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Working Ranch - November/December 2017

Battle of the Saddles COURTESY OF OLIVER FAMILY employees and two part-time. That doesn’t count Richard’s grandchildren hanging around learning the trade. He hopes to watch the family’s values and ethics, along with the craft, passed on to yet another generation. Oliver Saddle Shop has made around four thousand saddles just in the time since opening in Amarillo back in 1960. Prior to that Richard isn’t sure of the number. They currently produce around eighty-fi ve handmade saddles a year. Richard and the Amarillo shop have sent saddles all around the world to places like Austria, Germany, Japan and France. Many a famous person owns a handmade saddle or two from Oliver Saddle Shop, including names like the Rothschild family, Rex Allen and even President G. W. Bush. When asked who is the most famous customer he can remember, Richard said, “It’s the everyday working cowboy. They are the famous ones. They are our customers and they keep coming back.” Cowboys like David Ross who has purchased more than twenty-fi ve handmade saddles from Oliver, or families like the Adams family who have purchased saddles for three or four generations. To celebrate one hundred years of business Oliver Saddle Shop wanted to give back to the working cowboy. The best way that they knew how to reach and touch several lives was by having a mini ranch rodeo for fun and as a way to raise some money for the WRCA Crisis Fund and Scholarship. Oliver Saddle Shop made a sizeable contribution from the shop and also helped raise a large amount from the ranch rodeo. The ranch rodeo was a unique set of events. Three-man teams would enter the arena with only four minutes on the clock. They have three head of cattle loose in the arena to tend to. One had to be roped and doctored, one had to be penned, and the other one roped and tied down. The fastest time won. This was followed by the ranch-style bronc riding, which is always fun to watch. All in all it was success with lots of fun and no one seriously hurt except maybe some pride. Maybe the ranch rodeo will continue as an annual event. 102 I WORKING RANCH I NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017


Working Ranch - November/December 2017
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