Earl Bascom

Utah cowboy and artist Earl Bascom is pictured with motion picture star Roy Rogers, in this screen grab from the public television show “Discovery Road.”

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A legendary Utah cowboy and artist who once plied his trade at a Cache Valley ranch is featured in a segment on the KUEN television series “Discovery Road.”

Earl Bascom, a key figure in early day rodeo who went on to make a name as a sculptor and painter, is one of three individuals profiled in a segment of the program titled “The Cowboy Way,” next scheduled to air in March.

In the 1930s, Bascom worked at the McBride Ranch in Wellsville that, according to his son, John, covered about 3,000 acres in the mountains and meadows of southwestern Cache Valley. The ranch raised rodeo bulls, steers and bucking horses for the Marion McBride Rodeo Company, which served as a stock contractor for rodeos throughout Utah and Nevada.

During his days as a ranch hand and rodeo rider, Bascom developed several innovations that earned him the moniker “The Father of Modern Rodeo.” Among his inventions were the bucking chute, the hornless rodeo saddle and the modern bareback rigging.

Born in Vernal in 1906, Earl Bascom was part of a rodeo family and has been inducted into several halls of fame in the United States and Canada, including the Utah Rodeo Hall of Fame in Ogden.

Bascom later worked in Hollywood as a cowboy actor and became a noted Western artist and sculptor.

The profile of Bascom on “Discovery Road” was titled “The Last Buckaroo”: Host James Nelson concluded the segment saying, “Earl Bascom was a cowboy who knew the cowboys who knew the cowboy way was fading like a sunset on the horizon, and through his artwork, rodeo inventions, and his own family stories, the last buckaroo will always be riding somewhere and never be lost.”

The program can be viewed online through this case-sensitive URL: https://bit.ly/3y9TVa7

John Bascom said in addition to the public television program, his father is featured in a new book titled “Why Cows Need Cowboys and Other Seldom Told Tales from the American West,” edited by Nancy Plain and Rocky Gibbons.

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