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  Katie's Tough Enough Blog
West of the Pecos Rodeo
Monday, June 24, 2013

Rodeo. Just to think of the word brings excitement to many people. Excitement was in the dusty air of Pecos in 1883 when a few cowboys met to find out who was the best at riding and roping. From the beginning of time, there has been competition among men. So it was with those horsemen who made a living in the daily chores about the ranch headquarters or trailing a herd of cattle in the wind, dust and rain storms. As these men crossed trails and met in places such as Pecos, there always came the question, Who is the best?

Trav Windham had become well known after driving cattle from Abilene to the Hashknife Ranch just north and west of Pecos. This ranch had been established as a place for cattle used to feed workers on the T & P Railroad which was moving west from Sweetwater. Windham later became foreman for the Lazy Y outfit after he decided to quit the trail. Morg Livingston of the NA ranch had earned a reputation as a roper. Since bragging could not determine a winner, they decided that the two of them would meet in a contest. Word spread quickly and other cowboys also wanted to compete to prove their abilities.

A place was chosen on the flat land west of the river roughly where the present courthouse and law enforcement build- ings are located. The date chosen was July 4th. Since that was a holiday, most ranchers, cowboys and townspeople could attend. When that day came, there were horses, wagons, people walking coming from all directions to see what was going to happen, and to find out how their favorite cowboy would fair.

Most stories about that day concerned the time it took Trav Windham to rope and tie his steer 22 seconds to win that event. Later Morg Livingston beat Windham in a matched roping. Before the day was over, cowboys from Hashknife, W, Lazy Y and the NA spreads were part of the action. One story from that day named Pate Beard of the Hashknife and Jeff Chism as having walked away with honors. Others named were Jim Mannin, John Chalk, George Brookshire, Howard Collier, Jim Livingston, Brawley Oates, Jim and Henry Slack, E.P. Stuckler and Henry Miller.

Henry Slack, grandfather of R. C. Slack of Pecos, was proba- bly the youngest rider there. While he did not remain a cowboy, he never lost his love for the cowboy life even as a business man. Since he was a famous figure from that cowboy event, he had the honor for many years to lead or ride in the rodeo parades when they began in the early 1930′s. Many people came to know and respect Uncle Henry. The late Evelyn Slack Mahoney often recalled stories her father, Henry Slack, and about being there on July 4, 1883.

Through the years, many stories were told of the Pecos event and other towns began to claim the first rodeo. Barney Hubbs of Pecos a longtime newsman and historian, began to gather information to verify the facts handed down from generation to generation. He obtained signed affidavits from various people, some whom attended that first rodeo. The Encyclopedia Britannica publishers discovered Mr. Hubbs newspaper account of the first rodeo and asked for his proof. He was successful, after much controversy, in getting Pecos named as the host of the first public cowboy contest wherein prizes were awarded to the winners of bronco riding and steer roping. No admission was charged to the spectators. In getting this recognition for Pecos, Hubbs lost his affidavits, as they were never returned.

Schedule

Tuesday June 25, 2013

Slack beginning at 8:00am, 1st and 2nd Go of Steer Roping.
Tuesday June 25, 2013

Slack beginning at 7:30pm, Start the 3rd Go of Steer Roping, Barrel Racing Slack.
Wednesday June 26, 2013

Slack beginning at 8:00am, Team Roping, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling.
Old Timer’s Reunion 9:00am West of the Pecos Museum.
Rodeo Parade 10:00am.
Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse BBQ, Noon.
1st Performance of the West of The Pecos Rodeo, 8:00pm
Family Night, children 12 and under admitted free.
Boot scramble during performance, 3 age groups; 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10. Winners receive bikes.
The local event to run that night… Wild Cow Milking.
Thursday June 27, 2013

Slack beginning at 8:00am, Team Roping, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling.
2nd Performance of the West of The Pecos Rodeo, 8:00pm
TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK NIGHT PLEASE WEAR PINK. Portion of gate proceeds donated to PECOS AREA CANCER FOUNDATION.
Family Night, children 12 and under admitted free.
Second run of Boot Scramble during performance.
The local event to run that night…Hide Race.
Friday June 28, 2013

Slack beginning at 8:00am, Team Roping, Calf Roping and Steer Wrestling.
3rd Performance of the West of The Pecos Rodeo, 8:00pm.
Calf Scramble during performance, 2 age groups; 11-12 and 13-15. Winners receive WOPR Buckle.
The local event to run that night…Wild Mare Race.
Saturday June 29, 2013

Slack beginning at 8:00am, Team Roping, Calf Roping and Steer Wrestling.
West of the Pecos Team Roping Classic Local Open Roping. Books open 9:00am with roping beginning immediately following PRCA slack.
4th Performance of the West of The Pecos Rodeo, 8:00p.m.
The finals for all local events will run.
Top 12 team ropers from the West of The Pecos Classic team roping to rope during performance.

Blog Archive
June, 2013
·West of the Pecos Rodeo