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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Riley & McCormick Saddle 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Riley & McCormick Saddle  (Read 6477 times)
Icebox Bob
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« on: September 08, 2010, 02:00:57 am »

One of my best friends inherited a saddle from his father and I'm trying to help him find out about it.  It is a Riley & McCormick of Calgary, 'Montana' style saddle, apparently a model #352.

There is a story that goes with it that may have some truth in it.  The story goes that it was given to his father by a wrangler that worked for the family through the 20's and 30's when they were in the business of raising horses here in Saskatchewan.  By WW2 they had switched to cattle and my friend remembers it sitting idle in the tack room in the 50's.  It would only fit a slim very high withered horse which was not the type of cattle horse they had by then. The wrangler's story was that he had won it at the Calgary Stampede in the 20's.

I recently found online copies of the Calgary Stampede's Prize List & Rules from 1923 to 1971 and lo & behold there is mention of Riley & McCormick saddles as prizes for bronc riding in 1923, 1924 and 1926.  After 1929 it seems that prizes were mainly cash.  Now 1923 was an important year in Stampede history because it was the first year for the combined "Calgary Exhibition and Stampede", the first year it had chuckwagon races and the first year it included downtown activities.

The first event in 1912 was called the “Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest”. 
The second event was in 1919 and was called the "Victory Stampede' to celebrate the end of the war.

The 1923 Stampede was a big deal.  The main event was the 'Bucking Horse' contest with the overall winner being presented with the Prince Of Wales Trophy and the three respective provincial high scorers from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan each getting saddles valued at $250.00.  Something similar happened for the next few years.

By the way there were two other special events.  The "Mixed Roman Standing Race" and the "Mixed Relay Race".  The trophies for each race were the Mary Pickford Trophy and the Douglas Fairbanks Trophy that were presented by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks in person!

Now I guess my question is whether anybody knows, or knows someone who knows, about early 20th century saddles and might be able to add more information on this.  I must admit I am a little suspicious about the story as I have seen one picture of winners from those early days and there are two of the prize saddles showing.  They are a little bit fancier than this one.

* Montana2sm.JPG (80.47 KB, 489x528 - viewed 468 times.)

* Montana4sm.JPG (102.09 KB, 455x694 - viewed 612 times.)

* Montana7sm.JPG (140.15 KB, 684x501 - viewed 802 times.)

Well.... see, if you take your time, you get a more harmonious outcome.
Skeeter Lewis
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 02:23:09 am »

Whatever its story, that is a beautiful stock saddle and a wonderful possession for the family.

That aged amber effect is exactly the look we all try to copy!

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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 10:36:15 am »

what a fine looking period saddle, keep that leather oiled up, should last forever. Cool  Tom
GunClick Rick
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Scudders all of yas~

« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 01:36:53 pm »

That's the saddle i been lookin for for my cowboy room!!! Man look at the patina on that baby!!!!Don't get no better than that..Take very good care of it!!NIce to see Smiley Smiley Smiley Tongue

Bunch a ole scudders!
Bob R.
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 05:29:14 pm »

what a fine looking period saddle, keep that leather oiled up, should last forever. Cool  Tom

It is a very cool antique saddle (I'd love it, and I bet it would fit my horse from the description), but strictly speaking, it isn't 'period' to the 19th century, as forks with swells at the pommel are just at or after the turn of the century.

Slick fork saddles, of whatever style (Texas, Montana, California, doublee or single rigged) are what 19th century cowboy saddles are all about.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 10:51:44 pm »

The model 352 was known as "The Beau Brummel"  and sold for $48.00 in 1926. It was made on a special cutaway tree with 14" swell, steel fork and rawhide braided horn.
Pat McCormick

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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 08:01:56 am »

Lucky find! Nice!

Horse Tack, Saddlery and 1800's Attire.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Riley & McCormick Saddle « previous next »
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