Johnny Hotshot Tuscadero (Johnny Mincks) – Arizona
Hotshot Johnny is an award-winning performer who travels the globe thrilling crowds with his one man Wild West Show. He is an honorary member of the Hollywood Stuntman’s Hall of Fame, with over thirty film and TV appearances to his credit, including The Young Riders, Tombstone, Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie and The Quick and the Dead. One of the most versatile western performers alive, some have called him the “Tom Mix of his time.” Johnny is known to be an amazing gun twirlin’, trick ropin’, whip crackin’ cowboy, trick shootin’ his way through life, keeping the Western Arts wild with a wit that’s as fast as his draw.
As a National Day of the Cowboy Spokesperson, Hotshot promotes, as well as educates tin horns and trail hands about the work of the National Day of the Cowboy organization, while raising folks’ awareness of old west history, American folklore, and the cowboy way, all at the same time. If he amazes a crowd or two along the trail with his entertaining brand of the western arts, well, that’s okay too.
Among his many achievements and accolades, Hotshot Johnny Tuscadero is the 2009 SASS/WWPAS World Champion Gun Spinner and he is a member of the Hollywood Stuntman’s Hall of Fame. Hotshot also saw to it that the National Day of the Cowboy flag flew at the largest rodeo ever held in the Middle East, outside Beirut, Lebanon.
“I would love to be an Official Spokesperson for the National Day of the Cowboy. I’m just happier than a coyote at a jack rabbit convention to be offered the position.” Hotshot Johnny.
Kelsee Brady Bradshaw – Arizona
Kelsee Bradshaw is honored to support her pioneer heritage and love of horses and rodeo as she rides life’s trail. Kelsee lives the Western way of life. She was raised riding horses and being involved in 4H, competing in and judging horsemanship, riding reining horses, breakaway roping, riding as an outrider for the Wells Fargo Stagecoach. She is a member of the Cowgirls Historical Foundation, a group whose mission is to preserve and promote the Western and Cowboy lifestyle through education, charity organizations and public events, and performing on a drill team at events such as pro rodeos, The Rose Bowl and Equestfest. In 2006, Kelsee earned the title of 1st Runner up to Miss Rodeo USA. The sport of rodeo plays a big part in her life and the history of her family. She is the Arizona state spokesperson for the International Professional Rodeo Association and has served on the Gilbert Days rodeo committee. Kelsee is honored to be one of the national spokespersons for the National Day of the Cowboy organization.
In addition to Kelsee’s passion for horses, other facets of her life include having earned state and national titles in cheer leading and having coached a number of teams in cheer leading and track & field. Kelsee is honored to be a featured cowgirl model for the talented western artist, Jim Knauf. Community and church involvement is of great importance to her, where she enjoys singing and serving. She has been in school and church choirs, as well as a finalist in the Star of the West country talent competition.
Kelsee attended Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College where she earned a degree in Equine Science and continued on to work at South Valley Large Animal Clinic in Utah. She now works for Wild West Performers, a western event company, and enjoys integrating the lifestyle she loves into all kinds of events, through planning and marketing. Kelsee loves the outdoors; camping, fishing, trail riding, and most of all, spending time with family. The thing she is most proud of is her marriage to Colter Bradshaw, in April 2007. Kelsee and Colter reside in Chandler, Arizona, with their two daughters, Bryton and Lizzy, and their two sons, Cager and Beau.
Kelsee believes, “It is up to us to honor and revere the past so that we have more respect for life today and in the future. We need to support our Western heritage in everything we do and say, personally, politically, and indefinitely.” As an ambassador for the Western way of life and the National Day of the Cowboy, she would like to encourage using the true cowboy spirit within to inspire us to live for patriotism, history, hard work, and a good honest handshake!
Lee Anderson – Arizona
Lee Anderson is an Educational Living History re-enactor residing in Arizona. Through his hsitoric roles, Lee takes you back to relive Arizona’s Territorial Days. Watch and learn as this working cowboy and his horse, Concho, perform in Living History. Throughout his life, Lee has nurtured his affinity for early southwestern U.S. History, antique firearms, western clothing, and horses and their training. Additionally, over the years, he’s developed skills in metal fabrication, leather work and woodworking, that lend themselves to making much of his equipment and replicas of historic clothing himself. His horsemanship talent took him to the national competition level. Most recently as Executive Director of the Pioneer Living History Village, he helped establish it as a true living history museum.
Lee and Concho participate in as many parades and western events as possible, where you’ll usually see them carrying the official National Day of the Cowboy flag. They present a striking image with their historic costumes and tack, and Concho clearly loves being the center of attention as he dances under the National Day of the Cowboy official banner.
Lee began promoting the National Day of the Cowboy long before he became an official spokesperson, so we’re especially pleased to have him join us in this capacity.
Lee Anderson has a book out entitled “Developing the Art of Equine Communication.” If you’ve ever seen Lee on either of his amazing horses, you know he knows exactly what he’s talking about (no pun intended) when it comes to conversing with horses!
Concho – Arizona
I’m not bragging here, but just to let you know, I’m a Thoroughbred and as blue-blooded as they come. I’m a race track rescue horse standing seventeen hands and weighing over 1300 pounds. In 2007, at the age of 7, I fell in a race at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona and went end-over-end a couple of times at close to 35 mph. That usually ends a racing career, even though I had no permanent physical injuries. Still, a wreck like that usually effects us race horses mentally…we tend to get too cautious in a race. Be that as it may, Lee Anderson adopted me through a trainer friend and after a year of healing, loafing, and learning how to be a horse again, Lee began educating me in the centuries old tradition of the Spanish Vaqueros (cowboys).
I spent a couple of years in the jaquima (hackamore) until I fully understood what I needed to know to be Lee’s partner. Only then was Mike Vatalero of Hopland, California, commissioned to custom make a Spanish Spade Bit that properly and comfortably fit my mouth and I graduated to the two-rein (both jaquima and bit). Everything I learned in the jaquima was patiently transferred to nearly imperceptible signals on the bit. As long as I paid close attention and things were going well, Lee would send me signals through the bit. But, if any more than just a touch was required he would go to the jaquima to prevent hurting my mouth. After several months, I graduated to what is known as a “bridle horse“; a horse trained in this tradition responds to the lightest touch that can be communicated. Not only that, it allows the horse to retain every bit of its natural spirit and zest. Lee tells me, “It’s like driving a high performance sports car. Whatever you want is there at a touch.” Sadly, very few horses today receive this type of training for two reasons; First, it takes years of study and practice for a trainer to perfect this training techniques. And second, it takes years of patient work with the horse.
For several years now, Lee and I have portrayed cowboy life in living history presentations for schools and non-profits, as well as for civic, and corporate events. We present this history in any one of three historically accurate personas; a 1750 Spanish Colonial Caballero (horseman and gentleman rancher), an 1850 Mexican/American vaquero (cowboy), or an 1890 American cowboy. All clothing, working gear, and horse equipment (including horse training) is period correct.
Back in 2007, Lee became an Official Spokesperson for the National Day of the Cowboy organization and ever since then, we’ve been representing the NDOC in parades and events all over the Southwest. We’ve Ridden for the Brand in show-stopping fashion at the NDOC event in historic Goldfield Ghost Town, in Sedona’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, and at Sedona’s National Day of the Cowboy event. We’ve brought ‘em to their feet in Tucson’s La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros parade and at Willcox’s Rex Allen Days. If you’ve ever seen me steppin’ out in these events with the National Day of the Cowboy flag flying grandly over my head, then you know how much I love high-style prancing for the crowd in these exciting parades. I am a co-star in the NDOC’s Kickstarter Project to help raise funds for the 2014 Limited Edition National Day of the Cowboy Hatch poster, which will commemorate the 10th Annual National Day of the Cowboy.
I’ve got to give Lee credit. He never hesitates to tell folks that without me he’d just be one more historic re-enactor out there in a cowboy hat and boots. I’m glad he recognizes that fact and I am extremely proud to be invited to join him as an official Spokesperson/ Spokeshorse for the National Day of the Cowboy, and I will, of course, do my very best to represent the organization. After all, as the NDOC Bill reads, “Whereas the cowboy and his horse are a central figure in literature, art, film, poetry, photography, and music,’ so it seems only natural to me that a horse should be a spokesperson too.
We all know that without the horse, there is no cowboy!
Will Roberts – California
Our good friend, Will Roberts, is an internationally renowned performer and cowboy speaker, known for his super high-energy and insightful content, spiked with down-home humor, all highlighted by his astonishing trick roping skills. As a former featured artist of the famed Cirque du Soleil, in Las Vegas, he brings the western arts of trick roping, gun spinning and whip-cracking alive with his intensely interactive fast-paced performances. Will has performed his western act on stages and venues throughout the world. He creates a visually stunning entertainment spectacle infused with his personal brand of humor and customized to the themes and needs of each event at which he performs. He understands that each event is unique and works to make every one an event to remember. He has been called the “modern day Will Rogers,” because of his work in film, TV, and radio, as well as his syndicated daily humor. He even holds a Guinness world record with his six shooters.
Will prides himself on bringing back good sense and simplicity to America through humor. He has traveled the world on his “Common Sense Tour,” of which he has wryly observed, “Common sense ain’t so common anymore.”
Now don’t be fooled; Will Roberts is a Cowboy. Originally from Illinois, he moved to Central California as a teenager. As that old saying directs, “Go west young man,” he did. The values and skills of the West are in his blood and have remained his true passion.
Will currently resides in Winchester, California, with his amazing wife and two wonderful kids. He also frequently works in Hollywood as a union actor and weapons and stunt man. From theater productions, nightclubs, rodeos, and circuses, to corporate conferences, film productions and private events, Will Roberts makes the world his stage!
Will tells us he has invested a good twenty-something years of his life promoting the western arts and striving to keep cowboy culture alive. “The chance to be associated and work with the National Day of the Cowboy organization is the dream of a lifetime. Many hope and dream as a kid to one day be a cowboy and I am one of those kids, so now to be able to focus my energy and passion in support of the Day of the Cowboy makes me feel pretty darn good. “
“Dr.” Buck Montgomery – Arizona
Dr. Buck Montgomery, a former Disney Studio animator, began his adventure in the stuntman business in the early 70s, to supplement his income as a “starving” Disney artist. Having previously gone down the trail as a bull-dogger on the California Rodeo circuit, he decided getting paid to take a fall or two from a horse in film was a natural and practical transition. After moving to Texas, Dr. Buck (a nickname bestowed upon him by fellow stuntmen) was lucky enough to be put in touch with a gentleman who was once a stunt double for John Wayne. When the double taught him some specialty gags only a select few in the business had mastered, Dr. Buck found himself in such classic films as The Sacketts, The Shadow Riders, The Long Riders, Barbarosa, Pale Rider, and Back to the Future III.
Buck’s stage show production and script writing skills landed him on the world famous Ponderosa Ranch (home of TV’s Bonanza), working as the General Manager, Entertainment Director and Stunt Show Coordinator. He went on to perform and act in some of the Bonanza sequels with legendary actors like Ben Johnson, Jack Elam, and Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy.
Combining his deep love of Old West history with the lure of the factual and the Hollywood enhanced wild west, Dr Buck (whose grandfather was a full-blooded Mescalero Apache), decided his vision quest was to create and produce a one-of-a-kind, history-meets-Hollywood, Western Festival; Arizona’s Wild Western Festival.
As the recently appointed Trail Boss of the Wild West Performing Arts Society (WWPAS), which is the newest addition to the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), Dr. Buck feels he’s been given a remarkable opportunity to preserve America’s Wild West Arts, such as trick roping, gun spinning, whip cracking, knife throwing, trick riding, wild west show stunts, stage combat, trick shooting and more, for generations to come. These classic Cowboy skills, historically practiced around round-up campfires, performed in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Shows, or presented to folks by Will Rogers, have a new home for all who want to keep this part of America’s colorful heritage alive.
“When you grow up with a name like “Buck”, spend most of your life sittin’ in a saddle, and then decide you’d rather get shot out of it, horse drug, or punched and kicked so the Wild Western you’re enjoying on the Silver Screen might be a tad more exciting, then,” says Dr. Buck, “sign me up to be an official National Day Of The Cowboy spokesman! I’m hoping the twelve concussions, two dozen broken ribs, crushed vertebra and re-built leg might get me a sympathy vote or two!”
“Scars are cowboy tattoos with better stories.” Dr Buck Montgomery
Brent Slutsky – California 12/1/56 – 11/12/21 – Cowboy Forever – In Memoriam
The National Day of the Cowboy’s California and Southwest Regional Ambassador for six years, Brent Slutsky moved into the role of an Official National Spokesperson for the National Day of the Cowboy in 2017. Brent was a driving force in securing passage of the National Day of the Cowboy bill in the California Legislature in 2012, making CA the second state to pass the NDOC in perpetuity. He and his wife, Janet, spent the majority of their leisure hours promoting the preservation of cowboy culture around the country, as well as encouraging others to become active supporting members of the NDOC. In July 2019, they traveled from their home in California, to represent the NDOC at Dodge City Days and Dodge City’s annual National Day of the Cowboy celebration in Kansas.
Organizations outside of the NDOC, for which Brent also volunteered, included the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Civilian Posse of Lost Hills/Malibu, and the Spirit of the West Riders (supporting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation). Brent was also an active member of the Chuck Wagon Trailers.
“Why did I want to be a cowboy? Like so many young boys, it was a natural desire for me, but I had no idea then what it was to be a real cowboy. However, now that I’m grown, although I haven’t punched cattle or any livestock, I believe I live by the cowboy code of conduct. I learned about the National Day of the Cowboy from Bethany Braley in 2010, and I firmly believe in its mission. My faith in the NDOC mission has never wavered or diminished. I constantly find myself talking about the effort and doing whatever I can to continue to move it forward toward official national status.”
Sadly Brent Slutsky rode into the sunset on November 12, 2021. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Above all, he was a kind and gentle man. His wife, Janet, often remarks that he always did his best at everything. We at the NDOC will be forever grateful for his ongoing contribution to our success and his unstoppable faith in our mission.
Marshall Mitchell – Arkansas
Singer songwriter, Marshall Mitchell, has performed his “Cowboys for Kids” program for over 60,000 children over the course of his career. His goal as an entertainer is to teach cowboy values such as honesty, integrity and courage, using songs he has written. 2019 saw his 25th year of performing his cowboy program at the annual Stick Horse Rodeo of the Springdale School District in Arkansas. Every first grader in the eighteen elementary schools in the Springdale District has heard his message each year since he began, and there are now parents who reminisce about hearing it when they were first graders themselves. His fans believe that children who have been taught through the joy of Marshall Mitchell’s program will hang onto the lessons they learn for their entire life. Children have so much fun singing and dancing along with him, that they don’t realize they’re being taught important values at the same time. He has performed regionally in seven states, at schools, libraries and special events, in rural and urban settings. In 2010 Mitchell collaborated with Arkansas’ Jennifer Michaels, for her non-profit program, “Clean Water Rangers.” He performed a Clean Water Rangers show for over eight years, which focused on teaching young people to care for the land and water.
Other important aspects of Marshall’s entertaining include performing classic cowboy songs for adults and seniors at house concerts. Many seniors who are suffering from dementia can be seen responding to his music. Marshall Mitchell and Jennifer Michaels worked together to secure passage of the National Day of the Cowboy bill in Arkansas, which in 2019 became the 13th state to recognize the 4th Saturday in July as a day to celebrate cowboy culture and pioneer heritage.
Ron Wilson – Kansas
Kansas Poet Lariat, Ron Wilson, grew up near Manhattan Kansas on the Lazy T Ranch where his family resides today. His cowboy poetry is regularly featured in the newspaper, and on radio and television. Ron chairs the annual Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest, hosted the online television show “Cowboy Up,” and hosts the monthly online video show called “Cattle Trails Showcase.” He was proclaimed a “Poet Lariat” (not laureate) by the Governor of Kansas. He won first place in the cowboy poetry contest at the Kansas Cowboy Symposium at Dodge City and scored in the top two of his class at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo. He is the only cowboy poet in history to present a cowboy poem at a Kansas Governor’s inauguration. He also serves as national secretary of the Western Wordsmiths’ chapter and legislative chair for the International Chisholm Trail Association. Ron was named Horizon Award winner by the Heartland Chapter of the Academy of Western Artists, One of 50 Kansans You Should Know by Ingram’s magazine, and Ambassador for the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
“National Day of the Cowboy” by Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat
July 24, 2021
This is a day we set out to give praise
To those who honor the Cowboy ways.
The American Cowboy is a true hero,
Who helped our nation to thrive and grow.
Not only did he tame the American West,
He stood for the values which we think of as best:
He believes in hard work, and playing hard too,
And in honoring women in all that they do.
To be independent and stand up for what’s right,
To be courageous and honest and not run from a fight.
To be brave and loyal, to ride for the brand,
And be a good steward of his livestock and land.
Those are timeless values that still hold true,
Still used every day in what modern cowboys do.
So we honor this legacy for the values it will employ,
As we celebrate the National Day of the American Cowboy.
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