Great man and tremendous stock contractor. Met him several times at the Ute Stampede rodeo in Nephi Utah which he produced forever. Always took wonderful care of his livestock and had great pride in their abilities. My two favorite Cotton stories are to follow-
1- I drew slack in the bull riding down there one year. It’s after midnight and a lot had gone wrong and bulls were just getting started. Cotton rode up on a horse and started chewing out anybody working or within ear shot. Just wanted to be done and go to bed. I sure didn’t blame him. He told one slow moving guy to hurry his Butt up (he didn’t say butt) or he’d fire his Butt. The guy said I don’t work for you. Cotton shot back “Who’s your boss and I’ll have HIM fire your Butt”!!!!
During the bareback go, this kids had been on his bronc for a long time. This was back before timers could get ya DQ’d. Anyway the gate man was hollering at him and the flank man was hollering at him and even the announcer had wondered aloud what the hold up was. I was loitering behind the chute like bull riders do while waiting for the bulls and watched Cotton ride up (he was always on a horse running the show til he got to old to do it). He said “Kid, you gotta ride this horse!!! The kid said the horse was laying on him even though it was clear he wasn’t. Cotton said “Nod your head and Go!!!! And the kid said Hell I ain’t ready. Cotton reached down and pulled the gate himself and said “Outside”!!!! And a very short bronc ride happened.
This was in the mid 1980’s.
Cotton was a peach of a man. But he didn’t suffer fools. I’ll sure miss him
I was thinking about the first time I met Cotton. He was producing a rodeo in Seattle in the early 70's. No special stories from that night other than the fact that I was there with Bob Wagner and I met both Cotton and Wick Peth for the first time that night. I believe all three of those men are in the Hall of Fame.
I knew a man pretty well who traveled with Cotton back when the two of them were riding rodeos. That would have been a long time ago.
None of those old rodeo contractors suffered fools well. Cotton was plum civil compared to some others I could name.