After this year’s Century Roping, Steve Branco stopped by the Oakdale Cowboy Museum with a special saddle for us to display, his uncle Stan Branco’s 1959 CTRA Champion Steer Roping saddle.
Three years after the inaugural CTRA 10 Steer Roping had launched in 1956, Madera County cowboys Stan Branco and Dan Branco “won the crown in cowboy town,” the prestigious CTRA 10 Steer Roping. “Back in the day, this was THE roping” said Dan Branco’s son Steve. “All the big names were here and they wouldn’t miss it. I remember they would have 300 teams at this thing and winning, well, it was the best. My dad and Uncle Stan won it in 1959 and again in 1960. Back to back champs and there hasn’t been anyone do it again since then.”
A few months back, a friend of the Branco’s had spotted the 1959 CTRA saddle in a local feed store for sale and gave Steve a call. “I went right down there and bought it back. I paid $600 for it. After my Uncle Stan passed away, there is no telling what happened or how it got there.”
Steve wanted it to be placed next to the 1956 CTRA saddle and buckle that was loaned to the Museum by the family of Bill Kane who won it that first year. “It will look perfect in this CTRA corner of the Museum” said Branco with a smile.