21 August 2012

Don't we all want one - a Western Town?

If we had the money, the time, the energy, the enterprise, wouldn't we all want to build ourselves a fully operational Western town?

Billionaire Bill Koch is doing just that on his land in Colorado, it seems partly to house his collection of Western artefacts, and partly as a playground for family and friends. The Denver Post is showing a picture.

The story is carried by a number of other online sites - do your own search - and some of the comments make interesting reading, leaning heavily towards dictating what a man, this man, any man, should do with his money. Perhaps Bill just looked to his brothers, David and Charles, also billionaires, who spend lavishly on what might be called politics.

Where's the fun in that? I'm with Bill.

18 August 2012

Railfest at Durango

Well, isn't it always the case? Next month the Brentmores are off to New Mexico for a doozy at Clovis and then turning north to Colorado for a little sightseeing and research at Durango. The next novel opens with a train robbery and I kinda thought the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway might like to star.

Dagnabit, if I ain't gonna be  a month too late. This very weekend, and on to 20th, True West Magazine is holding its first Railfest and guess which railway is starring? It's not the only heritage line taking part. Drop by the link and see if there's one in your area.

If you're interested in how the line moved from shipping silver ore to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or even tourists, True West has a great article on its history. Enjoy. I sure aim to when I get there.

11 August 2012

How Mad is Dangerous?

Today I'm guest blogging across at JJ Devine's Ramblings of a Writer, musing on the kind of community health support available back in the day. This time around I'm concentrating on mental health issues, a theme I explore in my Dead Men's Fingers novel. And there you were, thinking it was a just a plain ol' drag 'em out Western... LOL!

2 August 2012

Rodeo Dayz & Laramie's Code

Today I'm pleased to welcome Shotgun Bo Rivers - Richie White - for a fascinating insight into the lives of rodeo athletes, and how, at his Grandpa's knee, he was imbued with an abiding love of the Old West that led him into writing the Laramie fiction series.


“OK Boys, OK Boys” is the last thing a cowboy hears as he nods his head and a chute gate opens for 8 seconds of fame, fortune, if you ride, and glory, if you make it off in one piece. It is what we as cowboys call Rodeo.

Rodeo began as just a simple game among Vaqueros that arose from working practices. As horses were needed, they would compete with one another to see who could stay on the longest when saddle-breaking them. Herdsman would compete to see how many steers they could rope while they drove the cattle in, and steer wrestling came from the need to brand herds, wrestling each animal to the ground and holding it until the ranch brand was bore into its skin.  

Today, the sport of rodeo is derived from those exact activities, testing the skill and speeds of a cowboy or cowgirl athlete as they compete. Once entry fees are paid it is up to the cowboy or cowgirl to put up the best ride and score they can to be placed in the winnings. Points are awarded throughout a season, and at the end of the year the cowboy or cowgirl with the most points wins a belt buckle. In recent years jackets, saddles, and gear, have also been among the prize money.
Professional rodeos generally comprise of the following events: Calf Roping, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc riding, Bareback Bronc Riding, Bull Riding and Barrel Racing. 

I am of roughstock breed - Bull Riding and later Bareback Bronc Riding was my cup of tea. I spent most of the early 2000’s chasing the dream every rodeo cowboy has, a shot at the championship, and a shot at the gold buckle. Although never becoming a champion - I semi-retired in 2007 - I still have a love for the sport and I miss it nearly every day. 
For me it all began in 1996, when I said to myself, just once, I am going to ride just once. That story can be read in its entirety at Story. That just once turned into ten years of following the rodeo circuit up and down the east coast, and traveling west for a few there, as well as riding in Hanau, Germany, while in the service. Rodeo was my way of life until the injuries began to take their toll. My hope is to return for one more year, one more chance, one more shot at the legacy of rodeo.

I recently published my second book, Rodeo Dayz, which is a collection of short stories that nine friends and I wrote together. The book isn’t what you would call perfect, and we didn’t want it to be. We wanted readers to interact with the stories as if they were sitting at a coffee shop with us rambling on nearby, telling our rodeo stories to one another, the way real cowboys do. We wanted it raw, exact to how we would tell those stories. The spills, thrills, wrecks, and rides depict what we experienced and lived through to be rodeo athletes, bringing to light some great, and very truthful stories. 

The author biographies explain what we go through to get to the next rodeo. Entry fees aren’t cheap anymore, and we have to find a way to work and earn money if we are to continue living our dream. With the help of some rodeo pioneers from the early days I was also able to add a short story of rodeo history in New York, which dates back to the early 1950’s. If you enjoy rodeo in any fashion or even want to know what the life of a rodeo cowboy is like, Rodeo Dayz is a great coffee table read you are sure to enjoy.

This week also launches a brand new ebook, Laramie’s Code, the first installment of the Laramie Taylor mini-series. Laramie’s Code tells Laramie Taylor’s story prior to my upcoming novella series Laramie’s Thunder.  It begins with
Laramie just twelve years old being taught the Cowboy's Code, ethics his father raised him with, but when he begins school in the fall of 1856 he is faced with a challenge. His new friend Bartholomew is being taunted by three boys because he is the only black boy in school. Charles Younger's father, Henry Younger, joins his son and the other two boys and attack Bartholomew. Laramie, just twelve years old, courageously defends his new friend, and teaches forty-year-old Henry Younger a lesson - to have respect for others, regardless of color, or race.


Shotgun Bo Rivers is an author, writer, bull rider, bronc rider, guitar player, poet, and country boy. And as you'd expect, he loves to hunt and fish. Despite growing up in a little town called
Danby, VT, at the age of 22 he became a full time professional Bull Rider and amateur Bareback Bronc rider.

He grew up watching western films and reading western fiction with his grandfather, Ken Ford, who taught that he should live by the Code of the West and imbued in him dreams of a vast open range with only his horse, saddle and a tag-along mutt as best friend. 

To purchase Laramie’s Code or Rodeo Dayz this month visit for all ebook formats. Also available is a limited number of autographed copies of Rodeo Dayz.

His books can also be found on
ShotgunBo Rivers
Ritchie White

Ritchie White “Bo Rivers” loves to visit with his readers & fellow western authors, so drop him a line:
Facebook via Ritchie White (Bo Rivers)
Twitter via @shotgunborivers