Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Riders round up publicity for 1965 festival

  •      In 1965 Dodge City Days was a three-day festival and the rodeo was much smaller.

    • email print
  • In 1965 Dodge City Days was a three-day festival and the rodeo was much smaller.
    Among the groups working to publicize the rodeo in 1965 was a group called the Dodge City Trail Riders.
    A group of 40 riders made the trip on horseback from Woodward, Okla. up to Dodge City to advertise Dodge City Days and the rodeo. According to a Dodge City Daily Globe article from July 12, 1965, the group consisted of 25 men and boys and 15 women and girls.
    They camped out at night and travelled mostly on dirt roads and made the journey in five days, arriving in Dodge City the night before the action started.
    The 113-mile trip was made mostly in the morning hours to avoid the heat. The riders liked to be on their way by 6 a.m. and reach their destination for the day in time to enjoy a hot lunch prepared in the chuckwagon, which was an old school bus belonging to the Boot Hill Saddle Club.
    John Nail, a member of the Saddle Club who had also worked in local civic defense and law enforcement and served as county fire chief, was the trail boss.
    In a letter to Nail's wife upon his death, Bill Miller, local appraiser, recalled the last night of the trail ride. It looked like rain as the day ended and there was some discussion about where to set up camp. Miller assured Nail that it wouldn't rain.
    According to Miller's letter: "It just poured down. And John hollered 'Where's that Bill Miller who said it wouldn't rain?'"
    And in his post script, Miller added: "I still remember the thrill of hearing the command each morning 'Trail Riders Ho.'"
    Startin' young
    Along with Miller for the ride in 1965 were his two sons — Kenneth, who was 13 at the time, and Mike, who was only 9.
    Mike was the youngest rider and he made the whole trip on his Shetland pony, something no one had ever done.
    Other cowboys on the ride reckoned that young Mike probably rode about twice as far as everyone else, thanks to the pony's short legs and gait.
    "We sure had a great time on that trip," Miller said in a recent interview. "And, of course, Mike was watched over and taken care of by everybody else on the ride."

    Comments are currently unavailable on this article

      Events Calendar