In part three of our ongoing series celebrating the spirit of the stock show, we’ll focus on bucking broncs. While today bronc riding is a classic rodeo sporting event, this skill originates from the working cowboy’s necessary aptitude in horse breaking. The Sid Richardson Museum collection includes many examples of cowboys exercising such skillfulness, with or without success.

Charles M. Russell, When Cowboys Get in Trouble (The Mad Cow), 1899, Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches

“I never got to be a bronk rider but in my youthfull days wanted to be and while that want lasted I had a fine chance to study hoss enatimy from under and over  the under was the view a taripan gits  The over while I hoverd ont the end of a Macarty rope was like the eagle sees grand but dam scary for folks without wings.”

                                                   – Charlie Russell to Will James, May 12, 1920

Charles M. Russell, Utica (A Quiet day in Utica), 1907, Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches

“Bronk riders and bull dogers are all hart above the wast band but its a good bet theres nothing under there hat but hair.”

-Charlie Russell to Guy Weadick, January 28, 1916