Horses that Buck: The Story of Champion Bronc Rider Bill Smith (Nonfiction)

Margot Kahn, University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95, Hardcover.
Margot Kahn, University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95, Hardcover.

 

I swear, rodeo is more of a slice of Western Americana than apple pie, and this book packs it all in. “Cody” Bill Smith is rodeo personified. In this biography, Margot Kahn describes the life of the rodeo cowboy in the 1960s, and how tough it was for him to compete and, ultimately, win, sharing how his steady notes about the horses helped him through each competition. Through her narrative, we learn of the true nature of Cody and of the world of rodeo. She describes a winning bronc rider as, “…man and horse look like a tilted Y: the man’s legs almost blending into the horse’s shoulders, as if they would continue down into the forefeet, as if he is becoming a centaur.” Inducted into the Pro Rodeo and National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fames, Bill Smith has a story that epitomizes the story of rodeo.

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