National Day of the Cowboy Revival

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022, marks the 18th Annual National Day of the Cowboy. After the past two years of near non-existence, it is experiencing an exciting and well deserved revival. Not only are many long time celebrations on the calendar once again this year, such as at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, but there are plenty of new events as well. This activity confirms for us that it is extremely significant to have gotten the National Day of the Cowboy bill passed into law in 15 states. In spite of those two years where the pandemic sent everything into a sleep state, recognition of the Cowboy Day has come back with a high level of excitement all over the country. Tomorrow, the 4th Saturday in July, there will be celebrations in California, Texas, Arizona, Utah, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, New York, Georgia, Virginia and many other states as well. The events take place at halls of fame, museums, heritage centers, ranches, and on main streets across the country. We sincerely hope that if you can’t find a celebration near you, you will consider starting one of your own.

The idea behind the National Day of the Cowboy work is to permanently protect our cowboy culture and pioneer heritage for all generations to come. Celebrations encourage us to continue our work and are what give meaning to the passage of our bill.

Hats off to the cowboy!

Cheyenne Frontier Days


Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


Sedona, AZ, National Day of the Cowboy.

Become the Legend!

Morning Lessons by Phil Beck

Henry Repeating Arms Partners with the National Day of the Cowboy Once Again

Thanks to Anthony Imperato, at Henry Repeating Arms, the National Day of the Cowboy organization has another Henry Rifle to help us with our fundraising efforts.  This year’s Henry is a Silver Boy. I think this is the first Silver Henry we’ve raffled, although this is probably our fifth or sixth rifle raffle over the past several years. The folks at Henry have our logo engraved in the butt of the piece and they assign us an NDOC serial number which is also engraved on the rifle. The serial number on the Silver Henry will be NDOC2023.  It’s a beautiful, one-of-a-kind rifle since we only raffle one each year.  The vice-chairman of our board of directors, Darrell Wyatt, a cowboy who possesses detailed knowledge of the firearms handling and regulations,  takes care all of the details of the raffle for us, including the correct shipping to the winning ticket holder.

Darrell sells no more than 100 chances to win, at $50 each. If you want to support our work by purchasing a ticket or two or three or more, send a check or money order Darrell’s way. Make it out to National Day of the Cowboy. Mail it to Darrell Wyatt, PO Box 506, Amelia Court House, VA, 23002. Remember to include your name and a good phone number where you can be reached if your ticket is drawn.

Good luck to each of you who enter the drawing. The sale of these tickets goes a long way to help us pay our bills and keep working on getting more states to officially recognize the fourth Saturday in July as a day to celebrate pioneer heritage and cowboy culture.

Cowboy Keepers of 2021

The National Day of the Cowboy’s Cowboy Keeper Award  was created to recognize those who demonstrate a substantial contribution to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The three outstanding recipients selected to receive the 2021 Cowboy Keeper Award are Jim Liles (Arizona), Wild West City (New Jersey), and The STAND Foundation (Washington, D.C.). Their selection by the National Day of the Cowboy Board of Directors represents its continuing efforts to encourage the honoring of history, while striving to cultivate participation in today’s cowboy life.

Jim Liles (Arizona)

Cowboy Jim Liles began his 20-year career as a bareback rider around the age of 13. More than fifty years later, he can still recount stories of the many times those broncs broke his bones, including some bones more than once. Still, bareback riding has remained his life’s passion, and the broncs have remained the horses he loves most.  Today he believes “teaching fans and younger contestants about the history of bareback riding and honoring those who have played a part in this great event, will help keep it alive.” So, out of his love for the sport, he has opened a National Bareback Riding Hall of Fame and Museum in Congress, Arizona, which boasts perhaps the greatest collection in the world of riggings representing the history of bareback bronc riding. He believes it’s the only exhibit of its kind in existence. Liles describes his gear collection as a ‘living history museum,’ because he encourages visitors to touch all the various saddles, ropes, and riggings he has rescued and preserved over the years, including one rigging that dates back to 1911.

Liles’ NBRHOF began as an exhibit he created, which he dubbed, “Riggins-N-Rhymes;” A history of rodeo equipment. He set it all up in such a way that he could take it on the road and thus, share it with more folks around the country.  His other talents include sculpting and writing cowboy poetry. Through his museum, his poetry, and his sculpture, he is working to preserve rodeo history. One of the early Inductees into Liles’ Hall of Fame, was artist and inventor, Earl Bascom, a previous Cowboy Keeper Award recipient as well.

Rodeo athletes can be thankful that Liles is also a thoughtful cowboy with an engineering background. When he realized just how dangerous all-steel chutes could be to the contestants, he combined his rodeo skills with his engineering expertise and invented the chute crash pad. The mass production of that successful crash pad was eventually assumed by Priefert Manufacturing, and to this day it is used in the chutes of PRCA rodeos and Professional Bull Riding, saving many a cowboy from concussions or worse.

Wild West City, New Jersey

Wild West City is a family-fun, frontier oriented, theme park. It’s based on a true-to-life model of 1880s Dodge City, Kansas, but located in Stanhope, New Jersey. The Park opened its doors in the spring of 1957, creating a western experience for thousands of visitors over the past six decades. The “short-term investment” was a project built in 1956 by the American Foundation for the Preservation of the Old West. And still today, grownups who visited Wild West City as a child, are delighted to bring their own children to experience the same shows and history they remember enjoying in their youth.

Among the main attractions are its live action shows. Reenactments continue throughout each day, and between the action, the cowboys, and the horses, every guest finds something to enjoy. They strive to engage kids’ interest by involving them in some of the skits. They offer pony rides for small children, a barnyard zoo, and panning for gold.  Folks still love riding the train that’s held up by outlaws and kids love visiting the frontier style school.  There is a mountain man’s camp to teach guests about different frontier items. Wild West City is that rare place where you can still ride in a horse drawn stagecoach. For those with a special love for history, the park showcases a vast collection of authentic period memorabilia. Many of its Main Street buildings are accurate reproductions and are filled with antiques, including an extensive collection of Native American art and artifacts. You will learn about late 19th-century farming tools, period dressmaking, blacksmithing, and more. If you break the law, you may end up in one of their circa-1890 jail cells. Once you step inside the gates and onto the dusty streets, you’ll feel you’re walking around a town very much like the set of Gunsmoke; complete with a saloon, barber shop, candy shoppe, a blacksmith, and a working printing press.

Wild West City presents an interactive adventure bringing tales of the wild west to life through historical characters, dramatizations, wild west performing arts, and demonstrations by period craftsmen. Their goal is to be entertaining, educational and creative. Many guests observe that the actors put a lot of heart into their reenactments, making you feel like you’re truly stepping back into the Wild Wild West.  There are actors in many of the buildings too, ready to give you a history lesson on the aspect of western history they’re representing. There are short shows throughout the day, portraying bank robberies, pony express riders, trick roping, stagecoach holdups, and cowboy competitions. They sometimes host Wild West City After Dark and invite guests to “explore a haunted ghost town at your own risk.” The other staff members also receive numerous accolades from guests who note that their interactions with children are amazing.  The kids have so much fun because the staff and the actors appear to relish creating a frontier experience. The love employees have for the park and the work they are doing is frequently noted by visitors.

They celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy annually at Wild West City “where the West is fun.”  Managers of the park are also working with Assemblyman Parker Space to achieve passage of the National Day of the Cowboy bill in the New Jersey legislature. Wild West City has remained a well loved attraction in New Jersey, where the Stabile family has been at the helm since 1963. Here, adults and children of all ages, continue to learn about the Wild West and its cast of legendary characters.

The STAND Foundation, Washington, DC

The mission of the STAND Foundation is to provide an opportunity for inner city youth to gain knowledge, skills, and confidence, through equestrian and rodeo readiness training. The STAND (Strengthening Thoughts and Nurturing Dreams) Foundation is in the business of changing and shaping lives by teaching equestrian skills to inner city kids who might not otherwise ever get to experience the transformational magic of a horse. The organization is the result of the vision of cowgirl Selina “Pennie” Brown, who believes emphatically that learning to ride a horse changes who you are.

Ms. Brown helps young people bond with animals because she believes one can acquire confidence through experiencing nature. The work she does is aimed at providing a holistic approach to solving some of society’s challenges. Her organization serves inner-city youth and young adults in Washington DC and its surrounding areas. STAND focuses on inspiring change that leads to self-sufficiency and positive decision making. They strive to teach participants skills to help them make the best life choices for better futures. They believe that exposure, engagement, and opportunities to experience a relationship with a horse has a life-changing and therapeutic value. As such, the folks at STAND work to provide participants with a comprehensive knowledge of horse management, horse careers, and equestrian sports. The various elements of their excellent program include teaching horse care, safety, behavior, nutrition, anatomy, health, equipment, equestrian discipline, and riding activities

Their School Program serves D.C. youth in grades K -12 with an emphasis on building knowledge of the equestrian industry and exposing them to equine sports, as well as to equine assisted learning and therapy. STAND has also cultivated key partnerships which enable them to offer programs such as: Thera- Art, Mindfulness, Nutrition Literacy, Horsemanship, Equine Sports, Animal Science, Equine assisted learning and Equine therapy. Their 6 Week Program offers students a weekly experience at a local horse farm. Their Summer Camp program, serving kids ages 6-16, also offers the opportunity for experiential learning with hands on experiences at a working farm and providing a setting for kids to meet the horses. They work to give students an equestrian summer experience that includes learning more horse skills, deepening their horsemanship knowledge, having fun, and making new friends. STAND’s programs are specifically designed to serve the mental, emotional, and physical development needs of youth in highly populated areas with under-served and under-funded communities, such as Washington, D.C. and its surrounding areas.

The Cowboy Keeper Award

Art for the 2021 Cowboy Keeper Awards was donated by self-taught artist and current California resident, Linda Carter Holman (formerly of Oklahoma and Arizona). Ms. Carter Holman provided, “Question,” her bright, whimsical image of a cowgirl and her horse, as the eye-catching backdrop for this year’s awards.

The National Day of the Cowboy organization tips its hat to Jim Liles, Wild West City, and The STAND Foundation, as three notable recipients who continue to make an extraordinary contribution to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. We are truly humbled by their accomplishments and will be forever grateful for their efforts.



One-of-a-kind Henry 22LR Rifle NDOC2021

July 14, 2021
Thanks to National Day of the Cowboy board member, Darrell Wyatt, and Henry Repeating Rifles, we have another beautiful, one-of-a-kind, Henry 22LR Rifle to raffle as a fundraising project for the National Day of the Cowboy 501c3.
Darrell arranged to have our logo engraved on the butt stock and Henry Rifles also approved the engraving of the special serial number “NDOC2021”. As always, he is handling the ticket sales and the drawing, and he will also take care of necessary paperwork for transfer of ownership.
This raffle will be limited to 100 tickets, at $50 a ticket.
The drawing for the winner will be held as soon as all 100 tickets are sold, which would hopefully be before July 24th, 2021. I’ve also posted information about the raffle and pictures of the rifle on our Facebook page, so a number of tickets have already been sold.
This raffle will help us keep the National Day of the Cowboy campfire burning after a tough year in 2020.
To get your tickets, send your check or money order, made out to National Day of the Cowboy, along with a self addressed, stamped envelope to:
Darrell Wyatt, PO Box 506 Amelia Court House VA 23002
Darrell will then mail your half of the ticket/tickets back to you so you’ll have them  prior to the drawing.
If you can, it would be good to let him know in advance that you’re sending money for tickets by emailing him at
Thanks for celebrating and supporting the National Day of the Cowboy.
Good luck to you!

National Day of the Cowboy Flag Video

The National Day of the Cowboy organization has been collecting pictures of the NDOC flag since 2005, when it was first created. The very first photo was taken at Cheyenne Frontier Days, when Senator Thomas and his wife, Susan, presented one to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Board of Directors and to the CFD Volunteer Organization, in 2005. Each time we sold a flag after that, we asked the buyer to send us a photo of it flying. We had hoped to someday create a video of some of those inspiring pictures. The year of the pandemic, 2020, presented us with some down time which we took advantage of to finally create that film.

Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

New Hampshire SASS

After reviewing hundreds of our flag photos, we settled on 65 or so, to include in the video, so we could keep it under 5 minutes. Then we hired a professional producer, Jason Cupp at WorldCupp Productions in Saint Louis, MO, to sequence it, and add titles and music, as well as a voice-over reading the text of the National Day of the Cowboy bill. Many of you will recognize the harmonica music as that of Frank Bard. When our website had a “Home” page and music played, it was Frank’s composition, “Muddy Waters,”you heard.

We think the video is inspiring and certainly historical. The photos, as you will see, have come from all over the world. We know our flag flies in at least 36 states and has also flown in six countries or more. We’d love to hear your comments about the video or to have you add them on the video page. If you are planning to purchase a National Day of the Cowboy flag, we would appreciate you sending us a photo of it flying, so we can continue the tradition.

Cheyenne Frontier Days 2005

16th Annual National Day of the Cowboy

Yes. July 25th, 2020, is indeed the 16th Annual National Day of the Cowboy!
We started off our cowboy year last August, with the amazing support of the Pro Bull Riders organization, which not only hosted a fundraising sweepstakes for us, but also facilitated generous donations from some of their sponsors, such as Ariat, the MGM Grand Hotel, and Pendleton Whisky. Thank you! The PBR also made it possible for us to hold a face-to-face working board meeting in Virginia, the first time our current board had been able to meet each other in person.
During our board meeting we discussed our shared desire to grow our Read em Cowboy initiative in 2020, as well as our hope to create an inspiring flag video from the many photos you have sent us over the years of your National Day of the Cowboy flag flying. We were gratified to have Sean Gleason, CEO of the PBR, stop in during the afternoon and talk with us about his personal vision for helping us ensure that we get the remaining 35 states on board with the NDOC bill.
We did end July, 2019, with fifteen states having passed our bill into law. Those states, in order of passage, are WY, CA, NM, AZ, OK, OR, MS, KS, VA, TX, ID, IN, AR, ND, and MT. Sad to say that the current pandemic hit before we could enlist any new states this year. We had high hopes for Missouri when Representative Warren Love introduced our bill very early in the Missouri legislative session, but it did not move forward in the senate. Hoping things will improve in 2021, I will be working on Missouri again and we now have volunteers Easton Colvin and Kraig Sundberg, already working on Nevada, as well as volunteer Francine Ganguzza, working in New Jersey. If your state is not on the list of passage, and you’d like to help get it passed, please let me know. I will send you the draft text for the bill and information about how best to approach it and make it happen.
We did complete our beautiful flag video just yesterday. It was produced for us by Jason Cupp (aka Worldcupp Productions). I’m so glad we were able to upload it to YouTube in time for Saturday, because I know so many of you will not be able to participate in any kind of gathering. We hope you’ll enjoy watching it as a reflection of the many people and organizations who have supported and celebrated this effort since we began in 2005. Please give it a thumbs up if you like it and also consider sharing it far and wide.
Although Jim Harrison created a fabulous piece of art for our 2020 NDOC Hatch Show Print, Hatch has remained closed since early March so there will not be a 2020 commemorative poster at this time.
We also elected to forego our annual Cowboy Keeper Awards due to the many logistics in the awards process. If you want to send a nomination for a 2021 Cowboy Keeper, please remember to do that next spring.
Many annual NDOC events have had to be cancelled, but there are still a few taking place, especially in places where the outdoors can be part of the gathering. Volunteer Erika Royal has been working to keep our events calendar as up to date as possible, but she does recommend you check with any listed event you might want to attend before going. Keep in mind, no celebration is too small, and, if you’re flying your National Day of the Cowboy flag, we’d still like to have a photo of it and your comments about how you recognize the Cowboy Day.
We have not encouraged any Read em Cowboy Circles this year since the pandemic struck, but we know what a great project it is and we intend to keep working on growing it next year. By that time, we’ll have a newly designed author’s bandana to give to all the young people who participate. A few days ago, we received our first permission from an author, H. Alan Day, to include his name on it. We’ll be contacting many other authors and poets soon, with the same request.
We want to acknowledge the sad truth that there are many, many, empty saddles this year. We know too that some people are struggling emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. Our hope is 2021 will bring some normalcy and peace back to our lives, so we’re focused on the possibilities we’d like to see come about.
We still need your support to keep this effort moving forward. Consider making a donation if you feel able or becoming a supporting member, or purchasing one of our promotional products, including the NDOC flag.
Under these circumstances, it doesn’t seem right to use the word, ‘celebrate,’ as I’ve always done, so I’ll simply encourage you to honor the cowboys and cowgirls of the past and the present, in a way that works best for you. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement over these many years.
Please stay safe. See you all down the trail.

Six Incomparable Cowboy Keeper Award Recipients

Without question, the receiving and reading of nominations for its annual Cowboy Keeper Award is a highlight of every National Day of the Cowboy year. The nominations are always educational and truly awe inspiring. Here are the six incomparable recipients selected by the National Day of the Cowboy’s Board of Directors for its 2019 Cowboy Keeper Awards; Pat and Denny Willis – Arbuckles’ Coffee, Jackson Sundown, Vladimir “Lucky” Lukianenko, Marshall Mitchell, Steve and Marci Shaw – Great American Adventures, and The Stark Museum of Art.

Pat & Denny Willis – Arbuckles’ Coffee
Known to many as “The coffee that won the West,” Arbuckles’ Coffee is a true cowboy tradition kept alive and flourishing by Denny and Pat Willis. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, since 1979, Arbuckles’ Coffee began in the post Civil War Era of the 19th Century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Up until the close of that war, coffee beans were sold green and had to be home roasted in an iron skillet over a fire or in a wood stove, making it difficult to achieve consistent results. In 1864, John Arbuckle and his brother Charles, partners in a grocery business, changed all that by patenting a process for roasting and coating coffee beans with an egg and sugar glaze to seal in the flavor and aroma. Their process enabled them to roast a coffee that was of consistently fine quality. They also invented the concept of selling their pre-roasted coffee in patented airtight one pound packages. Their original packaging bore a trademark yellow label with the name, “Arbuckles’” in large red letters across the front, while a flying angel hovered over the words “Ariosa Coffee” stamped in black letters. It was shipped all over the country in wooden crates, one hundred packages to a crate.

The new packaged roasted coffee was an instant success, especially with chuck wagon cooks in the west, who were faced with the task of keeping cowboys supplied with fresh hot coffee out on the range. With the inclusion of John Arbuckle’s original premium item, the peppermint stick, it quickly became the dominant coffee in the west. It was the reward of that peppermint stick that enticed the cowboys to grind the beans for the cook.

Pat and Denny Willis continue to carry on the Arbuckle brothers’ tradition of roasting and distributing world-class coffees, complete with the Flying Angel trademark and a peppermint stick inside each bag. For many of today’s cowboys and chuck wagon cookies, Arbuckles’ remains “the original cowboy coffee.”

Steve and Marcie Shaw – Great American Adventures
Steve and Marcie Shaw grew up on opposite coasts of America, each with a love for the Wild West. Steve relished reruns of 1940’s cowboy flicks and produced his first cowboy film in California, on his dad’s 8mm camera, while Marcie spent her Pennsylvania childhood role playing her favorite cowgirl heroines, such as sharpshooter, Annie Oakley. Twenty years later, they met and married.

Since then, the Shaws have worked to preserve the heritage of the west and share their love of all things western with others. Through their Great American Adventures, they offer historical re-enactment travel, which started with their first ride in 2004, “Custer’s Ride to Glory,” a ride that included Calvary training and staying at the barracks where Custer and his 7th Calvary stayed. That first immersive experience became a hallmark of the rides Steve and Marci offer. Today those rides include Wyatt Earp’s Vendetta Ride, Billy the Kid’s Regulator Ride, Jesse James’ Great Train Robbery, and Wild Bill Hickok’s Last Ride in Deadwood.

On all of these adventures, participants ride on horseback on the original trails through the same territory in which the events took place. Historians along on the ride, offer in-depth details to enrich the learning experience. Period western attire is encouraged, but not required. The Shaw’s hope is that each rider will gain a unique appreciation for the ride and its place in history. The Shaws and their Great American Adventures have earned substantial recognition and numerous awards. In 2012, the State of Arizona, endorsed their “Vendetta Ride” as an Official Arizona Centennial Event. In 2018, Tombstone’s City Historian presented them with the key to the city. Over twenty magazines have written about the significance of their rides, including Cowboy and Indians and Horse and Rider.

“As one who has been on their Vendetta Ride twice, I can assure you, Steve and Marcie Shaw go to great lengths to provide as authentic an old west experience as possible. Through their re-enactment rides, they share their passion for western history and cowboy culture in a way that also works to preserve this heritage.” Brent Slutsky.

Vladimir “Lucky” Lukianenko
The National Day of the Cowboy has had its challenges over the years, including tough times in the summer of 2008, when gas went to $4 a gallon and no one drove to town for weeks, which meant no one dropped in at the National Day of the Cowboy store either. With bills, rent and utilities due, the financial situation grew untenable and the day came when the organization planned to close its store and office and perhaps be forced to abandon the National Day of the Cowboy effort altogether.

That morning, two customers knocked on the door and asked to be let in. Both were wearing cowboy boots, but only one had on a cowboy hat, while the other sported a classy Italian Fedora. The “Fedora” immediately started scoping out everything in the store; the Hatch posters, the photographs, the flags, the caps, the membership display, brochures, and the NDOC buckles. Soon the questions started. “So tell me, what is this National Day of the Cowboy all about? What’s the story on these posters? Why is this cowboy flag hanging here? Who makes these buckles?”

Two hours later, with those many questions satisfied, the key question came, “So how do you pay for all this?” The answer was it was all about end due to a lack of funds. His casual response to that revelation was a simple, “How much do you need to keep it going?” Then, without hesitation, he said, “I will personally see to it that this organization has the money it needs to stay in operation. Don’t give up. This work is important.” He proceeded to stack hats, posters, buckles, pins and flags in a pile on the counter, all of which he purchased on the spot. Next he asked for an address where he could send a donation check. Somewhat in a state of shock, the NDOC thought to ask his name before he went out the door. “My name,” he said so politely, is Vladimir Lukianenko, but YOU may call me Lucky.”

Lucky sent those donations (and more) as promised, and from that day forward, took on the role of Goodwill Ambassador for the National Day of the Cowboy; wrangling donations from friends and folks he met along the trail, urging people to become supporting members, handing out brochures everywhere he traveled, buying NDOC posters and buckles to gift to friends, all the while providing encouragement and sharing his business expertise with the NDOC. Lucky, who is a lifetime buyer and seller of cowboy antiques and collectibles, admitted he’d wanted to be a cowboy all his life, but significant hurdles had stood in his way and now, at last, he was going to be that cowboy, “through the National Day of the Cowboy organization.” Twelve years later, thanks to Lucky’s persistence in knocking on the door, and his pivotal moment of faith in the organization, the National Day of the Cowboy has been able to stay afloat, and to move steadily forward toward establishing a National Day of the Cowboy for all.

Jackson Sundown – Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn
Legendary Nez Perce warrior and rodeo athlete, Jackson Sundown, has been inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame. He was the first Native American to win the World Champion Saddle Bronc title at Pendleton, Oregon, yet many have never heard of this impressive cowboy who lived during the time of Chiefs Joseph and Sitting Bull. Jackson Sundown was the name he chose for himself, but his given name was Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn (Earth Left by the Setting Sun or Blanket of the Sun). Born in Montana in 1863, he was a nephew of the great Chief Joseph. Historical accounts of his life report that he displayed traits of a superior athlete at a young age, including riding his pony from the time he could walk. At age 14, his horse handling skills earned him the privilege of caring for his tribe’s horses and herding them when they moved camp.

On Aug. 9, 1877, Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn displayed great cunning when his people were ambushed by the U.S. cavalry at Big Hole in Montana territory. Although badly burned, he survived the attack by hiding under a buffalo robe after the cavalry torched his mother’s teepee. Another display of his bravery occurred when the Nez Perce, en route to Sitting Bull’s camp in Canada, stopped to rest near Snake Creek in the Bear Paw Mountains. Unbeknownst to the Nez Perce, Brigadier General Nelson Miles had been ordered to find and intercept them. They made a surprise attack on the Nez Perce and, after a three-day stand-off, war weary Chief Joseph surrendered, declaring he would, “fight no more forever.” Yet again showing his prowess as a warrior, a wounded Sundown escaped. Despite having no blankets or food, he and a small band of survivors made their way to Sitting Bull’s camp in Canada, to live in hiding. Two years later, he secretly rode to Washington, where Joseph and his followers were confined to a small reservation. Joseph warned him not to come to that reservation, so Sundown traveled instead to the Flathead Reservation, where he lived for years, marrying and raising two daughters. In 1910, Sundown rejoined his tribe on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, where he accepted an allotment of land and built a cabin. He remarried and built a home at Jacques Spur, making a living breeding, raising, breaking and selling horses.

At age 49, Sundown began entering rodeo events in Canada and Idaho to earn extra money. He cut a striking figure in a big panama hat, with his long braids tied under his chin by a handkerchief, wearing brightly colored shirts and large wooly angora chaps. His flamboyant look and style made him a crowd favorite. Although twice the age of his competitors, the six-foot tall Indian not only won the bucking championship, but would win cash all-around titles as well. He so dominated the sport that many opponents withdrew upon learning he would be competing.

In 1911, Sundown made the Saddle Bronc finals for the World Championship at the Pendleton Round-Up, an event that ended in controversy and protest. Reports were that Sundown took third after falling from his horse which had run into one of the judges’ horses, but he was not given a re-ride. Western novelist, Rick Steber, chronicled the event in his book, Red White Black, as one that, “forever changed the sport of rodeo and the way the emerging West was to look at itself,” because that championship decision came down to a Native American, an African American, and a white American. In 1915, Sundown again made the Saddle Bronc Finals for the World Championship at Pendleton and when he again placed third, he decided to retire. However, artist Alexander Proctor, who was sculpting Sundown at the time, persuaded the 53-year-old to enter the 1916 Pendleton Round-up and even paid his entrance fee. Sundown’s skill as a horseman and his exceptional rodeo prowess were undeniable the day of the competition. In the final ride Sundown drew an outlaw bronc named Angel. It is said Sundown became one with the horse. As Angel tried one last attempt at throwing him off, Sundown fanned his big hat at the horse. That ride made him a permanent legend in Native American history and Pendleton history. Pitted against him were two great bronc riders half his age, both of whom made epic rides, but Sundown’s ride so far surpassed theirs, he could not be denied. He rode gloriously into the championship amid an ovation never before witnessed, when ten thousand fans cheered themselves hoarse.

Jackson Sundown’s last public appearance was in 1917 with Idaho Governor Moses Alexander. In 1923, Sundown died of pneumonia. He was buried near Jacques Spur, Idaho, not even acknowledged as an American citizen when he died, as Congress did not vote until 1924 to recognize Native Americans as United States citizens. Native American Cowboy Jackson Sundown’s life story is epic. His striking image is recorded for history in photographs and in sculptures of bronze and stone, while his grand adventures are chronicled in museums, documentaries and books.

Stark Museum of Art – Orange, Texas
The Stark Museum of Art opened in November 1978, exhibiting the extraordinary Western American art collection assembled by H.J. Lutcher Stark and his wife Nelda Childers Stark, which encompassed art from John J. Audubon to twentieth century artists of New Mexico. The Museum is committed to preserving, researching, exhibiting, and expanding its collections. The breadth  of its cowboy holdings include bronzes by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, illustrations by N.C. Wyeth and Frank Tenney Johnson, carved caricatures by Andy Anderson, and illustrations and stylized figures of pioneers, hunters, and wranglers by William Herbert Dunton. The Museum continues to make acquisitions, including contemporary works by Robert Lougheed, Don Russell, and Thomas Blackshear. It has published research, such as its catalogue The Western Collection 1978, and an in-depth study on The Art and Life of W. Herbert Dunton. The Stark supported the publication by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné II, and its online catalogue. The Museum, which has four permanent galleries that feature Western themes and collections, also makes its collections available digitally through its website and with loans to educational exhibitions at other museums. The museum curator, Sarah E. Boehme, has a long history of working to preserve western and cowboy lifestyle.

The programming and culture of the Stark exemplifies the spirit of the cowboy through exhibitions that feature and celebrate the history and mythology of the cowboy. In 2017, the Museum’s major exhibition Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950 detailed the rise of cowboy popularity through film, an important influence in how cowboys have been perceived over the past 100 years. The exhibition and accompanying catalog helped develop new scholarship related to cowboy culture and history. The Stark also mounted an incredible show of the work of photographer Edward S. Curtis in 2018.

In 2018, the Museum focused on two major exhibitions related to the cowboy. The first, Portraits from Cowboys of Color: Photographs by Don Russell centered on black rodeo cowboys. This exhibition highlighted the modern role of black Americans in the rodeo tradition, thus helping expand our vision of the American Cowboy. It featured portraits of contemporary cowboys and cowgirls who ride and rope in Cowboys of Color rodeos. The works reveal a tradition of black cowboy culture often overlooked in history and art. The second exhibition, Cowboy Legends and Life, explored the imagery of the cowboy and cowgirl as icons in American Western art. It presented both the idealization and the working life of men and women of the West, as seen through the Museum’s permanent collections. Both exhibits were enhanced by educational and community based programs.

The Museum has celebrated the National Day of the Cowboy for several years, and as part of its 2018 celebration, hosted a panel discussion Stories from Cowboys of Color: An Afternoon with Don Russell, Cleo Hearn, Bailey’s Prairie Kid, Myrtis Dightman, and Jason Griffin, These important African American Cowboys shared stores of their lives on the rodeo circuit and as working cowboys. This helped underscore the role of Black Americans in cowboy culture and modern practice. The Mayor attended and read the Orange, Texas, National Day of the Cowboy proclamation. Cleo Hearn, founder of the Cowboys of Color Rodeo is himself a 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award recipient.

The Stark Museum continues to strengthen its educational outreach and its commitment to diversity in interpreting the West. Its traveling exhibition Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950 broke new ground. Brigham Young University Museum of Art and the Stark collaborated to exhibit images of the American West as seen through the eyes of the members of the Taos Society of Artists, the artist Maynard Dixon, and films of the era. The accompanying publication served as a catalogue with essays from interdisciplinary perspectives. It received three major awards: the Mountain Plains Museum Association Publication Award for Design in books; an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History; and the 2017 Joan Paterson Kerr Book Award for the best-illustrated book on the history of the American West from the Western History Association.

A recent school outreach mural program focused on United States geography, a history of westward expansion, and an orientation to the exhibition. The Museum also holds an annual juried student art exhibition.

“I have been associated with the history and culture of the American West over the past 43 years, most recently as Executive Director and CEO of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. I believe the Stark Museum of Art is worthy of receiving the Cowboy Keeper Award and urge the National Day of the Cowboy Organization to bestow their award on the Museum.” Bruce B. Eldredge.

Marshall MitchellArkansas
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 his 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 also 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.

The preservation of a heritage depends on those with a willingness to share its history and its culture. In this way, these esteemed recipients have demonstrated a commitment to the protection of this precious heritage. We are grateful for the privilege of recognizing each one with a 2019 Cowboy Keeper Award.. Montana artist, David Graham, a painter of authentic cowboy work and life, donated the image of his working cowgirl painting, “The Fencing Crew,” to be used in this year’s award. The National Day of the Cowboy takes its hat off to these remarkable Cowboy Keeper Award recipients.

Bethany Braley
Executive Director & Publisher
National Day of the Cowboy


The Fencing Crew

The National Day of the Cowboy is proud to announce the artwork of Montana artist, David Graham, “The Fencing Crew,” which he created in 2010, will be the image for our 2019 Cowboy Keeper Awards.

The Fencing Crew

David is a Western and Wildlife artist whose depictions of the West spring to life through his canvas. He was born in Miles City, MT, during the time his family was operating a ranch in the Powder River area east of Miles City. His family’s roots in the western way of life greatly influenced David’s art and nurtured his interest in the land beginning in his early years. David’s passion for painting the people, wildlife, and scenery of the West comes not only from the aesthetic beauty that captivates him, but also from his love and interest for the land’s history and culture..
We’re especially happy to have this iconic contribution from a Montana artist, since Montana recently became the 15th state to pass the National Day of the Cowboy bill.
Hats off to the cowboy!

Breaking through

The National Day of the Cowboy has broken out of the gate in a big way to kick off 2019. At 9:27 AM on March 28, 2019, the Arkansas House of Representatives voted to pass the National Day of the Cowboy bill, which had already been passed by the AR senate. Volunteers Jennifer Michaels and Marshall Mitchell traveled to Little Rock twice, to speak in support of the bill. It now moves on to the Arkansas governor for signing.

Just a few days later, we received word from volunteer, Rick Thompson at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, that on the afternoon of April 1, 2019, the North Dakota legislature also passed the National Day of the Cowboy bill. This means we are now up to fourteen states that have passed the National Day of the Cowboy bill permanently into law. Those states are; Wyoming (#1), California (#2), New Mexico (#3), Arizona (#4), Oklahoma (#5), Oregon (#6), Mississippi (#7), Kansas(#8), Virginia (#9), Texas (#10), Idaho (#11), Indiana (#12), Arkansas (#13) and North Dakota (#14).

Our bill was also heard and voted on in the Montana legislature. The bill, SJR0010, as sponsored by Senator Kenneth Bogner, passed in their senate in March. I was later able to travel to Helena, as was Whitefish, Montana resident, Ted Valentiner, to testify in front of the House committee then considering it. A few weeks after that hearing, on April 4th, the House delivered quite a surprise to the cowboy and ranching communities of Montana (and cowboys the world over) when it voted against recognizing the Day of the Cowboy. The vote was 44 in favor, 56 opposed. This was the first time a floor vote had ended in defeat of the bill.

As luck would have it, Montana’s House vote came to the attention of Sean Gleason, the CEO of PBR. Sean was shocked that Montana, a state in which he holds a multi million dollar PBR event that has gone on for 24 years, would vote against a day to honor cowboys. He immediately wrote a post on FB in which he proposed cancelling that event in Billings in 2020. At the end of his post, he confessed he would never do that to the cowboys and cowgirls who participate in the event, nor to the loyal fans who have supported it all those years.

But the House legislators heard him loud and clear nevertheless, and soon voted on a ‘blast’ motion to reintroduce the bill and allow it to be reconsidered. The blast vote and the readings passed the second time around. The senate then had to reintroduce it and vote again as well. Finally, on the morning of April 24th, the final vote was taken and SJR0010 was passed in perpetuity, giving Montana 15th place on our list of states recognizing the National Day of the Cowboy.

At this time, our bill is also still alive in the legislatures of Missouri and Tennessee, so we’re hoping they will both pass the bill before their respective legislative sessions end. We’ve all been holding our breath hoping to have at least fifteen states to mark our fifteenth anniversary, but we of course wouldn’t be opposed to having seventeen states before July 27th. . Our bill sponsor in Tennessee is Representative Sam Whitson. The sponsor in Missouri is Representative Warren Love.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for citizens to call their legislators when they want to see a measure passed. Simply call them up, give your name, name the bill you support (including the number if you have it), and politely express at least one reason why you are in favor of the bill. Call as many legislators as you are able. Don’t limit yourself to just your own representatives.

True Cowboy Keepers One and All

Telling of Legends by Burl Washington


The four individuals selected to receive the 2018 Cowboy Keeper Award© bestowed by the National Day of the Cowboy 501c3 and its Board, are; John Ware (Canada), Cindy Walker (Texas), John L. Sullivan (Arizona and Washington), and Bobby Kerr (Texas). These individuals respresent a broad diversity of achievements, skills, backgrounds, talents, goals, dreams, and impacts. Yet, all of their diversity comes together in the love of cowboy and cowgirl culture, and in their avid devotion to the preservation of a heritage.

John Ware (c. 1845-1905)
John Ware was a remarkable figure in history who helped lay the foundation of the ranching industry in western Canada. Born into slavery (c 1845) near Georgetown, South Carolina, Ware worked his way up to being one of the most well-respected figures in frontier Alberta, thanks to his courage, good nature, physical strength and a penchant for hard work. Ware was an African-American cowboy, renowned for his ability to ride and train horses, and for his role in bringing the first cattle to Southern Alberta Canada, in 1882. His efforts helped create Alberta’s ranching industry, which thrives to this day.

After the Civil War, John left the Carolinas for Texas, where he quickly learned the skills of a rancher and a cowboy. His great stature and dedication to hard work made him a natural and enabled him to get work driving cattle from Texas to Montana and on into the great plains that eventually became Alberta. Upon arriving in Calgary, he found work at the Bar U and Quorn Ranches,  before starting his own ranch near the Red Deer River. By 1900, he and his wife, Mildred Lewis, had five children. They moved from the Calgary area to a place northeast of Duchess, Alberta. In 1902 their home was destroyed by a spring flood. He rebuilt on higher ground overlooking the stream now called Ware Creek. As with most folk heroes, there are varied tales about Ware. These are typically about his ability to eat, ride, shoot, and contribute to western culture. It is said that he was never tossed from a wild horse and that it was he who popularized steer wrestling, which went on to become a highlight of the Calgary Stampede. He also pioneered new agricultural techniques and was one of the first ranchers in the area to develop irrigation systems and was an early adopter of dipping cattle in a parasiticide to prevent mange.

Ware is the subject of a biography, John Ware’s Cow Country by J. W. Grant MacEwan, as well as the subject of a fictionalized account of his exploits in “High Rider,” penned by Bill Gallaher. Several geographical features near the Wares’ ranch are named in their honor, including “John Ware Ridge, Mount Ware, and Ware Creek.” Other namesakes include John Ware Junior High School in Calgary, the John Ware Building at Calgary’s SAIT Polytechnic, and the John Ware 4-H Beef Club in Duchess, Alberta. In 1958 the modest log cabin that was the Ware home from 1900 to 1905, was relocated from its prairie setting to the Red Deer River Valley, in Dinosaur Provincial Park.The Ware cabin was restored and re-dedicated in 2002. Alberta musician , Diamond Joe White, released a song entitled “High Rider: The John Ware Story.” In 2006, a fragment of wood from the Ware cabin was contributed to Jowi Taylor’s Six String Nation project. The fragment serves as the top-most element on the pick-guard of the guitar at the heart of the project.

Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp featuring John Ware, to celebrate Black History Month 2012. Ware and his remarkable achievements are also the subject of an upcoming National Film Board of Canada documentary by historian, Cheryl Foggo, John Ware: Reclaimed. Dramatic recreations are being shot on Ware’s former ranch in southern Alberta, with  African American rodeo champion, Fred Whitfield, in the title role. Singer-songwriter Corb Lund, along with others, will narrate about Ware’s life. None of John and Mildred’s five children who lived to adulthood had descendants. However, relatives of Mildred Ware still reside in New Jersey and British Columbia. Despite being a master horseman, John Ware was killed in a fall when his horse tripped in a badger hole crushing its rider. His funeral was reported to be one of the largest held in those early days of Calgary. He is buried in Union Cemetery, overlooking the Calgary Stampede Rodeo Grounds.

Ms. Cindy Walker (1918 – 2006)
If you’re familiar with classic songs like, “Dusty Skies, Bubbles in My Beer, Hubbin’ It, When my Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again, Blue Canadian Rockies, Miss Molly, Sugar Moon, You Don’t Know Me, Dream Baby, In the Misty Moonlight, I Don’t Care, Distant Drums, or Cherokee Maiden,” then you know something of the incredible song catalog of the late and legendary Ms. Cindy Walker.

Ms. Walker is an esteemed member of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (first woman inducted) and the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys are known to have recorded 50 or more of Cindy’s songs. She had Top Ten hits spread over five decades. One wonders how many western movies were enriched with Ms. Walker’s music, since her compositions were also cut by Gene Autry, Bing Crosby, Roy Rogers, Al Dexter, Slim Whitman, Eddy Arnold, and Asleep at the Wheel, just to name a few in the cowboy western genre. Other legendary artists such as Ray Charles, George Jones, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Ricky Skaggs, Elvis, Dean Martin, and Roy Orbison, recorded at least one Cindy Walker song. In 2006, American music icon Willie Nelson released an entire album of her songs only.

Ms Walker, born in born Mart, Texas, in 1918, had music in her genes, as her grandfather composed hymns, and her mother, Oree, was an accomplished pianist. Cindy displayed early signs of cowgirl grit, when at 22; she walked into the Crosby building in L.A. to pitch her songs to superstar of the day, Bing Crosby. She talked her way past the receptionist and convinced Larry Crosby to give a listen to her song, “Lone Star Trail.”  He invited her to sing it for Bing the next day. Not only did Bing record it, it became a top ten hit for him and secured Cindy her own recording contract with Decca.  A strikingly beautiful woman, she also landed a movie deal of her own. Eventually she asked to be released from both contracts, insisting all she wanted was to be a songwriter. You can see her as a singing actress in a video of “Ride Tenderfoot Ride,” performing, “Oh! Oh! Oh!”

Cindy started her songwriting day every day at 5:30 and wrote every day of her life. When she knew she had the lyrics, she would sing them to her momma and momma would play the melody on piano. Once they were finished, they would record the songs on a small reel-to-reel recorder and put them in a bag for Dickie Flatt, the local printer to pick up for the music transcriber, who created the sheet music, which would then be given back to Cindy. Her songs were often characterized as unpretentious, just as she was. “You Don’t Know Me” was such a tender song that even many years later, she cried trying to tell the story of how she came to write it. Once, when asked if it was harder being a female songwriter, she responded, “No, because the artists just wanted a good song. It didn’t matter if a woman wrote it.”

Upon her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, renowned Hall of Fame songwriter, Harlan Howard, described Walker as “the greatest living songwriter of country music.” During the ceremony, she read a poem for her late mother, which was acknowledged with a standing ovation. She left the stage in tears after softly blowing a kiss to the guests.

An entire concert was once dedicated to Cindy’s songs at the Monterey Cowboy Gathering. Each year, Mexia, Texas, celebrates “Cindy Walker Days.” Two plays; “You Don’t Know Me, the Cindy Walker Songbook” and “Paper Babies,” have been written in tribute to her life and work. It has been estimated that more than 500 of Walker’s songs have been recorded and that her songs made the top-forty charts (country or pop) more than 400 times. In 2006, she was persuaded to record a CD of her own songs. Ms. Cindy Walker was a beloved and deeply respected legend in her own lifetime.

John Lian Sullivan (1945-2018)
Not many commercial airline pilots go on to become expert wheelwrights and devoted chuck wagon competitors, but John L. Sullivan did. When physical challenges prevented him from flying anymore, he decided it was a good time to learn to farm organic apples. After a suitable amount of research, he launched his orchards in Washington, but soon discovered apples did not afford him the kind of lifestyle he wanted for himself and his family. Coincidentally, once retired, he had also purchased some horses for use in hunting, even though he hadn’t ridden horses much. And, around that same time, he happened to see an ad for a broken down farm wagon, which he decided to buy and renovate with the tools he had just used to build his first log house. You begin to see John Sullivan was the kind of person really drawn to the challenges of learning new things.

John soon crossed paths with Doug Thaemert (former blacksmith at the Museum of the Horse in Patagonia, AZ), an expert on historic wagon restoration, who told him if he was going to fix a wagon or buggy or coach, it was imperative to do it authentically, otherwise it was just a fixed up piece of transportation. So, John bought manuals and he apprenticed himself to skilled craftspeople like Bill Twigg, to learn wheelwright and wagon restoration skills. He even took blacksmithing classes at Eastern Arizona College. Next on his journey, John met some chuck wagon folks at a western festival and soon came home with a “chuck wagon” in need of restoration. His wife, Sandy, wryly notes it was little more than a pile of wood and rusty metal. He soon traveled to the Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, where he chanced to meet chuck wagon cookie extraordinaire, Wayne Calk, who told John “he couldn’t just stand and watch.” If he was interested, then he needed to step into camp and pitch in. This soon put John and Sandy on the chuck wagon trail, so to speak.

John Sullivan had a zest for learning and trying new things, but he also loved to share his knowledge and pass it on to others, so that history and heritage could be accurately preserved. Sandy Sullivan recalls how John sometimes hitched up one of their wagons and simply drove it up and down the dirt roads of Fort Thomas, Arizona, answering questions about it and sharing his knowledge of its history. Sometimes he would drive a covered wagon to a school just to talk to the students about the Oregon Trail. At their Arizona home, John and Sandy built a replica wagon shed where they could work on stagecoaches, horse drawn wagons, buggies, and wheels. John’s love of teaching caused him to burn the biscuits more than once, because he had this passion for preservation, so he would start talking about an artifact, or a type of wagon, or skill, and forget he had biscuits baking over hot coals in the Dutch oven. Although he was over 50 when he discovered a love for these wagons, he became dedicated to the telling and re-telling of their important role in helping settle new territory, and he worked to share his knowledge by educating the public, especially young people, about that history. A few years back, John started the “Hoorah” tradition of the American Chuckwagon Association in which they come together each year to share recipes, and swap stories around the campfire, passing important historic details on to each other, while holding a tin cup of steaming hot coffee just as the sun is rising.

Bobby Kerr
Legendary horse trainer, Bobby Kerr, resides in Hico, Texas, but grew up in Ontario, Canada. Jan Bishop, of the Canadian 4Bs Wild West Show, recalls Bobby rode his first horses at Tom Bishop’s place in Ridgeville, Ontario, and that Bobby attributes his love of Wild West Shows to his time spent at the Bishop’s as a youngster. Kerr has been riding and training horses for over 45 years. His skill with horses, especially Mustangs, is uncontested. He has trained and shown Reining, Roping, Working Cow Horse and Cutting. It was 2010 when he first attended Mustang Makeover and the following year, decided to enter the competition. He won Fan Favorite that year, and the next year, he was the Champion Trainer. The following year, he was named the 2012 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover Champion and Fan Favorite in the Legends Division on Maypop. The Mustang Makeover competition gives trainers 100 to 120 days to tame a wild mustang.

A man with a passion for horses, Bobby is a talented competitor in a variety of equine disciplines and he travels the country, sharing his equine knowledge while showcasing the talents of rescued mustangs. Kerr partners with the Bureau of Land Management through their mustang adoption program. His mega presence on YouTube is partly due to his showing in Mustang Million and to his regular role on the Nat Geo WILD show, Mustang Millionaire. If you’ve never watched a video of Kerr on a Mustang he has trained, it is truly extraordinary to witness. His long string of awards begins with his first title in 1985 when he won the AQHA Senior Cutting Honor Roll Champion, followed by a 1993 Futurity Limited Open Finalist finish. 2013 saw Bobby winning the IPRA National Finals Rodeo Showcase Champion, in he was the 2016 winner of the NFR Specialty Act and in 2017 PRCA Dress Act of the Year. In 2001, Kerr founded the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (TCHF), located in the Historic Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas. (TCHF is a 2009 Cowboy Keeper Award Recipient). It’s no wonder Cinch calls Bobby Kerr a “cowboy’s cowboy.”

Texas artist, Burl Washington, graciously contributed the artwork for this year’s Cowboy Keeper Award with his iconic painting of friendly cowboys gathered around a campfire, in “Telling of Legends.”

The National Day of the Cowboy tips its hat to John Ware, Ms. Cindy Walker, John L. Sullivan and Bobby Kerr, as four remarkable individuals who have made a significant contribution to the preservation of cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. It is an honor to share their extraordinary stories.