Category Archives: cowboys
Ride for the Brand, The poetry and songs of Red Steagall, by Red Steagall ‘Cowboy Poet of the State of Texas’, Bunkhouse Press, 1993.
Perhaps the most unique event in professional rodeo, the annual Wrangler Timed Event Championship features 20 of the world’s best cowboys who get into the field by invitation only. The 2010 event was held last weekend in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The Lazy E Arena started the event in 1985 as a way to determine the best timed event cowboy.
Most cowboys in professional rodeo specialize in just one event. A few will compete in two or more timed events, but no one competes in all five.
Except at the Timed Event Championship.
Each cowboy will compete in all five timed events in rodeo: tie down roping, steer roping, heading, heeling and steer wrestling.
By the time it has ended Sunday, each cowboy will have roped and bulldogged a a total of 25 head of cattle. The one with the top overall time wins $50,000.
In that first year, the Lazy E Arena invited 30 world-class cowboys to compete for the championship. They enticed them to try events other than their specialty with a $100,000 purse, $20,000 going to the winner.
The first Timed Event Championship was held in just two days, cramming in six performances.
Cowboys competed on 30 head of cattle in two days. Compare that to the National Finals Rodeo where cowboys worked 10 head of cattle in 10 days.
“They were beat up,” Meyers [former Lazy E general manager A.G. Meyers], said of the inaugural 1984 field. “We almost killed the top 30 timed event cowboys in the world.” The following year, Meyers trimmed the field, the rounds and spread the competition over three days.
As a young child until my teen years, we lived in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Every now and then I go back for the Tucumcari Reunion (and love visiting old friends and making new friends). Haven’t been back for a reunion in awhile; it is probably time!
This area of New Mexico is mostly flat (certainly doesn’t have the mountain range that we enjoyed when we lived in Denver).
However, Tucumcari has a mountain. Yep folks – that’s Tucumcari mountain in the background – standing sentinel while Leroy Webb (The Last Cowboy) feeds his horses and I figure that Leroy and his friend plan to have a cup of coffee later and trade horse stories.
Cowboy Poetry is in a league all its own and I especially love to hear it recited and sung. When we first moved to Seguin, Judge B. B. Schraub and his wife Estella would come by our house on their daily walks. Estella said they had been going to the Cowboy Poetry Gatherings for years and never missed a one. Estella passed away in 2008 and I know that the Judge misses her every day – and misses the things they always did together, such as the Poetry Gatherings.
My grandfather, Berlin Caldwell, was a friend of New Mexico lawman Fred Lambert, who published a book of poetry entitled Bygone Days of the Old West. A first edition copy of this book is kept under a locked glass case in the Denver Public Library and is a beautiful book, illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Lambert.
Fred Lambert told me many stories about the Wild West days in Cimarron, New Mexico and the surrounding area. He knew my maternal great-grandfather Robert Walker “Bob” Sammon and delighted me with his remembrances.
At the time of Bob Sammon’s death, he was doing some work for Thomas Benton Catron, a controversial New Mexico politician and lawyer in early New Mexico.
An aside about Fred Lambert: his father, Henri (Henry) Lambert built the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico. This hotel has a most interesting history; we stayed there several years ago when we were in New Mexico for a family reunion – but didn’t hear or see any ghosts!
The St. James Hotel, built in 1872-80. Built by French entrepreneur Henri Lambert, a former field cook for U.S. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and a White House chef for President Abraham Lincoln, the two-story adobe property began as Cimarron’s best saloon, built in 1872. Several men were shot and killed there, the violence evident in the 26 bullet holes in the bar’s pressed tin ceiling, now the hotel’s elegant dining room.