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26 July, 2010 / theexpositor

National Day of the American Cowboy festivities draw thousands to Fort Worth Stockyards

By Susan McFarland

Special to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram

 cowboyday FORT WORTH — Andrew Froneberger will retire his favorite pair of boots today.

When Saturday’s crowd saw the worn-out leather, blown-out toes, holey heels and worn-down soles, they cheered Froneberger on, giving him a first-place win in the Most Worn-out Boot Contest at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Day of the American Cowboy.

This year’s event also included a Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony, bringing the histories and biographies of more than 350 cowboys and cowgirls to Cowtown Coliseum.

An estimated 8,000 people attended the parade, which followed the Fort Worth Herd cattle drive, an official said.

Froneberger, 35, of Sulphur Springs, said he has been wearing the boots since buying them at age 17. He even wore them at his high school graduation.

Now, the boots are worn for hauling hay, riding horses, working cows, painting fences and welding.

“They’re on their second set of soles and heels,” Froneberger said. “This will be the last time I wear them.”

As one of two first-place winners, Froneberger will soon wear a brand new pair, courtesy of Justin Boot Co.

Also having seen better days — though not nearly as old — were the boots worn by Cole Beasley of Wynnewood, Okla. Cole, 4, also won first place and new boots. His mother, Ashley Hebert, said Cole’s boots are used for sheep riding, goat roping, horseback riding and pig showing.

The National Day of the American Cowboy celebration, now in its fourth year at the Stockyards, is considered the best event of its kind in the nation by Western lifestyle magazine American Cowboy.

So it was only fitting that the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame grand opening occurred during the event.

Mayor Mike Moncrief said the hall gives people one more reason to go to the Stockyards, which already pulls in more than 2 million visitors. The hall had been in Belton for 35 years and was open only for events.

“Fort Worth knows a little bit about rodeo,” Moncrief said. “This ain’t our first.”

Among the people at the Stockyards on Saturday were Shelle Brown of Fort Worth, who brought her grandchildren and goddaughter to the parade.

“There’s no other city like this,” Brown said. “I bring everyone that comes to Fort Worth here on a Saturday.”

Other events included watermelon eating, seed spitting, rib eating, a quick-draw cap-gun contest, Cowboy Idol and best mustache. T.D. Earnest won a trophy for his 141/2-inch mustache.

Earnest, of Fort Worth, said he heard about the contest this time last year from staff at a Stockyards restaurant.

“When they saw it, they said if I would have entered the contest I would have won,” Earnest said. “So I thought I would give it a try.”

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One Comment

  1. irawanto / Jul 30 2010 21 48

    great 🙂

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