty, rodeos are having to find alternative ways to raise money for their communities the way they used to. The economic damage that has been done to the rodeo industry is catastrophic, so keep these tips in mind when you think about supporting your hometown rodeo.

•• Many rodeos, such as Cheyenne Frontier Days, use proceeds to support local charities.



t’s common for rodeos to be made up of nonprofit organizations that raise money to give back to the community or other organizations. Take for example Gunnison Cattleman’s Days in Gunnison, Colo., an event that raises funds for Tough Enough to Wear Pink. All in all, those organizations and communities that sometimes rely on the donation are struggling just as much as the rodeos

•• Posting rodeo photos to social media is a good way to promote the sport.


SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RODEO’S SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS. By doing this, you are supporting their overall mission, not to mention your family and friends can easily start following them as well. This is the best way to keep in touch with recent event updates. ATTEND THEIR EVENT. If rodeos are having events of any kind and it is safe for you to attend, please consider attending. Even if you can’t attend in person, you can catch some of the rodeos on the Cowboy Channel. DONATE TO THEIR CAUSE. You can often find the organizations that rodeo support by heading to their website or asking on social media. Rodeos like Cheyenne Frontier Days donate to several causes within their organization so you can pick the one you would like to donate to. SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP. More often than not, your favorite rodeo usually has some kind of merchandise for sale on their website. You can stock up on early Christmas presents or just know that you are helping the good fight by purchasing a new hat or shirt. POST POSITIVE. Social media is a great way to show what you love. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is leave a positive review of our favorite rodeos. This gives them an overall better image to the public and encourages other folks to do the same. Always keep your words and imagery positive!