Dublin, Texas Rodeo History

  
 

GENE AUTRY

Fredda Davis Jones

Dublin, Texas: I did not research or write the following, but it is such great information that I wanted to pass it on to you. It was actually written by the late Dorothy Robertson, a Comanche County historian in 1996, with her intro taken from a 1957 Comanche Chief article.

I thought it was an appropriate time to include Dorothy’s work since the community of Dublin, Texas has just celebrated its first annual Arena Fest.

“Gene Autry, famous western star, will appear at the Dublin Rodeo Wednesday and Thursday nights August 28 and 29, and many fans of the Comanche area are expected to be among the rodeo enthusiasts to see the 18th Annual Pre-Madison Square Garden World Championship Dublin Rodeo.

“The performances, at 8 p.m. each evening, open on Wednesday, August 28 and continues nightly through Saturday, August 31.

“The Dublin Rodeo, recognized as one of the top shows in the Southwest, is presented by Everett Colborn, Gene Autry, and Dublin Rodeo Enterprises, Inc. Admission is $2 for adults and $1.00 for children.”

The above appeared on the August 23, 1957, front page of the Comanche Chief along with Autry who was racing his horse Champion across the page with his gun drawn. The following is from the research of Dorothy Robertson.

“The stock was kept on the Lightning C Ranch and was owned jointly by Colborn and Autry. The large Lightning C Ranch, later known as S.S. Laird Ranch, is all in Comanche County, and is near the Comanche-Erath County line…

“The rodeo at Dublin was always held just prior to Madison Square Garden World Championship Rodeo which was held in New York for six weeks, then in Boston for two weeks. The stock was moved by train to New York.

“The stock was driven down the road from the Lightning C Ranch to the Dublin rodeo grounds for the performances; however, it took all of the cowboys and cowgirls to help with the moving of the stock.

 ”Wilmer Westfall, of the Gustine area, was one of the cowboys working on the ranch at the time. Betty Bradley Hayes, Mary Ann Mayfield Stephens, and Carolyn Colborn Holden, being expert cowgirls, got the thrill of assisting with the movement of the stock.

“Betty Bradley and Mary Ann Mayfield were the two girls chosen to represent Texas as Active Cowgirl Ranch Sponsors. There were four other girls chosen from other parts of the United States to represent the team of six cowgirls.

“These girls were all dressed in Western attire at all times while in New York and Boston.”

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As I went through Dorothy’s information I had to ask myself how many young people have no clue as to how important Dublin, Texas was to the rodeo industry. We all need to do a better job of discussing our history with our children, don’t we? 

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