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Young resident of the Boys Ranch rides a steer.
Young Man, wearing protective helmet, rides a feisty steer at 55th Annual Rodeo Photo: Dale Livingston

55th Annual Cal Farley's Boys Ranch Rodeo

World champion athlete Cal Farley perceived a need for homes, education, vocational training, and religious instruction for needy boys deserving a "a shirttail to hang on to." In 1939, when a local rancher donated 120 acres and the town site of historic Old Tascosa, Texas, 35 miles northwest of Amarillo, the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch was born. In 1944, when boys living at the ranch asked Farley if they could have a rodeo, Farley saw it as an opportunity for kids to develop responsibility and new skills. In 1992, girls were added to those who lived at the ranch. Everyone pitches in to make the rodeo possible. Kids sell food, provide pre-rodeo music, clean the grounds, and participate in rodeo events, attending grueling practice sessions twice weekly. Events range from traditional bareback bronc riding for the older boys to "mutton busting" and "calf riding" for 7-9 year olds and stick horse racing for the youngest participants. The rodeo is only one of many ways in which the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and Affiliates seek to inspire the children that are targeted by their programs. A written narrative, photographs with their descriptions, and an official program document the 55th annual rodeo held in September, 1999.

Originally submitted by: Larry Combest, Representative (19th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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