Big Bend Saddlery
2701 East Hwy 90 Alpine, Tx 79830
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
by John O. Baxter
A century ago, when Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona outlawed steer roping contests, there was one place a southwestern roper could go to hone his skills: Cowboy Park, the arena established in 1907 in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
During the formative years of rodeo that preceded the first Calgary Stampede in 1912, Cowboy Park promoted the sport of steer roping and provided a ready training ground for up-and-coming champions. From its inception until growing political turmoil in Mexico brought the enterprise to a halt, Cowboy Park kept the sport alive and fostered celebrity―its “alumni” swept the first prizes in Calgary and continued to dominate for some years. This unique institution, despite its significant influence on the future of rodeo, has until now received scant attention.
Through the history he has recovered and photographs―many published here for the first time―John Baxter documents and illuminates the era of Cowboy Park and the early champions who won their spurs there.
“Rodeo fans will find some familiar names . . . and places here―Guy Weadick, Zack and Lucille Mulhall, Bill Pickett, Will Rogers, Fog Horn Clancy, Guy Allen, Dan Patch, and Calgary, Pendleton, and Cheyenne. But most of the names will be unfamiliar, all but forgotten in the annals of early rodeo. [Baxter’s] penetrating and original research is underpinned by the use of nearly fifty different newspapers from around the country.” ―Richard W. Slatta, from the foreword.
Order with Confidence from Big Bend Saddlery. We make only top quality products from the best materials that money can buy. We stand behind all our products with a guarantee against defects in materials or workmanship. We want you to be 100% satisfied with any product you buy from Big Bend Saddlery. If not, simply return it to us for a credit, refund or exchange. Items eligible for returns must be received by to our store within 30 days and items must be new, unused and contain original product packaging and accessories. Some items are non-returnable such as CD's, DVD's, Video Tapes, Books, and Customized Items. Shipping charges will not be refunded unless we are at fault in shipping incorrect or damaged merchandise.
We stock or have access to many products not shown on our website, and would be happy to help you find anything that we can. We do custom leatherwork and custom silverwork.
As far as we can tell, our shop was opened in 1905. It was named for this area, the Big Bend Region of Texas, which got its name from the bend or turn made by the Rio Grande River just south of us. We are located in the Davis Mountains with the 800,000-acre Big Bend National Park to the south. We are a small shop located on the east side of Alpine, Texas with employees who feature personalized, friendly service. Let us help you any way we can.