He texted me today that he had decided against buying this print because the cowboy was black.
Not prejudice he says, just personal choice.
I really don't know how to react. I never thought the rider was black, I suppose he could be or a hispanic vaquero, it never occurred to me but they did do a lot of the riding and work out here and it makes no difference to me, I would personally consider it a positive. There were a lot of black cowboys, you know?
Borein was a working cowboy and the saddle looks like a Visalia rig, so I assume the scene is probably from California. This is the way Borein depicted his vaqueros, being out in the sun all day lent itself to dark, sunburned faces. Whatever the ethnicity, the rider threw a nice loop.
I think that I am through dealing with this person. He gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.
Sorry for your trouble. It is a fine, fine Borein. As for color ID, could be either, and yeah, that’s a positive for me too as those images are very scarce, especially in California. The rodeo competition event of bulldogging originated as a novelty performance by a black cowboy in Wyoming at Cheyenne Frontier Days, circa 1916. It later became a competition, but modified by the young white competitors, who chose not to being their steers down by biting them on the upper lip, as the originator did. I’m blanking on his name as write this, to my sorrow.
I grew up knowing that story because my father, Al Chandler (1909-2001), was born in Oregon but raised from the age of 11 in Cheyenne. As his widowed mother was often ill, one of his guardians was Charles Hersig, founder of the Wyoming Hereford Ranch, where my dad spent most of his teens. Dad became a prize winning roper, and continued to compete in the circuits after he began work as a telephone lineman and wire chief for Mountain Bell in Casper.
Your comment about a nice loop inspired me to share this photo of him taken at the Las Vegas, New Mexico rodeo in 1938, age 29. Also a helluva nice loop, which the brahma calf hasn’t even noticed as he runs through it. Dad pointed out to me that he trained his horses (this was one of about 10 he owned at that time) to sit down for the impact as soon as he threw the loop. The knot is visible and positioned to throw the calf upside down, ready for the piggin string. Charlie Bennett, a childhood friend of my dad’s with a third generation ranch near Laramie, surprised him with this long forgotten photo as a Christmas present in 1988.