Corky W. doesn’t need another saddle.
He’s got plenty already, he says. So many that he’s started to give them away. Corky, a resident of Waterview the Point Senior Living in Granbury, Texas, has given some to his family members and some to friends. Some have gone to museums, and some are in his apartment.
“We’ve got a few more in a storage unit,” he said.
The saddles are prizes won during a rodeo career that spanned more than five decades. And almost all of them say one word: champion.
Billed out of Fort Collins, Colorado, Corky first saw a rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he watched Frontier Days. Some years later, he entered Frontier Days.
And while his first rodeo didn’t result in a championship, his second time at Frontier Days did. In 1968, Corky won the calf roping and All-Around championship there, while also placing twice in steer roping. His first victory netted him $5800.
“At that time, it was the record for the most money ever won at a rodeo,” he said. “Now it’s nothing, you know? There are go-rounds that pay more than that.”
After his first victory, Cheyenne became a frequent destination for Corky. On one of the rodeo circuit’s biggest stages, he had some of his best performances.
“Everyone called it my rodeo, mainly because I went there 14 times and won something there 12 times,” he said.
At Cheyenne, Corky won four rounds in calf roping, three rounds in steer wrestling and one round in steer roping. In the early 2000s, he began to participate in Senior Steer Roping. In nine years of competing in Senior Steer Roping, he placed seven times, winning the championship in 2005.
His accomplishments at Cheyenne earned him a spot in the Frontier Days Hall of Fame.
“It’s very, very, very important [to me],” he said. “It’s very nice.”
A few years ago, Corky sent one of his Frontier Day championship saddles back to Cheyenne. It’s now on display in the rodeo’s Hall of Fame.
Corky’s success wasn’t limited to Wyoming. He won three World Championships in Senior Steer Roping in the early 2000s and won championships at five of the circuit’s seven major rodeos – Calgary, Reno, Denver, San Antonio and Phoenix.
Outside of the arena, he made numerous contributions to the sport. He developed a system that became the foundation for the process in which participants now enter rodeos. Additionally, he started the PRCA’s “Horse of the Year Award” and an event called “Rope a Wish,” which benefits the Make A Wish foundation.
Those contributions led to his induction in the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Prior to moving to Waterview, Corky was living in Whitesboro, in Grayson County. He called it home for several decades while he lived on a ranch and designed rodeo arenas. But one day, he opened up the Sunday paper and read about a historic town on a lake located 120 miles from Whitesboro.
It was named Granbury.
“I said to myself, ‘I’d kind of like to live in Granbury,’” Corky said.
He and his wife made it their part-time home while they spent most of the year traveling the country in a motorhome. Eventually, they bought a home in the city before moving to Waterview the Point one year ago.
Recently, he made a donation to the community, gifting it three of his saddles. One of those saddles was his 2006 Senior Roping World Championship saddle. Now, they’re proudly on display in Waterview the Point’s common areas.
For Corky, it’s a token of his appreciation for the community.
“The people here are the greatest,” he said. “We’ve got some really good friends here. We’ve been here a year and we have made some super friends in that time.”
Sagora Senior Living is so blessed to have residents like Corky! To learn more about your local Sagora Senior Living community visit our website and schedule a tour today!