Tom Horn, Roper Extraordinaire

Illustration by Bob Boze Bell
Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

Cowboy Tom Horn of Pleasant Valley, Arizona, won the steer tying competition at the Globe Fourth of July Celebration in 1889 with a record-setting time of 58 seconds. In those days, the steers got a 150-yard head start, without any fences to pen them in, like at modern-day rodeos. Horn then traveled to the territorial fair being held near the new territorial capital of Arizona, Phoenix (population 3,000), where Horn beat out Arizona Charlie Meadows. The Cowboy Competition (it wasn’t called rodeo until the 1920s) was held at Central Avenue and the Salt River.

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