Most Texans looking to attend a rodeo would go to Houston, Fort Worth or San Antonio. But which city started it all? Joe Keese, president of West of the Pecos Rodeo, says his community has had an important influence in the sport.
The small town of Pecos, Texas was home to one of the world’s first rodeos. Keese says that on July 4, 1883, ranchers were arguing about who was the better roper and cowboy. The story accounts they circled their wagons around what is now downtown Pecos and challenged each other.
Keese says that according to the story, the cowboys improvised an award. “They didn’t have prizes or trophies or anything in those days,” he says. They formed a blue ribbon out of a dress to present to the winners.
Reese explains that residents of Pecos take pride in the legend. He says that even though they’re not in “big money rodeos,” the Pecos buckle comes with high regards. “If you have a Pecos buckle, the rest of the cowboys honor that as truly the top of the top,” he says.
Written by Manu Schneider.