• The Timelessness of Fringe

      By Guest Blogger ALEESHA HARRIS Fringe is as much a part of cowboy culture as, say, denim and roper-heeled boots. While various tasseled styles, many of which have origins in First Nations culture, where fringe was first introduced as functional elements of design (the long strips of suede or leather worked to wick rainwater away… [Continue Reading]

      The Timelessness of Fringe
    • DOC WEST – Ranch Roping

      Doc West returns with his sage advice for the lost and lonely gunsel. Q. Doc West, explain if you will, the nuances of difference between ranch roping and team roping? A. The answer to this question if asked a few years ago would have been as simple as team roping is what the cowboys do… [Continue Reading]

      DOC WEST – Ranch Roping
    • Kevin Costner Among Notable Honorees Appearing at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s 2019 Western Heritage Awards®

      Annual ceremony recognizing outstanding contributions to Western culture will also honor Michael Martin Murphey, Howard Keel and Clark McEntire. OKLAHOMA CITY — The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host the 59th annual Western Heritage Awards, April 12 – 13, 2019, in celebration of creative works in literature, music, film and television that reflect the significant… [Continue Reading]

      Kevin Costner Among Notable Honorees Appearing at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s 2019 Western Heritage Awards®
    • Espresso Granita 

      BY CHEF MIKE EDGAR Host a fabulous New Year’s Eve gathering this year, with this special dessert made just for congregating. Granita is a coarse, Italian-style flavored ice. Topped with an espresso pudding-like layer and served with Beignets for dipping, this is one dish your guests won’t be able to stay away from as you ring in 2019!… [Continue Reading]

      Espresso Granita   
    • Make Plans for the 2019 Saskatchewan Equine Expo

      The 8th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo takes place February 14-17, 2019 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. The event is produced by Prairieland Park Agriculture department in partnership with volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and various equine breed groups. The event presents equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and… [Continue Reading]

      Make Plans for the 2019 Saskatchewan Equine Expo
    • Pozzobon Rip(p)s It Up at the WNFR

      Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association While several of the Canadian storylines were exciting at the 60th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, none was more so then the one featuring first-time qualifier, Carman Pozzobon. The British Columbia cowgirl, riding her talented mare Ripp, (Ripn Lady), posted her fastest time of the week, a 13.68… [Continue Reading]

      Pozzobon Rip(p)s It Up at the WNFR
    • Canadians Go Six For Six On Canada Night

      Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Every year on Canada Night (Round 8 of the WNFR), Canadian flags are an even bigger part of the action than they are during the other nine performances.  And, with all six Canadian competitors getting to the pay window, Canadian fans were on top of the rodeo world.… [Continue Reading]

      Canadians Go Six For Six On Canada Night
    • The Tahoe Verona

      Are you still looking for the perfect gift for the horseman or woman in your life? The new ‘Tahoe’ shank from Tom Balding finds inspiration in the Vaquero style that is part of California’s history. This beautifully crafted bit features a Tahoe© shank in a stainless finish with antiqued silver engraved plates and dots. This… [Continue Reading]

      The Tahoe Verona

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The Timelessness of Fringe

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

By Guest Blogger ALEESHA HARRIS

Fringe is as much a part of cowboy culture as, say, denim and roper-heeled boots. While various tasseled styles, many of which have origins in First Nations culture, where fringe was first introduced as functional elements of design (the long strips of suede or leather worked to wick rainwater away from the body, for example) — these days, they are largely centred around making a fashion statement.


From jackets and chaps, to accent-hemmed skirts and even tassel-adorned handbags, fringe is one of the most identifiable elements of western wear today.

Photo by McKenzie Fotos.


But it’s not just riders who are buying into the look.


Thanks to the growing popularity in recent seasons of what’s being referred to by many fashion magazines as the “Americana” trend, fringed fashions have reemerged in mainstream style, as well. Several designers, such as the American brands Calvin Klein and Coach and the French brand CELINE, began prominently featuring fringe designs during their Spring/Summer 2018 collection shows. Appearing in various forms, from soft strands that fluttered in the breeze, to bold swaths of fabric swinging from the hem of mini dresses, the message was made clear: fringe has gone mainstream.

Photo by McKenzie Fotos.


And, ongoing appearances in the latest collections showed on the runways in recent months during fashion weeks in Milan, New York and Paris proves that it’s here to stay. And, fringe isn’t the only element of Western wear that’s seeping into mainstream fashion in 2019.


High fashion brands like CHANEL, Gucci and Dior have touched on elements of equestrian culture in recent seasons — moving away from more predictable influences of English riding styles such as polished field boots and sharply tailored hunt coats — instead, showcasing western-inspired elements such as prairie dresses, handkerchief neckties, yolked button-down shirts, denim-on-denim, cowboy boots and more.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.


And the proliferation of such pieces has surely led to an increase in Hollywood celebrities popping up wearing the trend including Gwen Stefani, Kendall Jenner and  Rosie Huntington-Whitely, further introducing the western aesthetic to a broader audience of fashion fans.

Gwen Stefani at a recent performance in Las Vegas, NV. Photo by @imalazyj


So, while these  influences have enjoyed a long history of appearing and reappearing in mainstream fashion throughout the years, it’s safe to say that these western wear pieces are sure to continue to leave an impression on fashion, this year and beyond.

DOC WEST – Ranch Roping

Illustration by Dave Elston.

Doc West returns with his sage advice for the lost and lonely gunsel.

Q. Doc West, explain if you will, the nuances of difference between ranch roping and team roping?

A. The answer to this question if asked a few years ago would have been as simple as team roping is what the cowboys do at the rodeo, and ranch roping is what the cowboys do back at the ranch. Today however, ranch roping has grown into a popular “off circuit” competitive event that has reached an almost cultish status complete with its own set of rules and even governing associations. As a general observation both competitive events are similar in the sense a team (usually two, but sometimes three) of cowboys (or cowgirls) on horseback armed with ropes or lassos embark upon the act of roping a bovine. However, that is where the similarities end and the many differences begin: for example, team ropers rope a single isolated steer, ranch ropers pick a target out of a herd; team ropers start in the box and blast forward in pursuit of a running target, ranch ropers meander at a walk through a herd. Team roping is a timed event where runs are won or lost on a fraction of a second, ranch roping is scored on a point system of bonuses and penalties, so long as you get your calf roped within the time limit – a generous three or four minutes.
 
Differences in rules and regulations do little justice to what is a truer answer to such a question – a long meandering tale that does not easily lend itself to this column’s short and glossy smartly edited words, as it finds its beginnings 500 hundred years ago when conquistadors such as Cortes and Coronado and De Soto were the first explorers to bury into the North American continent in search of gold to take, but paradoxically leaving a much finer gift, the Spanish horse. Spain’s colonization of the new world brought with it the hacienda system of ranching, which gave life to the pillar of that system, the vaquero. Of Spanish origin and Mexican blood, the vaquero trailed up the Baja travelling the El Camino Real into California, where the gentle climate over time molded the California vaquero into its own unique creation – the “California Tradition” of the American cowboy. Later yet, when the big ranches in California started breaking up, many of the California vaqueros moved northward once again and spread out into the “Buckaroo-dom” of the great basin region of Nevada, Oregon and Idaho where the traditions evolved once more. As a collective, the California Tradition – the vaqueros and buckaroo’s are first and oldest cowboys – Spanish in origin and Mediterranean in mentality.
 
In the California tradition, style rules supreme – flat hats, silvered spade bits, rawhide romel reins, bossels and hackamores, elaborately finessed loops, and a horse tuned as finely as a Swiss watch. A vaquero was not just a hired cowpuncher, he was a caballero, a citizen, a gentleman, an aristocrat of the saddle. An emphasis on form and lifestyle permeated Spanish cowboying where cattle were moved leisurely over the rolling green hills, “it took as long as it took” – if it didn’t get done today, there was always mañana or tomorrow. Modern day ranch roping is a derivative of the vaquero traditions and those high plains riders, and the nature of the competition is rooted in the west coast mindset that faster is not always better; cattle were roped slowly, methodically and with as little stress on the animal as possible – 60-foot lariats are dallied to a leather wrapped pommel which allowed a soft catch and the ability to let loose if things got hairy.
 
The second part of this story finds its genesis in the mid 1800’s when Anglo settlers moved westward into historic Spanish territory and took up ranching, initially in the great plains of Texas. The English adopted the many of the fine vaquero cowboy traditions, however many of these were modified to adapt to a much more unforgiving environment and gave birth to what is known as the “Texas Tradition” – or as modern lore has coined simply as “the cowboy.” Over time the Texan style also spread – following the great cattle herds driven north up the Rockies eastern slopes into the wilds of Wyoming, Montana and across the 49th into Alberta and Saskatchewan. Cowboys of the Texas Tradition were practical individuals, not as concerned with the “how” as with the “is.” By way of example where the California Vaquero enjoyed a pleasant climate they could work all day and mañana too, by contrast most cowpunchers were beat by the panhandle sun into sweltering goo by noon, as such most cowboying needed to be done quickly and efficiently in the morning hours – there was no mañana for the Texas cowboy. Tack was practical and tough, durable clothing that could take thorns, basic working bits, heavy leather split reins, plain saddles, gritty cowponies and maybe a saddle gun too. The Texan roped hard and fast. The big “purdy” open country throws favoured by the buckaroos were impracticable in prairie scrub, cowboys ropes were shorter, throws were tighter and faster, ropes were often tied on to the saddle horn as dallying was deemed too slow and according to the seasoned cowpuncher were reserved for those afraid to commit. The team roping that we all see in rodeos is all about two things, making the catch and how fast you did it. In the Texan Tradition that’s all that mattered on the range and that’s all that matters in the arena.

Kevin Costner Among Notable Honorees Appearing at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s 2019 Western Heritage Awards®

Annual ceremony recognizing outstanding contributions to Western culture will also honor Michael Martin Murphey, Howard Keel and Clark McEntire.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host the 59th annual Western Heritage Awards, April 12 – 13, 2019, in celebration of creative works in literature, music, film and television that reflect the significant stories of the Western genre. The Western Heritage Awards also celebrate the induction of individuals into the Museum’s esteemed halls of fame.

This year, legendary Hollywood actor Kevin Costner will be inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers along with notable musical and screen performer Howard Keel (1919 – 2004). Inductees into the Hall of Great Westerners for 2019 are Clark McEntire (1927 – 2014), three-time world champion steer roper and father of country music icon Reba McEntire, and George McJunkin (1851 – 1922), a cowboy and former slave who discovered the first Folsom archaeological site.

The 2019 Western Heritage Awards will also recognize Dave Stamey, cowboy entertainer and musician, with the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award. Named in honor of the Museum’s founder, this award is bestowed on a living honoree who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Western values and ideals. Singer and songwriter Michael Martin Murphey will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his nearly 50 years producing celebrated Western music. 

“As the preeminent recognition of quality in Western-themed works for nearly 60 years, the Western Heritage Awards celebrates and encourages the creation of Western literature, music and film with true merit,” said Museum President & CEO Natalie Shirley. “We are excited to once again honor a group of creative individuals who hold steadfast to Western ideals while creating new and groundbreaking works.”

Each award winner and inductee receives a Wrangler, an impressive bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback created by Oklahoma artist Harold T. Holden, a 2017 Hall of Great Westerners inductee.

The Western Heritage Awards festivities begin Friday, April 12 at 11:00 a.m. with a workshop featuring Emmy-winning makeup artist Michael F. Blake that is free to the public with Museum admission. This is followed by a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. and an autograph session with honorees at 6:00 p.m.

On Saturday, April 13 at 11:00 a.m. is the Western Heritage Awards Panel Discussion, which is also free to the public with Museum admission. The Western Heritage Awards Cocktail Hour begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner service and the awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m. Reservations are required for all evening events, with discounts available to Museum members. For additional information or to make reservations visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/westernheritage or contact Kaylia McCracken, Events Coordinator, at (405) 478-2250 ext. 218.

Western Heritage Award sponsors to date include, Promoting Sponsors: The Chickasaw Nation, Compellier, IBC Bank and JE Dunn; Inductee Sponsors: Linda M. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Ingram, Mr. Brent Cummings, Mrs. Howard Keel, Robert A. Funk and Express Ranches and Wyatt and Lisa McCrea; Museum Partners: Devon Energy Corp. and E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation; and Community Sponsors: Allied Arts, Arvest Bank, Continental Resources, OG&E, Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau and MassMutual Oklahoma. Sponsorship opportunities remain available; for more information visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/westernheritage or contact Trent Riley, Membership Manager, at triley@nationalcowboymuseum.org or (405) 478-2250 ext. 251.

The full list of 2019 inductees and honorees includes:

Hall of Great Western Performers Inductees:

• Kevin Costner

• Howard Keel (1919 – 2014)

Hall of Great Westerners Inductees:

• Clark McEntire (1927 – 2004)

• George McJunkin (1851 – 1922)

Chester A. Reynolds Award Recipient: Dave Stamey

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Michael Martin Murphey

Literary Awards

• Western Novel: The Hunger by Alma Katsu, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

• Nonfiction Book: The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford, published by Texas A&M University Press

• Art/Photography Book: Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks – The Story of Knapp Ranch, by Betsy Knapp, Bud Knapp and Sarah Chase Shaw, illustrated by Todd Winslow Pierce, published by Knapp Press

• Juvenile Book: Hardscrabble by Sandra Dallas, published by Sleeping Bear Press

• Magazine Article: “Long Live the King,” Western Horseman, by Christine Hamilton, Ross Hecox and Susan Morrison, published by Ernie King

• Poetry Book: Landscapes, with Horses by Mark Sanders, illustrated by Charles D. Jones, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press

Music Awards

• Original Western Composition: “Frontier Symphony,” recording artists Jeff Lippencott with the 46onier Festival Orchestra, composed by Jeff Lippencott

• Traditional Western Album: Sunset on the Rio Grande Revisited, recording artist Syd Masters

• New Horizon: “I’ll Ride Thru It,” recording artist Deanna McCall, produced by Randy Huston and Jim Jones

Film & Television Awards

• Fictional Drama: “A Monster is Among Us”, Yellowstone, S1, E7, starring Kevin Costner, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan, produced by Paramount Network

• Western Lifestyle Program: Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street, starring Red Steagall, produced by West of Wall Street Film Company

• Theatrical Motion Picture: Ballad of Buster Scruggs starring Tim Blake Nelson, directed and written by Ethan and Joel Coen, produced by Netflix

• Documentary: UmoNhoN Iye The Omaha Speaking, directed and written by Brigitte Timmerman, produced by Range Films, LLC

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the Museum collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Espresso Granita 

BY CHEF MIKE EDGAR Host a fabulous New Year’s Eve gathering this year, with this special dessert made just for congregating. Granita is a coarse, Italian-style flavored ice. Topped with an espresso pudding-like layer and served with Beignets for dipping, this is one dish your guests won’t be able to stay away from as you ring in 2019! […]

[Continue reading…]

Make Plans for the 2019 Saskatchewan Equine Expo

The 8th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo takes place February 14-17, 2019 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. The event is produced by Prairieland Park Agriculture department in partnership with volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and various equine breed groups. The event presents equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and […]

[Continue reading…]

Pozzobon Rip(p)s It Up at the WNFR

Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association While several of the Canadian storylines were exciting at the 60th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, none was more so then the one featuring first-time qualifier, Carman Pozzobon. The British Columbia cowgirl, riding her talented mare Ripp, (Ripn Lady), posted her fastest time of the week, a 13.68 […]

[Continue reading…]

Canadians Go Six For Six On Canada Night

Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Every year on Canada Night (Round 8 of the WNFR), Canadian flags are an even bigger part of the action than they are during the other nine performances.  And, with all six Canadian competitors getting to the pay window, Canadian fans were on top of the rodeo world. […]

[Continue reading…]

The Tahoe Verona

Are you still looking for the perfect gift for the horseman or woman in your life? The new ‘Tahoe’ shank from Tom Balding finds inspiration in the Vaquero style that is part of California’s history. This beautifully crafted bit features a Tahoe© shank in a stainless finish with antiqued silver engraved plates and dots. This […]

[Continue reading…]

Holiday Giving – For Her

  Stuck on the perfect gift idea for her? In this four-part blog series, Western Horse Review has rounded up several of our favorite tidings of joy. This is Christmas shopping made easy! You’re welcome. By Louisa Murch White & Jenn Webster   POP SOCKETS – Never drop your phone again with these sweet handcrafted, […]

[Continue reading…]