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Katie Schuur

What Kind Of Saddle Is This? Roping, Cutting, Trail?

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So I went to a small local pawn shop today to take a look around, and I found a horribly dusty, dirt-caked saddle that they were willing to sell to me for $225 after I talked them down from $300 pointing out how dirty it was and how bad it needed some oiling, took it home and cleaned it up a bit.

My question is this: What KIND of saddle is this? Is it a roping saddle?? It did have some black rubber bands tied all around the horn that had seen better days, so I removed them to clean under them. But it did not have the little strand of leather that is usually attached to the pommel that you can loop around the horn to hold your rope. Is it a cutting saddle maybe? Or is it just a trail saddle... The knife-holder sewn into the side makes me wonder if it is meant more for a hoofpick out on the trail - especially since I found a dirty old hoofpick in it, LOL! So please tell me what style of saddle it is.

What's it worth, also? If anyone can give me an idea on that as well, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you so much!!

PICTURES:

saddle3.jpg

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saddle2.jpg

saddle5.jpg

saddle6.jpg

Edited by Rollin_after_a_bath

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Definitely a roper. The black "rubber bands" sound like pieces cut out of old inner tubes and wrapped around the horn to protect the leather when roping.

My first thought was that it might be a Billy Cook saddle, when they were made in Texas. What does it say on the medallion on the seat, or the piece on the horn cap, or on the latigo keeper?

If the tree is solid, you made a good buy at $225.00. Wish I had it and you had something better! You made a smart buy!

Edited by Jack Baumgartner

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I'm sooo glad to know it's a roper! I might actually be able to have some use for it then :) The horn cap says "Billy Cook - MAKER - U.S.A. - Sulphur, OK". The latigo keeper says "Billy Cook - Maker - U.S.A. - Genuine - Sulphur, OK", and that is what it says on all of the places where the actual leather is stamped. It's wierd how on the leather they added the word genuine..

Any idea on how much it's worth? I'm glad I at least made a good buy though! It really was kind of an impulse buy for me.. Does it matter if it was made in Oklahoma instead of Texas?

Here's the horn cap:

saddle7.jpg

Edited by Rollin_after_a_bath

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Well, Rollin, if like Jack said the tree is in good shape, you got a heck of a deal. That is a real Billy Cook, not one of the Texas jobs. The real McCoy says Billy Cook Maker and is marked in at least five places. It should also have a serial number way up on the skirt under the stirrup fender. The first two numbers will tell you what year your saddle was made. The silver is not original, although it is a nice addition. It's a team roping saddle, but without knowing the style number, I'd say more than likely it's what was referred to as a Jr. Roper. About five years ago BC's team ropers were retailing around $1200.

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Oh my goodness Jazzmatazz!!! I am ecstatic to hear that it's the "real mccoy"!!! You sent me scrambling to investigate just where all it's marked, and to look for that serial number, LOL!

I counted 12 different places it is marked. Horn cap, seat, latigo holders on both sides, back of cantle, on skirt directly behind cantle, both stirrup fenders, on the strip of leather that runs behind the stirrup fenders on the skirt by the rigging on both sides, and under both fenders up near the tree.

From what I could tell, the tree looks solid (only from what I could see) without any cracks. Looks like it's covered in rawhide. I know the tree isn't broken - it won't budge no matter how hard I try to "bend" it any which way.

Jazz - if what you are saying about the serial number is true, I guess it would mean that this saddle was made in '95?? Since it's 15 years old, do these saddles retain their value pretty well?

Here's the serial number. I know the first two are the year now, but what are the other numbers? Are they the model number, and if so what is the offical name of this model?

saddle1.jpg

Edited by Rollin_after_a_bath

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Yes, it was made in 1995. The saddle won't be worth what it was when it was new, but it's certainly worth more than what you paid for it! As a used saddle we would have marked it around $900 and sold it easily at that. The older ropers are still in demand if in good shape, which yours appears to be. At least they are up here in the PNW.

No, the rest of the serial number is not the model number. Honestly right now I can't remember what the rest of the numbers signify, lol. The style number is usually on the latigo keeper below the slot. Let me backtrack here. Usually the serial number doesn't contain the style number, but 2736 is ringing a bell.

You could always call Billy's factory and have them look up the serial number and give you what information they have on it.

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Well, Rollin, if like Jack said the tree is in good shape, you got a heck of a deal. That is a real Billy Cook, not one of the Texas jobs. The real McCoy says Billy Cook Maker and is marked in at least five places. It should also have a serial number way up on the skirt under the stirrup fender. The first two numbers will tell you what year your saddle was made. The silver is not original, although it is a nice addition. It's a team roping saddle, but without knowing the style number, I'd say more than likely it's what was referred to as a Jr. Roper. About five years ago BC's team ropers were retailing around $1200.

I preferred the Billy Cooks made in Texas. I think the leather quality was better. They were also the Real McCoy.

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I preferred the Billy Cooks made in Texas. I think the leather quality was better. They were also the Real McCoy.

Yes, Jack, you are absolutely correct. Billy and Longhorn parted company many years ago and Longhorn won his designs and the name Billy Cook Saddlery in a lawsuit. It was after that the quality of the Texas saddles declined. Billy then started Billy Cook Maker and is now considered the Real McCoy, lol. I don't know if it's still true, but there for awhile some of the BC Maker saddles, particularly the less expensive ones were being outsourced to Greeneville. That was back about, uhm, maybe four years ago? HUGE HUGE difference in the leather quality and the workmanship. I was working for one of his distributors at the time and we had a lot of saddles coming back because of the poor workmanship and crepey, thin leather,or warped or broken trees.

I have several BC saddles from the early 2000's and they are beautiful. Nice leather, nice work. All in all, I'd say Rollin got a good one from all appearances.

Edited by Jazzmatazz

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Thank you soooo much Jack and Razzmatazz for everything!! All of a sudden I really LOVE this saddle, LOL!! I can't wait to try it out on Sky and see what he thinks of it as well. Thank you both again!

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Those good saddles are like finding gold. I picked up a team roper marked Ryon's Custom a few years ago. I know Ryon's (of Fort Worth) farms out their custom work to master saddle makers. I got it so cheap I drove away grinning like a second-story jewel thief! It's in wonderful shape.

When I got home I contacted Ryons to get a catalog. I found the maker's mark hidden on the saddle. Ryon's catalog had the saddle priced at $3499.00. The maker, Troy West of Center, Texas, aslso made a saddle destined for a man named George W. Bush, valued at $16,000.00. I've gotten really lucky at times finding good saddles at ridiculously low prices. Profit is not dirty word! [smiley Wavey]

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I found this bit of information that might be useful for identifying BC saddles.

"To verify the serial numbers, call Billy Cook Saddle and Harness at 1-800-311-7549 (as of October 2010)."

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actually in the late 60's the Greenville Billy Cook was sold out to I wanna say Longhorn... and the quality went down... now the "real McCoy's" are made in OK. Billy got in trouble and had to sell some of his desgins and saddlery to get out of trouble. He later reopened in OK

Edited by Peggy Sue

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actually in the late 60's the Greenville Billy Cook was sold out to I wanna say Longhorn... and the quality went down... now the "real McCoy's" are made in OK. Billy got in trouble and had to sell some of his desgins and saddlery to get out of trouble. He later reopened in OK

Actually I'd rather have a SIMCO/Longhorn BC than a OK made BC. Yes the OK made saddles are actually made by the company that BC owns but the quality is not the same as before. SIMCO uses the original designs and dies that they bought from BC in the 90s. I also question the quality of the work that is done by a company that has 75% of it's workforce deported because they are illegals. If you are trying to save a few bucks by employeeing illegal aliens then where else are you saving money at?

If they are stamped Billy Cook of Texas they are "real McCoys" (pre-sell out), if they are stamped Billy Cook Greenville, TX then they are a SIMCO/Longhorn.

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On 11/10/2010 at 10:01 PM, Jack Baumgartner said:

Those good saddles are like finding gold. I picked up a team roper marked Ryon's Custom a few years ago. I know Ryon's (of Fort Worth) farms out their custom work to master saddle makers. I got it so cheap I drove away grinning like a second-story jewel thief! It's in wonderful shape.

When I got home I contacted Ryons to get a catalog. I found the maker's mark hidden on the saddle. Ryon's catalog had the saddle priced at $3499.00. The maker, Troy West of Center, Texas, aslso made a saddle destined for a man named George W. Bush, valued at $16,000.00. I've gotten really lucky at times finding good saddles at ridiculously low prices. Profit is not dirty word! [smiley Wavey]

I realize I'm reviving an ancient thread here, but I'm trying to get more information about the old Ryon's saddles.  I've been looking at some that have Ryon's on the latigo keeper and a silver cap on the horn.  I've been told by someone at seanryon.com that there are some Ryon's saddles -- evidently made between the time that Windy Ryon was making saddles in the 50s, 60s, and maybe 70s and the time the saddles started being made by Sean Ryon's -- were "production saddles."  Sounds kind of like the Billy Cook story.  Does anyone know anything about this part of Ryon's history and how to tell a genuine Windy Ryon saddle from the cheaper, lesser versions?

s-l1600 (3).jpg

s-l1600 (2).jpg

Ryon Saddle.jpg

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