Tales from the Morgue: Rodeo contestants included some of the 'best boys in the game'

2010-02-26T00:00:00Z 2014-02-14T13:00:25Z Tales from the Morgue: Rodeo contestants included some of the 'best boys in the game'Johanna Eubank, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 26, 2010 12:00 am  • 

From the Arizona Daily Star Saturday, Feb. 21, 1925:

MULLINS FINDS BEST CONTEST MEN IN TUCSON

Experts From All Over U.S. Here For First Rodeo in City's History

"I have seen many rodeos, but never one that drew so many of the best boys in the game as the Tucson event," said Johnny Mullin, ... who is aiding Sid Simpson and Ed Echols in handling the Fiesta de los Vaqueros at the Santa Catalina field this afternoon, tomorrow and Monday.

All week long the contestants have been arriving for the events, and among the ones now in the city are the "top hands" of the riders, ropers and bulldoggers of the United States. In the groups are many who accompanied Tex Austin to the International Rodeo at the Wembley Stadium at London last year, where they represented the United States in competition with the best cattlemen of the world.

 

The growing list of bulldoggers - a "dangerous, spectacular sport" -  included contestants from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Billy Kingham, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, was considered one of the best in the business and a leader in his class.

Some other contestants of note:

Among the many notables that are gracing Tucson at present — waiting for the opening event, when the first gun of the three-day Rodeo will be fired is Chief Hawk, chief of a tribe of Pueblo Indians that arrived today from the Taos reservation at Taos, New Mexico.

The chief comes to Tucson to win the prize in the bronc riding event and the bulldogging contest.

Those that have seen him work say that his competitors will have a hard time in keeping up with him. He has repeatedly taken both first and second money at many events here in the southwest.

 

Among the contestants were some ladies, of course:

Known in private life as Mrs. Mike Hastings, wife of the stellar bulldogger, who will work in the Tucson rodeo, Fox Hastings is noted in her own right as a rider and bulldogger, in fact, believed to be the only woman bulldogger in the rodeo game.

Traveling overland from Fort Worth, Texas, where they attended the stock show, Mike and Fox Hastings arrived in Tucson in their roadster with the pet mount of Mike traveling behind in a trailer. The pony, an intelligent little strawberry roan, will take his part in the program this afternoon when Mike starts from the line to catch his steer in the arena for one of the most spectacular feats of any rodeo, the bulldogging.

 

And what rodeo would be complete without a clown?

Seated in the middle of a wild eyed pitching steer, Red Sublette, who with his famous trick mule, Sparkplug, appears at the Tucson rodeo this afternoon, is as comfortable as the ordinary mortal in an easy chair. At least, so he says.

The cowboy clown, who with his drollery has amused two continents, has but recently return from the trip to Europe, which he made as a feature of the mammoth rodeo put on at the Wemberly (sic) Stadium in London by Tex Austin.

Sublette, who is the most famous rodeo clown in the United States today, has a long record of successful performances in many different shows and is well known all over the west as a good entertainer both by the cattlemen who know him personally and by his audiences who have never seen him without the "hick" makeup with which he enters the arena.

 

Tomorrow: Bulldogging from an automobile, and rodeos inspire even the British to enthusiasm.

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About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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