Big Bend Saddlery
2701 East Hwy 90 Alpine, Tx 79830
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
One of the best tie-down calf ropers ever to come out of South Texas, Juan Salinas grew up on a 15,000-acre ranch near Laredo, with the finest of horses to ride and hundreds of head of cattle to practice on. He roped in Texas rodeos large and small from the mid-1920s to 1935. From 1936 to 1946, he followed the national rodeo circuit, competing from Texas to New York’s Madison Square Garden. At the time, few if any other Mexican Americans competed in rodeo, and Salinas drew a lot of attention.
Salinas also operated his family’s Texas ranch, where he ran cattle and raised prize roping quarter horses. In this account of his life and career, Salinas’s nephew, Ricardo Palacios, recounts the many tales his uncle told him—tales of friendship with Gene Autry, going to Sally Rand’s wedding reception, riding on the Rodeo Train, and sponsoring seven-time world champion tie-down calf roper Toots Mansfield. He also narrates life on the range, with his uncle riding across a pasture at full speed, gingerly holding the reins and a thirty-five foot coil of rope in his left hand while swinging the roping loop overhead with his right hand as he chased a three-hundred-pound calf for the throw.
The story of Juan Salinas is also the story of the people of Mexican origin who live on the ranches of the South Texas brush country. Strong, rugged, independent, and hard-working, they knew social and economic success that has all too seldom been chronicled.
Tío Juan was the family cowboy, the hero, the rodeo star, and Palacios tells his uncle’s story with warmth and admiration. In 1991 Salinas was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. He was also named Rancher of the Year by Laredo’s Borderfest and won the Ranching Heritage Award given by the King Ranch and Texas A&M–Kingsville. In 1993, he was inducted into the LULAC International Sports Hall of Fame. These were, Palacios writes, “fitting tributes to a champion and fine additions to his collection of trophy roping saddles, silver trophies, and champion’s buckles.”
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.