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The Father of Bareback Riding
by Susan Allen, click here for bio
Program: Open Range
Date: December 16, 2010
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In my humble opinion one of the toughest events in rodeo has to be bareback riding. But it’s quite tame today compared to earlier eras and it took a tough cowboy full of ideas to create this rodeo event. I’m Susan Allen stay tuned for OpenRange. Here in the Nortwest, college rodeo struggles to find enough cowboys who want to compete in bareback, probably because it is so brutal, yet compared to the how they rode in the 1920’s it should be piece of cake! Maybe young men just aren’t as tough as the Bascom brothers from Alberta were back then. Especially Earl whoses resume included; bronc buster, cowpuncher, trail driver, blacksmith, stagecoach driver, sheep herder sheep shearer, trapper, wolf hunter, wild horse chaser, rodeo champion, cattle rancher, dude wrangler and, finally, Hollywood movie actor playing along side Roy Rogers. Oops I forgot to add... famous, very famous cowboy artist. Earl Bascom revolutionized bareback riding by designing the first one hand bareback rigging. Until Bascom’s invention cowboys often what they called used two hand “ mane hold”, grabbing for dear life the broncs mane. Bascom introduced his leather one hand contraption at an Alberta rodeo in 1924. The Bascom Rigging became the prototype of all modern day bareback riggings. Today our National High School Rodeo Association gives the Earl W. Bascom Award for the saddle bronc and bareback events at their annual High School Finals Rodeo to honor the man known as the father of bareback riding. I’m Susan Allen
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