The Cowboy Ike Rude

Riding into the Wind

978-1-64843-177-7 Cloth
6 x 9 x 0 in
248 pp. 54 b&w photos. 2 appendixes. Index.
Pub Date: 12/20/2023


  • Cloth $32.00
Born in 1894 in Greer County, Texas—which became part of Oklahoma Territory two years later—Ike Rude would go on to have one of the most remarkable rodeo careers ever recorded. His storied life would include a performance for the Queen of England; acquaintances with the likes of Will Rogers, Gene Autry, and Slim Pickens; multiple world titles; and the near-miss of a championship bid in roping—at age 77.

Along the way, he worked for some of the most famous ranches in the west, such as Texas’ JA and Matador ranches and the Chiricahua and Double Circle ranches in Arizona. Rude’s story also includes the many outstanding horses he rode and trained, like the famed Baldy, considered perhaps the greatest roping horse of all time. The career of Ike Rude—and that of several of his horses—is commemorated in nine museums, including the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs.

Lovingly woven from archival and family records as well as interviews with Rude by his daughter, Sammie Rude Compton, and closing with an essay on Rude and his rodeo and ranching context by Michael R. Grauer, McCasland Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, this biography of one of the formative figures in the sport offers valuable glimpses into the development of rodeo and cowboy culture. The Cowboy Ike Rude: Riding into the Wind is sure to be a favorite of anyone interested in the colorful lives of working cowboys and rodeo performers in the early twentieth century.

Nancy and Ted Paup Ranching Heritage Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press