CHESTER, Utah (ABC4) — When it comes to the Wild West, Utah has quite the history. While the days of outlaws are over, cowboys are still a big part of the state culture. From boots to hats to rodeos and especially work ethic, Utah embodies the expression “cowboy up.” Once you’re outside of the suburbs and cities of the Beehive State, you’ll find the corrals belonging to Legacy Pro Rodeo.
It hasn’t always been Pro Legacy though, originally bearing the name Bar T Rodeo. Founded by Swanny Kirby in 1948 in Moab, the stockyards are now running out of Chester, Utah, and are turning out some of the best rodeo stock in the business. 75 years after it was founded, Bar T was purchased by the Oregon-based Pro Legacy and the quality keeps growing as they continue to be a staple in the world of rodeo.
The company has had calves, steers, bulls, and broncos in the national finals rodeo — the so-called series of the sport — for more than six decades. Consecutively, a certain 20-year-old horse has been their signature stallion. Son of Sadie has been to the NFR 14 times and lives a peaceful existence in the fields of Pro Legacy.
The work of Legacy Pro is truly a labor of love. Those who do it have a passion for the sport and the animals.
“There are very few people that are getting rich doing rodeo,” said Joe Butler, a bullfighter on the Wilderness Circuit. “We do this because we love it. And, you know, no matter how we put around it, we’re in the entertainment business. I mean, we’re here to entertain these people that are coming in.”
Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country recognize what Utah has given the sport of rodeo. Some even say it might be the best place for rodeo.
“I’ve been all over the place rodeoing and I don’t think there’s a better place to be than Utah,” reports Dusty Howell, Stock Contractor for Legacy Pro.
Butler agrees, saying, “Man, the thing about Utah people don’t realize is a lot of the biggest rodeos that are out there are right here.”
So the next time you’re at the arena and see some bucking bulls, broncos with a big kick, or just a calf minding its own business, you can appreciate seeing some Utah tradition and its finest livestock on the biggest stage in the rodeo world.