#120CowboyTough, 36 Days to Kickoff: Bucking Horse Helmet Makes Debut

July 27, 2013


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Bucking Horse Helmet Makes Debut

The year was 1965, and the director of the Wyoming state travel commission, Frank Norris, Jr., had a suggestion. Why not feature the iconic bucking horse logo, already present on the state's license plates, on the football helmets?

The very next year, the UW headgear featured one of the nation's most distinctive logos, the profile of a cowboy riding a bucking horse. It wasn't new to UW, however - this symbol has been a part of the Athletics Department since the early 1920s, when equipment manager Deane Hunton traced a photo of Guy Holt atop a world-famous bucking horse named Steamboat at the Albany County Fairgrounds in 1903. The horse was born on a ranch in the Laramie area in 1901, and is regarded as one of the greatest bucking horses ever. Hunton had the image made into a logo utilized by UW athletic teams.

In later years, the athletics logo was altered to more closely resemble the logo on the state's license plates, which was a depiction of another horse and rider. That design was developed in 1935 by then-Secretary of State Lester C. Hunt, who later became governor of Wyoming and a U.S. Senator. The horse and rider on the license plates differs from the Steamboat image. For the plates, Hunt used a photo of a rider named Stub Farlow, and a horse called Deadman, which belonged to the Jackson Hole Frontier Association. The bucking horse and rider first appeared on the Wyoming license plate in 1936.

While there are differing opinions on exactly which horse and rider is depicted on all of UW's athletic uniforms today, it is the symbol that is important. The bucking horse and rider represents the toughness, and the never-say-die spirit that is Wyoming. A statue honoring the symbol called "Fanning a Twister" was erected at the north entrance of UW's athletics facilities in 1991.

About the #120CowboyTough Countdown

The 2013 season will mark the 120th anniversary of Wyoming Cowboy Football. To commemorate that anniversary, we will be counting down some of the great memories and moments from Wyoming football history over the next eight weeks leading up to the Cowboys' season opener at Nebraska on Aug. 31.

The 2013 "Countdown to Kickoff" will take Wyoming fans through Cowboy Football history chronologically. The first week will highlight some of the memorable moments from the period from the first season in 1893 through the 1940s. Then each successive week, the countdown will recall great moments from the 1950s, `60s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2000s and the current decade.

Our countdown will only touch on some of the greatest moments, but we encourage you, the Wyoming fans, to share your favorite memories through the official University of Wyoming Athletics Twitter (@wyoathletics) and Facebook pages (Wyoming Cowboys). Fans are encouraged to use #120CowboyTough when sharing their memories.

Enjoy the countdown, and we look forward to seeing you in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the home opener versus the Idaho Vandals.