Jul 18

Inspired by Cowboy Keepers

Each year, with its Cowboy Keeper Award©, the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization has the great privilege of recognizing individuals, organizations, and projects that make or have made a significant contribution to the preservation of pioneer heritage and the promotion of cowboy culture. In 2016, those who have inspired such recognition are Glenn Ohrlin, Donnalyn Quintana, Cotton and Karin Rosser, John Prather, Joseph “Jo” Mora, and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.

Glenn Ohrlin
Born in 1926, in Minnesota, Glenn Ohrlin heard cowboy songs on the radio and from friends and family as a boy. By age 5, he was singing himself and at 10, he learned to play guitar. He left home at 16 to work as a cowboy. He eventually lived in a stone house he built in Arkansas, where he also operated his own cattle ranch. A sold out auditorium for “The Legacy of Glenn Ohrlin,” tribute at the 32nd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 2016, was a moving testament to his extensive influence on cowboy culture. The late cowboy Glenn Ohrlin was revered by all who knew him as a man who lived at the heart of the cowboy tradition. He was known to be a genuine one-of-kind cowboy who shared his music with all. He was fondest of performing old time novelty tunes, but he had a deep appreciation for all types of songs and loved to be around young people to pass his knowledge and love for music along to them. His repertoire ranged from traditional ballads, poetry, bawdy songs, hobo ditties and Spanish tunes from the period 1875 to 1925, to country and western, and folk songs. Over his years of cowboying, riding in rodeos, and collecting cowboy music, Ohrlin wrote The Hell-Bound Train, published by the University of Illinois Press in 1973. It contained 100 of his favorite cowboy songs and poems as well as the people and stories behind them. He released an album of the same name. He was named an NEA Heritage Fellow in 1985.

For two years, Ohrlin was host and performer with The Cowboy Tour, on which he traveled 30,000 miles sharing cowboy music. During that time, he worked with other western folklorists who organized the successful Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. A remarkable man with an especially dry sense of humor, Ohrlin like to say, “The crowd might like me or they might not, but I’ll get paid anyway.” He theorized that cowboys sing because of the isolated life they lead. His legacy from a long happy life of 88 years includes stories, songs, humor, and poetry, but most importantly it includes those who have been inspired by him to carry on the cowboy music and poetry tradition. Singer Randy Rieman summed up Ohrlin and his influence beautifully with this heartfelt compliment during the tribute show, “In the 31 years of the poetry gathering, we needed to see Glenn. You just didn’t want to miss one of Glenn’s shows.”

Donnalyn Quintana
Donnalyn Quintana established her nonprofit organization, “Western Wishes,” in 1994, out of a desire to make a difference in a child’s life by “celebrating the determination and courage of those facing adversity who love the western way of life.” She recognized there are kids who dream of being a sheriff, riding a reining horse, learning to rope a steer, ride in the rodeo or simply long to be a cowboy or cowgirl in some way. Twenty-two years later, Ms. Quintana’s program continues to grow and reward kids for their fighting spirit while also communicating the stories of their determination to get back in the saddle. The Western Wishes program puts inspiring kids in the spotlight, even if just for a moment, and encourages them to reach for the stars and see their dreams come true. She has worked tirelessly to enlist the help of celebrities such as Tuf Cooper, George Strait, Stran Smith, Taylor Swift and Reba McEntire, to light up a child’s life. Over the years, Donnalyn has worked to bring life to the western wishes of hundreds of young buckaroos with life changing illness or injury, whether mentally or physically challenged. Through her kindness, she has been touching lives and healing the hearts of young people facing potentially life-threatening adversities.

Ms. Quintana’s personal mission is to leave a legacy of goodwill the cowboy way. To that end, she reaches outside her arena as well, such as taking the time to attend the hearing at the Texas Legislature on behalf of the National Day of the Cowboy bill, where she invited her friend, rodeo legend Larry Mahan to testify to the hearing committee on our behalf. Her organization is also launching a College Rodeo Challenge, spearheaded by a college intern, to encourage other college rodeo teams to “pay it forward” by finding deserving kids, executing their wish and sharing their story. After helping to make more than 600 western wishes come true, Donnalyn still views her work as blessing for her, noting, “Every time I come away from granting a wish, my life is changed for the better. I feel that this was put into my heart for a reason.” A woman who radiates warmth and kindness, Donnalyn Quintana emphasizes that ultimately the aim is to use the Western Wishes stories to inspire other children battling similar adversities.

Cotton & Karin Rosser
Cotton Rosser says the seeds of showmanship were planted in his blood as a boy, by heroes like Will James, Hoppy, Gene, and Roy. Growing up in California, he was always on the lookout for opportunities to spend time with cowboys. Following high school, he attended Cal Poly, where he served as captain of the rodeo team. He competed in Madison Square Garden in New York in 1950. Rosser won the saddle bronc riding at the Reno Rodeo in 1950. His highlight was winning the all-around title at the 1951 Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco, but a ranch accident broke both of his legs, putting him out of rodeo competition and into business as a stock contractor and producer. To this day, he delights in new ways to entertain and wow the crowds, whether with Roman Chariot Races, Bull Poker or Bull Teeter-Totter! Cotton Rosser isn’t all about the pageantry, however. He sincerely cares about the integrity of rodeo. He takes great pains to ensure that the Flying U has the very best livestock. An aficionado of bucking horses and longhorn cattle, he attends to every detail himself. He is a legendary stock contractor and rodeo event producer who has supplied bulls to the PBR during its entire history. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2009, he was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In 2014 the Reno Rodeo honored him with “Cotton Rosser Night.” It couldn’t go to a more deserving person,” said Bob Tallman, longtime voice of the Reno Rodeo. “In the past 50 years, Cotton’s changed the face of rodeo five times. He’s been so far ahead of the curve people have flown to his events just so they could steal from them and do the same things.” Speaking at California Polytechnic State University, where he had once served as rodeo team captain Rosser told the graduates, “The motto, ‘learn by doing,’ has worked for me all my life.” And, all his life Cotton Rosser has shared his knowledge and experience while inspiring generations of cowboys and entertaining millions of people.

Karin Allred Rosser
PRCA Gold Card Member, Karin Allred Rosser, has spent her life excelling in fields related to Western Heritage. Early in life she was introduced to livestock and horses, riding Shetland Ponies as a toddler and Quarter Horses as she grew. Summers were spent at flat tracks as a hot walker and pony girl, while winter afternoons involved chariot races in NM and UT, and appearances at State and World Championship meets. Her teenage years found her in the horse show arena where she excelled in Western and English Riding and served as first President of the Utah Jr. Quarter Horse Association. Her competitive spirit resulted in numerous awards from the Utah, Intermountain and American Quarter Horse Associations. Competing as a barrel racer and queen contestant in amateur rodeo turned Karin’s attention to the rodeo arena. At 19 she was crowned Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo Queen, launching her into professional rodeo. Later that year, having earned the title Miss Rodeo Utah, she was 1St Runner-up to Miss Rodeo America. The MRA scholarship money helped pay for a Fashion Merchandising degree from Weber State University. During her year-long reign she participated in western apparel markets, celebrations, and radio and TV spots, representing professional rodeo.

Rodeo also introduced Karin to her husband of 38 years, Cotton Rosser, stock contractor for the Pioneer Days Rodeo and other PRCA rodeos. Karin and Cotton were married in 1978. They moved to the Flying U Ranch in Marysville, CA, which offered them more opportunities to promote Western heritage. Her education equipped her to manage “Cotton’s Cowboy Corral,” the western retail store Cotton and Karin own and operate in Marysville. She was also introduced to rodeo production and soon received her PRCA Timer Card and Secretary Card. Karin mastered music and spotlights at some of the largest indoor arenas in the West. During the nine years the Flying U presented the opening ceremonies at the National Finals Rodeo, Karin cued spotlights and music, washed horses, and helped with wardrobe and flag presentation practices. While Cotton occupies center stage, Karin works behind the scenes as a rodeo secretary or timer, greeting dignitaries, planning events, organizing tack trailers, saddling horses, and feeding livestock. Then, they drive down the road together to the next rodeo where she may do it all again. She is a member of the women’s group HANDS, which offers moral support and financial assistance to rodeo people in need. Karin is affiliated with the Cowboy Reunion group which raises money to benefit both the Pro Rodeo Hall of Champions and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. She is known to be a poised professional woman of character and compassion who has made a lasting impression as a wife, mother, businesswoman and friend. She is recognized as a woman of principle who works tirelessly to benefit family, rodeo, ranching, and Western heritage.

Karin and Cotton have hosted school children on ranch tours and supported FFA, 4H and High School Rodeo clubs and teams. Since 2005, the Flying U Rodeo Company has participated in California Ag Day at the Capitol, where Karin and Cotton distribute copies of the Pro Rodeo Sports News, PRCA rule books, animal welfare brochures, answer questions from legislators, media, and the general public and provide information about pro rodeo. Together and individually, Karin and Cotton Rosser exemplify the essential spirit of those who work to promote and preserve the best of our Western Heritage.

Joseph “Jo” Mora
Throughout his lifetime, Joseph “Jo” Jacinto Mora embraced the rich history of the American West. From the time he wrote and illustrated stories about cowboys and Indians as a young child, to his last written and illustrated book about the history of the Vaqueros at the end of his life, Mora depicted the western lifestyle through his varied artistic abilities and by living it himself. As an accomplished illustrator, painter, sculptor, printmaker, cartographer, cartoonist, photographer, and cowboy, Jo was able to express his deep love of western history through numerous channels of creativity. His knowledge of history came from travel by horse and wagon in the early 1900s as he explored California’s missions, Yosemite, the state’s ranches, and eventually the culture of the Hopi and Navajo in Arizona. His observations throughout this time found their way into his writings and his art. Mora’s vast body of work ranges from a California 49er on a half-dollar minted by the U.S. government in celebration of California’s Diamond Anniversary, to four majestic bronzes on display at Oklahoma’s Woolaroc Museum, featuring figures prominent in Oklahoma history and the 101 Ranch of George Miller. The Levi Strauss Company chose Mora’s artwork for an extensive advertising campaign.

It is no surprise that a person of Mora’s vast western legacy would be intertwined with other honored westerners. Upon seeing Jo’s art, Frederick Remington encouraged Jo by telling him, “Son, you’re doing fine. Just stay with it.” Author Zane Grey featured Jo’s drawings in his Western Magazine. Jo’s western drawings sit perfectly alongside the work of Ed Borein and Charlie Russell. The writing of Jo Mora continues to ring just as true sixty years later as the work of Will James and Frank Dobie. Mora himself crafted a 13-scene diorama depicting the life of Will Rogers (at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, OK), as well as one featuring the arrival of John Fremont at Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, California.

He wrote and illustrated Trail Dust and Saddle Leather about the American cowboy and Californios about the Vaqueros; both continue to be well respected accounts of their subjects. He worked with his father to create the decorative elements on the Native Sons of the Golden West Building in San Francisco, depicting various aspects of California’s history. Mora created memorial sculptural work in honor of Bret Harte and the decorative elements on the Monterey County Courthouse in Salinas, California. His iconic work, “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” was featured on the 2011 National Day of the Cowboy commemorative poster. Mora was a member of the prestigious National Sculpture Society. He was a prolific creator and his incredible and varied works of art can be found in museums, libraries, private collections and public places all around the country. Jo Mora is one of only eight persons included in each issue of Who’s Who in America since the publication’s inception. One of the rare artists able to make his living by his craft, Mora was a gifted artist, and an amazing person able to accomplish anything he set his mind to. While his list of accomplishments and accolades seems nearly endless, Jo Mora was the consummate husband and father who listed his family at the top of his life’s achievements.

John Prather
In this fast moving world where technology emphasizes forward strides, we sometimes lose touch with historical milestones that form the foundation on which we stand today. New Mexico rancher, John Prather, serves as one of those milestones. Although he died in 1965, Prather and his story still resonate as an example of the cowboy ethics and principles of a man willing to stand up for what he believed was right. Born in Van Zandt County, Texas, in 1874, nine year old John and his family were one of the pioneer families moving to the territory of New Mexico in 1883. John started breaking horses when he was 12, charging a dollar per year of the horse; thus a two year old colt cost $2.00 to break. He saved his money, eventually married, and with his bride, homesteaded on the unsettled grasslands of the Otero Mesa where they lived in a tent until they could get a home built. Working behind a team of mules pulling a fresno scraper, they constructed dirt tanks and made water where there was no water. During World Wars I and II John gained fame as the Mule King, having one of the largest Army mule breeding programs in the country. Afterwards he ran a successful cattle ranching business introducing the first Angus cattle to the area. John became widely known so it was not uncommon to see an interesting roster of people at the ranch looking to purchase from his renowned stock. Visitors and clients included Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Dizzy Dean. He enjoyed going into town to do the shopping and often would stop for someone on the road who seemed to be in a tough situation and ask if he could help. Some of the old timers in Alamogordo still tell of times as a young child when they remember John buying expectant mothers a basket of baby clothes or an older person a new set of dentures. Most recipients of his acts of kindness were strangers to him, but he always said there is no excuse not to help someone one when you can. Although always a gentleman John could push boundaries when needed. During war time he often had only lady cowhands working for him because he felt they could use the income and satisfaction of providing for their families while their men were away. The ladies with children were even invited to bring the youngsters to the ranch so he could teach them about life outdoors.

The Cold War turned the attention of the U.S. military to the southern part of New Mexico where expansion of the McGregor Missile Range was seen as a necessity in the race against the Soviets. Buyouts of ranchers with the threat of condemnation worked well in acquiring 99% of the land, with one exception…John Prather. Even though he was 82, Prather refused to be cowed or intimidated and stayed firm in his resolve to keep his ranch. Understanding the need to prime our military’s force he offered to lease it to the Army for $1.00 a year, indemnity free. His offer was rebuffed and legal proceedings were initiated. Negotiations continued for a year with John graciously meeting several generals and inviting them to his place to see the fine beef he was raising to feed the boys in uniform. He was civil, but resolute in his stand to preserve what he had built with years of sweat and tears. Eventually the threat of force was employed and sheriffs’ deputies were sent to arrest the old rancher. Again, John was gracious but firm, saying he understood their job and hoped they understood his. He would not be moved unless it was forcibly. Two days passed ending with three deputies driving back to town with an empty back seat. Newspaper coverage from Alaska to Germany lauded the old cowboy. The Today Show quipped that the Army might want to use John Prather to negotiate with the Soviets on their behalf. The writer, Edward Abbey, penned the book Fire on the Mountain based on John’s determination to keep his land. The book became a made-for-TV film, starring Buddy Ebsen and Ron Howard. Within the year, juke boxes across the country were spinning “The Ballad of John Prather,” by Calvin Boles. John threatened to live to be 100 but passed away at 91. He is buried there where he took a stand for what he felt was right. His ranch is now part of the McGregor Missile Range, but they didn’t take it until a month after his death. He continued to work his ranch until the day he died. He held no grudges and often invited passing soldiers to the house for brisket, beans, and a dip in the cool waters of the steel tank. He was a class act until the very end. John Prather proved by example that being a cowboy is about far more than working with livestock. It is also about strength of character, integrity and true grit.

Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
In the early 1990’s a group of citizens from Duncan and southwest Oklahoma, and northern Texas, formed a partnership to increase the quality of life in their region, help educate people on the courage, struggles and successes of settlement in the area, and provide an information stop on the route of present day explorers of the historic Chisholm Trail. From the beginning, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Oklahoma, hosted visitors with the highest quality educators and exhibits to celebrate the men and women who rode the Trail, settled the area, or were indigenous peoples forced to alter their lifestyles due to the encroachment of travelers and settlers. The Center’s mission is, “To celebrate and perpetuate the history, art and culture of the Chisholm Trail, the American Cowboy and the American West.” As a nonprofit, world class museum inside and out, the Center enriches its community as a renowned destination that brings alive the heritage of the American West, inspiring and educating present and future generations.

The museum serves the United States and International communities as well. The staff estimates fully ¼ of visitors are international. Past, present and future museum exhibits are as diverse as those who traveled the trail, including The Long Ride Home – The African American (cowboy) Experience in America” a photographic exhibition by Ron Tarver, a Grand Ole Opry tribute, a comic book artist’s exhibit, a chuck wagon exhibit, the art of Donna Howell Sickles, and even a vintage apron exhibition. Art lovers will delight in the Garis Gallery of the American West where they can view prized works of George Catlin, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Cowgirl artists in the Garis Gallery include KW Whitley and Marjorie Reed. Local and regional artists are also on display, including the work of Gay Faulkenberry and Oklahoma notables Paul Moore and Harold T. Holden.

The Chisholm Trail Center’s annual National Day of the Cowboy celebration continues to thrive and grow each year, bringing hundreds of excited attendees to celebrate and honor the role of the cowgirl and cowboy in the American West. They strive to include activities for young folks as well as adults, including educational programming and artist exhibits. At their always exceptional NDOC celebration you can rope a Longhorn, ride a buckin’ bronc, create your own brand, and watch the cattle stampede in the 4D Theater while you cool off during a summer thunderstorm on the Oklahoma prairie. At the Campfire Theater you can listen to Jesse Chisholm and Tex share campfire tales in spite of a ruckus in the wagon as cowboys try to get comfortable for the night.

The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center has received numerous awards as a result of the quality of its exhibits and programs, including in 2014 “Great Expectations Model School” certification (the only non-profit to hold this title consecutively for eight years). In 2005, the “American Cowboy Culture Award” for Western Museums from the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas and in 2003, the “Community Improvement Award” from the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is one of three organizations working to create national involvement in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail in 2017.

Cowboy Keeper Awards are always unique because each year a different artist or photographer contributes the artwork for the award. Renowned Prix de West and multiple award winning artist, Scott Tallman Powers, graciously provided the NDOC with his gentle image of “The Wyoming Storyteller,” for the 2016 Cowboy Keeper Awards.

The National Day of the Cowboy tips its hat to Glenn Ohrlin, Donnalyn Quintana, Cotton and Karin Rosser, John Prather, Joseph “Jo; Mora, and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, our 2016 Cowboy Keeper Award honorees. These esteemed recipients have not only made a substantial contribution to the preservation of our pioneer heritage and cowboy culture, they have inspired untold others to do the same.

Mar 18

Idaho Legislature passes National Day of the Cowboy bill

March 18, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Just a few moments ago, the Idaho Senate, by voice vote, approved passage of our National Day of the Cowboy bill, HCR038. This makes Idaho the 11th state to ensure permanent recognition for the 4th Saturday in July as a day to celebrate cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. A big tip of our cowboy hat to the cowboy taking the lead as our bill sponsor in the Idaho House of Representatives, Rep Steve Miller. Also to our bill sponsor in the Idaho Senate, Mark Harris, and to our dedicated and persistent volunteer in Idaho, Kraig Sundberg.

 We’ll keep you posted as to when Idaho’s Governor, cowboy Butch Otter, signs the NDOC bill into law.

Those of you who live in CO, IN, and WA, please contact your legislators today and tell them you’d like to see your state pass the NDOC bill this year too. Senator Sharon Brown is the sponsor in WA and Rep JP Brown is the bill sponsor in CO. Our bill sponsor in Indiana is Rep David Ober.

We continue to make progress in our effort to secure nationwide recognition for the cowboy bill, but we definitely need your financial support to keep moving forward. Please consider becoming a supporting member or a donor today, or purchase an NDOC product such as an NDOC flag or a poster.

Idaho Capitol building IMG_2355 Rep Miller Wife CherylMe House Chamber ID 

Mar 17

Henry .45 Long Colt Big Boy Rifle Raffle – 2016

Henry .45 Long Colt RifleMarch 17, 2016
Anthony Imperato, CEO of Henry Repeating Arms, donated two Henry .45 Long Colt Big Boy Rifles to the National Day of the Cowboy, in support of our work to establish a national day of recognition for cowboy culture and the preservation of pioneer heritage. Founded in 1997, and headquartered in Bayonne, NJ, Henry Repeating Arms firearms manufacturing company is one of the top five long gun manufacturers in the United States, and, the leading lever action manufacturer. Henry Rifles are, “Made in America or not made at all.” Henry Repeating Arms is also recognized and respected as a company which generously and frequently supports nonprofit community efforts across the country. The National Day of the Cowboy is offering an opportunity to win one of these donated Big Boy Rifles in a fundraising raffle.

NDOC Henry Big Boy Rifle Description:
This raffle is for ONE Henry .45 Long Colt Big Boy Rifle donated to the National Day of the Cowboy by Henry Repeating Arms Company. The rifle features an octagonal 24″ barrel, a brass receiver and lever action. Henry Rifles engraved the stock with the official National Day of the Cowboy logo, in red and blue lettering. This rifle also has the year, “2015” engraved on it, an added feature showcasing the work of Virginia engraver, Marcus Ovando. The NDOC Henry rifle comes in its own beautiful presentation case.Henry .45 Long Colt Rifle

Raffle details:
We are offering 100 raffle slots for this Henry. Tickets are $20 each. The name of each person who buys a ticket (or tickets) will be written in a square/squares on an un-numbered grid of 100 squares. Once all of the squares are sold and filled, numbers will be drawn to assign to each square. So, for example, the number drawn for the square in the top left corner could be #77. Once all the numbers are randomly assigned, the Grand Marshal of Amelia’s annual NDOC event will draw the winning number from a cowboy hat containing the numbers 1-100, on July 23, 2016.

To purchase your tickets:

Make your check or postal money order to   “Powhatan Peacemakers.” You must put “HENRY NDOC” in the memo section.

Mail payment to:

Darrell Wyatt, PO Box 506, Amelia, VA 23002. Be sure you include a phone number. Contact Darrell Wyatt by email melungeon99@gmail.com or phone 804-337-5176 with any questions you may have. Tickets will go very quickly.

Once the winning ticket is drawn and the winner is notified, the winner must provide a shipping transfer FFL to the FFL currently holding the Henry rifle.
Contact Darrell Wyatt melungeon99@gmail.com for current FFL information. The FFL then submits a request for a background check on the buyer. It is the responsibility of the raffle winnier to make arrangements with a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) as to where they want the rifle shipped. Gunsmiths and firearms retailers have such a license. They usually charge a fee for doing the paperwork; typically that fee is around $25.

Any transfer fees, plus the cost of shipping the rifle and its presentation case will be paid by the winning ticket holderr.

NOTE:: Possession of the rifle cannot be facilitated until the buyer’s background check clearance is received by the FFL

When you contact your FFL, they will ask for your credentials and shipping address. The FFL submits the background check and transfers ownership. If you do not know whom to contact with an FFL, email NDOC board member, Darrell Wyatt, melungeon99@gmail.com and he will help you locate one in your area.

Contributors:
The National Day of the Cowboy 501c3 wishes to thank Jerry Betley (IN), Scott Beam (IN), and Darrell Wyatt (VA), for their efforts in contacting and working with the Henry Repeating Arms Company on behalf of the NDOC. Thanks too, to Marcus Ovando for engraving both rifles with “2015,” thus making them unique to this year. We are especially grateful to Anthony Imperato, CEO of Henry Repeating Arms, and to his employees, for their generous support of the National Day of the Cowboy effort.

The National Day of the Cowboy non-profit organization works to contribute to the preservation of America’s cowboy culture and pioneer heritage so that the history and culture which the National Day of the Cowboy bill honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, literature, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and other community activities.

Jul 13

Recipients excel as 2015 Cowboy Keepers

Hitchin' Up for a Dry Ride

Hitchin’ Up for a Dry Ride

Each year, as the National Day of the Cowboy approaches, members of the Board of Directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization have the privilege of reviewing the many nominations submitted for its annual Cowboy Keeper Awards©. It is always an uplifting experience. The award is bestowed upon those who make a significant contribution to the preservation of cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. This year there were more nominations than ever, each one raising the bar for future nominees. Those selected to receive the award share, among other things, an impeccable character, a joyful work ethic, a broad range of talents and skills, a love for educating the public about cowboys, a sense of leadership, and a high degree of creativity. We are proud to name Sheila Carlson, Waddie Mitchell, Ernie Sites, David Stoecklein, Bud Young, and husband wife team, Lyman & Alaire Tenney, as our 2015 Cowboy Keeper Award recipients.

 

 

Sheila Carlson
Arizona cowgirl, Sheila Carlson, is a wonderful example of a hard-working person living “the Cowboy Way” every day. She has worked as a cowboy for over 15 years on ranches in Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Arizona. About her day work she says, “I get to work with great freedom, and I love working with the cattle and my horses and cow dogs.” Besides being a hardworking ranch hand, she has a passion for photography. Still she has made time in her life to make a difference to many people and their families. As the founder and director of the non-profit “Cowfolks Care,” whose purpose is to provide financial and other types of assistance to members of the American ranching and agricultural community, her tireless efforts have helped raised vital funds for ranch people in need. She created the organization in 2013, simply because she saw individuals and families struggling with difficulties in their lives such as lost jobs or serious medical issues, and realized she could never do enough to help by herself. “I, like many others, did what I could to help out, but that just didn’t seem to be enough,” she reflects. In her mind, it felt right to find a better way and she knew it was a mission she wanted to start and to remain a part of. Through the effective use of social media she has been able to organize and offer successful online auctions and promote live events, raising thousands of dollars for those in need. Sheila has graciously built camaraderie with the nearly 8,000 involved people who now belong to “Cowfolks Care,” on Facebook, demonstrating that the cowboy way of helping others is alive and well. The non-profit’s entire staff consists of volunteer cattle women who utilize their individual skills to see that their mission is served. Sheila Carlson’s immediate and direct methods ensure that donations reach those who need them quickly. One hundred percent of funds raised go to designated recipients.

Cowboy Poetry’s Margo Metegrano observes, “Sheila Carlson is a “Keeper” in every sense of the word. Her selfless efforts have helped keep many individuals and families from the brink countless times. She has created and sustains a vibrant community of people who find fulfillment in helping others. Her work offers hope and comfort. Ms. Carlson exemplifies the right and the good that can be done in true cowboy style.”

Waddie Mitchell
Buckaroo Poet, Waddie Mitchell, is a true working cowboy who became a world class cowboy poet and storyteller. He has lived the cowboy life since the day he was born on the Horseshoe Ranch south of Elko, Nevada, and he continues to perpetuate everything that embodies the cowboy code. He spent most of his early days with the working cowboys, and at night, since they had no electricity on the ranch, he listened to their stories and poems. He dropped out of school at 16 to become a chuck wagon driver and a full time wrangler. He began writing poetry of his own and soon dreamed of an event that would allow cowboys young and old to share their stories and tales in verse with each other. In 1984, he realized that dream when he and his friend, Hal Cannon, brought the first National Cowboy Poetry Gathering to life in Elko. That first year, Waddie was taken by surprise when over 2,000 people came for the shows. The Cowboy Poetry Gathering has now been going and growing for over thirty years. Another milestone came in 1984, when Waddie recorded his first album of poetry at Cannon’s home. His second album sold over 10,000 copies. By 1988, he was the most well known cowboy poet in the world. In 1992, he was one of the first artists to record on Warner Brothers’ newly established Warner Western label with the album “Lone Driftin’ Rider.” Together he and colleague singer/songwriter, Don Edwards, embarked on an extensive promotional tour, performing at festivals, concert halls, schools and universities to sell the album and to educate audiences about their cowboy way of life. Mitchell released his second Warner album, Buckaroo Poet in 1994. In 1994, Waddie founded the Working Ranch Cowboys Association with a mission of creating scholarships and crisis funds for working cowboys and their families while showcasing the skill of everyday working cowboys. The WRCA now sanctions numerous rodeos throughout the West with a sold-out world championships held each November in Amarillo, TX. Once, when given the opportunity to perform his poetry on national television on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, he declined because he “had cows to feed.” When he finally appeared on Carson’s show, he was a big hit after reciting Wallace McCray’s famous poem “Reincarnation,” and he returned as a guest several times after that. He has also appeared on other programs, including Larry King’s radio show and a National Geographic special, as well as being featured in People, Life, New York Times, USA Today, Fortune, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal and the Official Program for Super Bowl XXX. Waddie Mitchell is known to be more concerned for the welfare of his animals than personal fame, and more sensitive of the feelings of fledgling poets than enforcing the rules of iambic pentameter. He participates every day in the preservation of the American Cowboy. He fights continually for agrarian rights and recently stood with his fellow ranchers in supporting the Grass Roots March to Washington DC. He has won numerous honors for his poetry and storytelling, and was inducted into the Cowboy Poets and Singers’ Hall of Fame. In 2011 he was inducted into the Nevada Writer’s Hall of Fame. He has performed internationally for audiences from Los Angeles to New York, Zurich to Melbourne, and most stops in between. Waddie Mitchell received the title of Adjunct Professor from the University of Wyoming. This honor was based on “real world credentials,” which Waddie Mitchell possesses in volumes.

Ernie Sites
A western entertainer and an experienced cowboy, Ernie Sites hails from southern Idaho. Among his many talents, he is a western performer, songwriter, cowboy poet, trick roper, bull rider, rodeo clown, bareback rider, team roper and a calf roper. He has traveled the world over, using his gifts to teach people about cowboys and the west. Western author, Corinne J. Brown, has dubbed Ernie “the urban cowboy troubadour.”

His lifelong friendship with a guitar began when he was finally big enough to hold onto one, practicing his licks in the back room of the local barbershop, where the barber also happened to be a musician. Well before he learned to sing, he began developing his love for literature and rhyme by creating his own poetry. Eventually, he did learn to sing and to yodel, a combination that led him to the recording studio, “singing the stories of the West.” He formed his first band when he was 15. He continued to work on his cowboy skills along with his music, including hours of working to emulate his hero, Will Rogers, in the arena of trick roping. As his entertainer’s career grew, he discovered the National Cowboy Gathering at Elko Nevada, and was delighted to find there were many others who like him, were dedicated to preserving the cowboy life through music, poetry and storytelling. Along the trail, he has performed with such luminaries as Riders in the Sky, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Gene Autry, and the Sons of the Pioneers. He has been a guest on CBS, PBS, TNN, the BBC, and Good Morning, America. Along with these accomplishments, he is also a playwright and has created a fun filled songbook for kids.

Ernie is proudest of his accomplishments working with young people in his cowboy workshops, where he incorporates traditional and original cowboy songs, western singing, songwriting, yodeling, and storytelling. He even encourages the children to try to master rope tricks themselves. He is openly proud of every student with whom he works, making sure their encounter with his cowboy culture and history is always a positive one. Ernie is often characterized by professionals in the education field as a gifted teacher, because he so skillfully and easily engages kids in the learning process while conveying his own sense of happiness to them at all times. During summers, he travels from Idaho to One Thousand Acres Ranch in Adirondack Park, one of the first dude ranches in New York. There he works his cowboy magic for all the guests, grown-ups and young buckaroos alike, who’ve come to the ranch from all over the world to immerse themselves in a great cowboy experience. Ernie makes sure they are never disappointed.

David Stoecklein
The late David Stoecklein is a world renowned photographer of the west. He was born in Pennsylvania, but lured to the American west at age 20, by dreams of unlimited hours of white powder skiing in Idaho. Indeed, he first gained recognition as a professional photographer with his work in the ski and outdoor photo industry, including shooting advertising images for high profile clients like Stetson, Chevrolet and Jeep. He eventually became a rancher himself, and was a very devoted family man, with a wife and three sons who continue to preserve and share his life’s legacy. Stoecklein is a highly acclaimed visual storyteller, who through his incredible images, documented the lives of his working ranch friends, neighbors and colleagues. He is considered to be the most sought after and recognized Western photographer of his time. More than anything else, he had a passion for documenting the west he loved, because he believed in the importance of preserving the real work of cowboys and cowgirls for future generations. He did that with unforgettable majestic sweeping images and with heart stopping, breathtaking detail. High profile magazines carried feature stories about David, and his photos appeared regularly in and on the covers of major western lifestyle publications such as Western Horseman, and, Cowboys & Indians Magazine.

Known for an intensely competitive streak, a big heart and a smile to match, Stoecklein was adamant that his photos had to be of real working cowboys and cowgirls. A self-taught photographer, he accepted nothing less than ‘the real deal,” which is why he became a working rancher himself. Of his life’s work in books (which have sold over a million copies) and photography spanning 43 years, he said, “My hope is that folks who don’t understand the Western lifestyle, will come to respect it, embrace it, and help preserve it.” His family has established the David Stoecklein Memorial & Educational Foundation to support literacy and education about western life through art, photography, scholarships, and publications. But his personal legend and legacy will live on through his body of award winning images, more than any other avenue. David Stoecklein’s remarkable photography seems to speak for his heart.

Alaire & Lyman Tenney
Lyman “C” Tenney, one of ten children, was born on his family’s cattle ranch near Willcox, Arizona. His wife, Alaire, born in El Paso, Texas, was the daughter of Quarter Horse Association founder and QHA Hall of Fame inductee, J.E. Browning. Together, Lyman and Alaire left a deep cowboy mark on the American Southwest and Australia.

Lyman started cowboying as soon as he could climb on a horse and spent 60 years in the saddle. At 15 he left home to cowboy on his own. “I wanted to see all the ranches I could and work for ‘em all.” In Arizona, he worked ranches from Big Chino to Ashfork, all the ranches on the Verde to Clarkdale, Cottonwood to Flagstaff, Mingus Mountain to Orme Ranch, Camp Verde to Dewey, Prescott to Crown King, down the Hassayampa and up Yarnell to Wickenburg. He worked cattle from Skull Valley to Williamson Valley, Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima Counties, the Graham, Winchester and Galiuros Mountains, the slopes of the Rincons, Whetstones, Huachucas, and more. He was a rodeo cowboy in the US, Australia and Tasmania, in saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding, and the timed events of steer roping, calf roping and team roping and a contestant at the Prescott Rodeo for 22 years straight. During July 4th weekend, in 1941, he drove to Prescott to enter the rodeo. There he met 18 year-old cowgirl, Alaire Browning. The next summer, they decided to marry, and wed the day after he won the Dewey Saddle Bronc money. Lyman went to work on the DK then the DuBois Ranch, until Alaire’s father bought the Bar HL south of Willcox. They worked the Bar HL from 1942 to 1951 when they bought the Muleshoe Ranch, selling it when drought forced them out. They moved to California, running 6,500 head of cattle in Imperial Valley. In 1963, Alaire, who was an expert cowhand, was badly injured when her horse tripped in a hole and rolled on her. She was unconscious for 77 hours. Recovery took far longer as she had to learn to walk again.

In 1966, Al Stansbury asked the Tenneys to run his ranch in Australia’s Northern Territory. Their accomplishments in Australia alone could fill volumes. On the Woollogorang “Station,” in Australia, they managed the largest cattle operation they had ever run – 2,225 square miles, 1,650,000 acres, 10,000 head of cattle. It was 500 miles to the nearest grocery store and the closest rail point. Cattle drives to the railhead took 11 weeks. Lyman soon arranged to haul cattle by semi, shortening the drive to 18 days. One day, Lyman and son, Todd, gave a team roping demonstration at the Mount Isa Rodeo. It soon became a popular and widespread rodeo event. Lyman has since been called the “Father of Australian Team Roping,” because he introduced it to the continent. Lyman and Alaire took part in an experimental program for Nelson Hunt, to domesticate water buffalo. Lyman helped form the CeeTeeGee Saddle Tree Company, making saddle trees for American-style roping saddles and hornless bronc riding saddles. They staged the first roping school in Australia and helped establish the first rodeo club, started the Western Performance Horse Club and the Sierra Bonita Roping Club, trained Quarter horses and taught western riding. In Aspley, they helped establish the Pine View Equestrian Center, became involved with the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association and helped establish the Australian National Riding Trail, said to be the longest continuous horse trail in the world. They gave seminars and clinics teaching American style horsemanship and horse training, cutting and reining, as well as rodeo riding skills. Within a decade, they held over 100 schools in Australia and Tasmania. They imported Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Paints from the U.S. Lyman helped organize regional QHAs, and was a founding member of the Australian Quarter Mile Racing Association, a charter member of the National Cutting Horse Association of Australia, and organized and brought to fruition an NCHA Finals and Futurity. Alaire in turn, started the popular Ladies Cuttings in Australia. They formed the Western Australia Cutting Club. He was a co-founder of the Paint Horse Association of Australia. Their Paint horse, Joeleo, was one of the founding sires and National Champion of the PHA of Australia; the first horse inducted into the Australian PHA Hall of Fame. In 1971, Lyman produced the first American style rodeo in Brisbane. In 1973, at age 54, at the Roma Rodeo, he won 1st in calf roping and team roping and 2nd in steer roping, winning the All-Around Championship; the first time in Australian rodeo it was awarded to a contestant who only roped. In 1977, they formed the Albany Trail Riders Association. In 1979, Alaire was appointed head of the National Paint Horse Queen Committee, where she organized the Queen contest for the first NPHAA National Show.

In 1980, they returned to Arizona. 1986 found them managing the 87 square mile DG Ranch outside Wickenburg. In 1994 they retired in Willcox, then moved back to Prescott. Lyman was inducted into the Arizona Living Pioneer Hall of Fame. Alaire, who ranched, roped cattle; team roped, and taught roping and riding right beside her husband, passed away in 2008. Lyman passed in 2009. Few if any, men or women have cowboyed as extensively in the American Southwest as Lyman and Alaire Tenney, and no other husband and wife team has done more to proliferate the cowboy culture in Australia.

Bud Young
Coldwater, Mississippi’s Lawrence “Bud” Young, known to his friends as “Mr. Bud,” has for 59 years competed in rodeo, coached teams, instructed students and helped organize events throughout the southeastern United States. He has served as a judge for rodeo events and as an instructor for Lyle Sankey Rodeo Clinics. He is characterized as a master teacher and rodeo coach who has guided youth in the areas of competition and in the arena of life. Mr. Bud is known to all as a gentleman cowboy who treats his colleagues and friends with compassion and respect, and as a citizen and soldier who has served his nation with distinction.

Bud Young started his bull riding career in 1957 at age 12. He joined the International Professional Rodeo Association in 1964, where he is still an active member. He has also competed in the PRCA, CRA, URA and the Deep South Rodeo Association. Bud came to Northwest Community College in Senatobia, MS, in 1973 as an instructor in livestock management technology, starting the college’s first rodeo team that same year. Under his leadership, the Northwest team regularly earned awards in local, regional and national competition. His team members won championships in bareback riding, bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and in the All-Around category. The longest tenured coach in Northwest’s athletic history before retiring in 2009, Young coached college rodeo for 36 years, was the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) facility director for 18 years and served two terms as its Facility President. Bud Young was inducted into the Northwest Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and, was honored with the announcement of the Lawrence “Bud” Young Endowment Scholarship which benefits a student in the college rodeo program. Bud, whose name is synonymous with Northwest Mississippi Community College rodeo, was inducted into the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame in April 2013. He is the first rodeo competitor/coach to receive that honor in the State of Mississippi. Since retirement, Young has remained involved as arena manager of the Northwest Multipurpose Arena and is an adjunct faculty member teaching plant science. He continues to share his experience and expertise with high school students by conducting workshops and seminars, as well as working with youth in the Little Britches Rodeo Association.

Friend and fellow Mississippian, Rip Copeland, writes, “I’ve watched Bud instruct students in correct chute procedures, the fundamentals of riding, the proper way to greet a lady by removing your hat, and even the proper way to shake a man’s hand. In every aspect of his life, he exemplifies and embodies the Cowboy Code of Conduct embraced by the NDOC.”

Sheila Cottrell
Each year, a different artist or photographer generously donates an image to be used in the Cowboy Keeper Awards. This year’s spectacular image of a stagecoach stopped in Monument Valley, “Hitchin’ Up for a Dry Ride,” was created by Arizona artist and Cowgirl Up member, Sheila Cottrell.

The mission of National Day of the Cowboy non-profit organization is to contribute to the preservation of America’s cowboy culture and pioneer heritage so that the history and culture which the fourth Saturday in July honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, literature, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and other community activities. These Cowboy Keeper Award recipients personify that mission. Although there is not enough room in this piece to share completely the vast and illustrious accomplishments of each one, we recommend you delve further into  their stories for further inspiration.

Hats off to the cowboy.
by Bethany Braley

 

 

Jun 30

Rifleman NDOC Offer

The Rifleman – The Original Series

Special 2015 National Day of the Cowboy Rifleman Offer TheRifleman_DVDsSeason1_cvrfr

For a limited time — from July 20-25, 2015 — the authorized Collector Edition DVD boxed sets of The Rifleman will be available exclusively at The Rifleman official website at: www.therifleman.net/store.  Get $10 off of the DVD boxed set for Season 1 (regular price $69.95) or Season 2 (regular price $59.95). Be sure to apply the coupon code in the shopping cart before proceeding to checkout.

USE Coupon Code: NDC15 at checkout.

Levy-Gardner-Productions is pleased to present all 76 episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 of the iconic western TV series, “The Rifleman,” starring Chuck Connors as widowed rancher Lucas McCain, and Johnny Crawford as his young son, Mark McCain. The series has been digitally remastered on DVD, with media encoding for the first time ever. All 76 episodes are presented in their original televised sequence in two Collector Edition boxed sets for Seasons 1 (episodes 1-40 on 8 discs) and Season 2 (episodes 41-76 on 6 discs). The Collector Edition DVD sets are packaged in an illustrated folding tray pack that slides into a handsome slipcase, and each set includes a printed program booklet.   Season 3 is set for release in the fall of 2015. Stay tuned to the official website for updates: www.therifleman.net

The Rifleman is a classic western series set in the fictional town of North Fork, located in the New Mexico Territory. The show’s main themes focus on the strong bond between father and son as they confront the adventures and challenges of homesteading a ranch at the edge of the American frontier of the 1880s. Lucas McCain’s custom Winchester Rifle is the signature symbol of the series’ law and order message, with justice and a sense of fair play central to its guiding principles.

May 19

Texas takes the bill by the horns

In mid-May 2015, the Texas state legislature made Texas the tenth state to pass the National Day of the all ebay 018
Cowboy bill, following the lead of  Wyoming, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Mississippi, Kansas, and Virginia.

Former Texas Senator, Jeff Wentworth, started the wagon rolling in Austin when he first sponsored and achieved passage of the NDOC resolution back on 2009. He sponsored the resolution and saw it pass again in 2011. It was sponsored in 2013 by Senator Donna Campbell, but remained a resolution. Then in 2014, at the urging of El Paso’s Bernie Sargent, Texas Representative Joe Pickett took up the cause to see the NDOC pass as a bill which would award permanent status to the National Day of the Cowboy in the Lone Star State.

In March, 2015, Cowboy/rodeo legends Larry Mahan and Bobby Steiner, Western Wishes founder, Donnalyn Quintana, Ron Whitten of Cavender’s Boot City, and Patrick Dudley from the Texas Department of Agriculture, all came to the House committee hearing in support of Pickett’s National Day of the Cowboy bill. It passed unanimously out of the committee (which we were told rarely happens) and subsequently went on to a full vote in the Texas House and Senate, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Craig Estes, passing in both branches. The bill is now on its way to Texas Governor all ebay 023Abbott for signing into law. No word yet on when the signing might take place, but we’ll give you a heads up if we know, so that those of you who want to be present for the signing will have an opportunity to do so.

If you live in one of the remaining 40 states yet to pass the NDOC bill, and you’d like to see it happen in your state, send an email to info at nationaldayofthecowboy.com, and we’ll help you get to work on it.

Become a supporting member today and help us keep this wagon rolling forward.

Hats off to the cowboy and cowgirl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Day of the Cowboy non-profit organization works to contribute to the preservation of America’s cowboy culture and pioneer heritage so that the history and culture which the National Day of the Cowboy bill honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, literature, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and other community activities.

 

Apr 28

2015 National Day of the Cowboy Hatch, “Reel Heroes”

We’ve been working since 2005 to secure official status for the 4th Saturday in July as the National  Day of the Cowboy; a day to celebrate cowboy culture and pioneer heritage.  Currently, ten states have passed our bill permanently into law (WY,CA, NM, AZ, OK, OR, MS, KS, VA and TX). One of our main sources of funding for this ongoing effort is our commemorative Hatch poster series. We began making these traditional Americana style posters in 2005, using Hatch’s vintage woodblock art and text, but in 2006, we decided to ask artists, each from a different state, for original art which could be carved into a plate for our posters alone. Our first artist was Jennifer M. Ward of AZ. Artists who followed were Teal Blake – TX 2007, Zane Mead – NM 2008, Christina Holmes – CA 2009, Jim Harrison – FL 2010, the late Jo Mora 2011, Jim Clements – KS 2012, Don Weller – UT 2013, and Tyler Crow – OK 2014. Each of these artists has their own unique talent and style and together they have created a remarkable body of art for this organization.

Here we are, up to 2015 and we’re excited to tell you our artist this year is Alex MacAskill from Halifax, Canada. Alex is our first artist hailing from an international community. And, although he was born and raised in Halifax, he’s now a graphic artist on the staff at Hatch Show Print. He’s familiar with our whole series and has created a poster that fits perfectly in the collection. The colors this year are light blue and golden tan. The theme is “Stand Tall with your Reel Heroes.”

We hope you’ll consider helping us with the cost of getting our 2015 poster produced, and also, that you’ll want to become a collector of all the other National Day of the Cowboy Hatch posters as well. These are all limited edition posters, still hand-printed and hand-cranked on a letterpress. Hatch has been making posters this same way since 1879. No one in our organization is paid, but we do have significant ongoing operating expenses and we still have 40 states to round up on this trail drive! You can help us continue through our GoFundMe project or simply send an email to orders at nationaldayofthecowboy.com and we’ll put you on the list to reserve your poster. Orders for hand-signed posters must be paid for in advance as we only offer 50 signed by the artist. We expect to have the finished posters in-house toward the middle of June.

A big thank you to your Western Belle, Barb Richhart, and to singer/songwriter/author, Jon Chandler, for starring in our GoFundMe video, shot at the famous Buckhorn Exchange in Denver, Colorado.

Mar 19

34 cents and a bit of fun!

We’d love to have your help the National Day of the Cowboy with a simple little media campaign. It will only cost you 34 cents, the price of a postcard stamp, to take part. Did you know cowboys Dusty and Lefty star in “The Lives of the Cowboys” segment every Saturday night on “A Prairie Home Companion” on National Public Radio? We’d like to ask you to send them a postcard telling them there is an official National Day of the Cowboy on the 4th Saturday every July. Add something like you hope as cowboys they will be proud to know that and that they’ll plan to celebrate the day. Maybe then if they decide to do something special, we’ll get to listen in on their conversation about it! Thanks so much for taking a moment to help us build awareness!

Please address your postcard to:
Dusty & Lefty, The Lives of the Cowboys
C/O Kathy Roach
Prairie Home Productions, LLC
611 Frontenac Place
St. Paul, MN 55104

Jan 07

Barb “Western Belle” Richhart joins National Day of the Cowboy Board

We’re proud to announce that Barb “Western Belle” Richhart has joined the National Day of the Cowboy 501c3 Board of Directors in the capacity of 2nd Vice-chairman.

Barb Richhart & B KSJDCowgirl Richhart, who hangs her hat in Mancos, Colorado, has been a longtime supporter of the NDOC, including on-air at KSJD Dry Land Radio, as an NDOC volunteer, as an NDOC member, and with her annual National Day of the Cowboy backyard fundraising concert.

From the moment the Western Belle first learned about the National Day of the Cowboy, she began asking, “What can I do to help’? She immediately took it upon herself to encourage her friends, especially her musical friends, to become members and to help spread the word about the NDOC project through their shows. She hosts an annual NDOC radio special each July and also holds an NDOC house concert on the National Day of the Cowboy, at which she raises funds to donate to the NDOC. Barb has traveled to many events to represent the NDOC and to volunteer to help. In 2014, she was one of the esteemed recipients of our annual Cowboy Keeper Awards.

Having known her for nine years now, I can attest to the fact that Barb Richhart dedicates her life fulltime, to preserving and protecting the culture of the West she loves. She is also constantly looking for new ways to interest people in supporting the NDOC and helping us achieve our goals. These are just some of the reasons our Vice-chairman, Jerry Betley, and I feel honored to have her join our Board of Directors today as our Second Vice-chairman. Together we expect to make tremendous progress in 2015 in further establishing the 4th Saturday in July as the National Day of the Cowboy.

Dec 15

Ruger Vaquero NDOC Benefit Raffle

Darrell Wyatt of the Powhatan Peacemakers cowboy fast draw organization in Amelia, Virginia, has launched a Ruger Vaquero
raffle to raise funds for

One-of-a-kind Ruger Vaquero.

One-of-a-kind Ruger Vaquero.

Amelia’s inaugural National Day of the Cowboy celebration next July. The funds are targeted (no pun intended (:>) to sponsor the NDOC Executive Director to be the Grand Marshal of their NDOC event; a greatl opportunity for us to engage broader support east of the Mississippi. The Powhatan Peacemakers are associated with the Cowboy Fast Draw Association of Fallon, Nevada.

Details:

Darrell is offering raffle tickets for a one-of-a-kind Ruger Vaquero. The barrel is custom engraved with the words, “National Day of the Cowboy 2015.” Also, the letters NDOC are on the gun butt and our NDOC logo is engraved down the back of the grip.

Only 100 tickets will be sold. Tickets are $20 each. Each person who buys a ticket (or tickets) will have their name written in a square/squares on an un-numbered grid of 100 squares. Once all of the tickets are sold, numbers will be drawn to assign to each square. So, for example, the number drawn for the square in the top right corner could be 77. Once all the numbers are randomly assigned, their local minister will draw the winning number from a cowboy hat containing the numbers 1-100.

As I understand it, a Ruger Vaquero typically retails for $650, so this is your chance to win a very special model for only $20 and to help out our cause at the same time. I’ve attached a photo of the actual piece for your reference.

To purchase your ticket or tickets, contact Darrell Wyatt by email melungeon99@gmail.com or give him a call at 804-337-5176. Tickets will go quickly and Darrell has already sold some to members of his cowboy fast draw organization.

It’s an honor to be invited to share in the Peacemakers’ Virginia celebration and I would like you to know too that the Amelia Town Council has already passed their resolution in support of officially recognizing the National Day of the Cowboy in 2015. Darrell is also working with his delegate to the VA legislature, Delegate Tommy Wright, in an effort to get the NDOC passed as a permanent bill in VA in 2015. Since VA is one of our original 13 colonies, Darrell is pushing to see Virginia become one of the first 13 states to pass the cowboy bill.

Thanks again for your support. We couldn’t keep the National Day of the Cowboy going without you.

 

Good luck in the drawing!

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