Weatherford – A Rich Western Heritage
The Sheriff’s Posse PRCA Rodeo and Livestock Show, held the third week each June, salutes the western heritage of Parker County. With a wide variety of events, from bronc riding to team roping, top cowboys and cowgirls are front and center. Country-western entertainment takes place every night after the last horseman rides out of the arena.
Weatherford has a rich western heritage filled with colorful characters. Legendary cattle drover Oliver Loving is buried here in Weatherford’s Greenwood Cemetery. After being attacked by Indians in New Mexico in 1867, Loving’s dying wish to his friend, Charles Goodnight, was to be buried in his home, Parker County. Goodnight brought the body back 600 miles by wagon for burial. If this story sounds familiar, it should. It is the inspiration behind Texas author Larry McMurtry’s novel, Lonesome Dove.
A year earlier, Charles Goodnight had invented the first “chuck wagon” which catered “fixings” for the cowboys on a cattle drive that would later become known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail.
Bose Ikard, who served with Goodnight and for whom the character “Deets” was modeled, was also laid to rest in the Greenwood Cemetery.
Close proximity to the National Cutting Horse Association headquarters and major events made Weatherford the Cutting Horse Capital of the World. Weatherford is home to dozens of Hall of Fame trainers, hundreds of the best horses in the industry and one life-size bronze cutting horse that graces the lawn of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce. “Cutters” from all over the country send their horses here for training or breeding to the best studs in the industry. Several National Cutting Horse Association affiliates hold local competitions on a regular basis. One of Weatherford’s greatest attractions for the cutters is the native “sandy loam” soil that is cushioning for a horse’s feet.
Thanks to the horse industry, there are also plenty of shops for those looking for western wear or tack. If you want to see what cutting is all about, you can catch a show on most weekends at Weatherford’s Silverado on the Brazos.