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Walt Heacock

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:02 am
by jmerson
I was looking for anything about Walt Heacock, a 1938 or so Saddle bronc rider. He was the years champion but don't remember what the organization was at that time. He and his wife Boots taught me and a neighbor girl to Trick Ride along with his son and daughter in Stockton, CA. That was about 1945 or so, not sure exactly what year. The girls name I think was Jolene but not sure of the son's name. It seems like they called hIm Sonny, but not sure. I would really like to contact them if possible?
Send a PM if any one knows about them, please, times running out?

Jim Emerson

Re: Walt Heacock

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:47 am
by mrj
I don't know of Mr. Heacock, but wonder if any records of the Turtle Association, predecessor to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assoc. might have records from that era at the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado. Another possibility for information: Through the Livestock Brand Conferences my spouse was involved with years ago, we met Tuffy Cooper, father and grandfather of more recent 'roping Coopers' team and calf ropers originating in New Mexico. Tuffy was a state Brand Inspector, and earlier in his life, was a member of the Turtle Assoc. It might be worth contacting them if you have found nothing else. Roy is the only name of the younbger generations of Coopers I recall at the moment, but surely several still are active ropers and might have some history on the Turtles. At that time, rodeo was a pretty small group and it seemed the performers anywhere near the top of the game or in an area of the country more or less knew all the others involved.

Good luck with getting some information soon. Time sure flies and it gets harder to recall specific names, and all too often we just remember a face, comment, or event, from earlier years.


Re: Walt Heacock

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:33 am
by Faster horses
I have a friend whose mother started the Paint Horse Registry. She has a lot of old 'stuff' on rodeo cowboys. I will contact her and see if I can find out anything for you. She lives in Texas.

Re: Walt Heacock

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:33 pm
by jmerson
Thanks to both of you for the replies to an almost certain Dead Horse. We're about 40 years too late to try and dig up anything on the Heacock's, but it's worth a try. The older I get the more I like the old days. I didn't realize just how good they were until the went. I know that's not good grammar, but it sure sounds good. The kids of today are never going to realize all of the great things they could be doing instead of fooling with a cell phone.

Re: Walt Heacock

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:49 pm
by Soapweed
Here is a story mentioning Walt Heacock, from the book FORTY YEARS’ GATHERIN’S by Spike Van Cleve (it is a great book, by the way):

Art Orser died a few years ago. I was snowed in and couldn’t get to the funeral. I was sorry, for I liked the son of a gun, and it’ll be a long time before another like him shows up, if ever. Orser was—well, he was Orser!

A bucking horse man, if one ever lived, and he wasn’t what you’d call bashful about saying so. “Askins invented bronc riding,” he claimed, “but Orser perfected it!” I wouldn’t go along with that completely, but Art was one hell of a bronc rider. He was wild when the chute opened, but hell, he was wild everywhere, and I still hump up a little when I think of some of the parties we had together. Art was a good guy, though a little raunchy at times, and he sure had a good sense of humor.

I was away at school one spring, either ’29 or ’30 I believe it was, when he was working for the Donald outfit down on the Sweet Grass, and Walt Heacock, the current bronc riding champion was breaking horses for my dad. A rodeo champion in those days could be a first class horseman, cowman, cowboy, and good ranch hand, to boot.

Anyhow, as Artie told it, he was out setting fence posts along the “Settlement” lane one morning when he saw some sort of rigging coming down from the west. After a while he could make out that it was a sheep wagon, with an old boy standing in the doorway driving. It was pretty early in the morning; the wagon was heading into the sun; and there was something in or on it that reflected back into Orser’s eyes something terrible, so he just turned his back and went on building his post hole.

Finally the outfit got to where he was, whoaed up, and there was Walt Heacock handling the lines. The reflection had come from the big “World Champion Bronc Rider” buckle on his belt!

They chatted awhile, then Walt picked up his lines and said, “Art, I won’t tell if you don’t,” and clucked to the team and drove off.

It was just too good for Orser to keep quiet about—two champion saddle bronc riders, one digging post holes, and the other driving a sheep wagon!

Re: Walt Heacock

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:16 pm
by Big Muddy rancher
That's a good one! LOL