A Life of Rodeo Glory
Buster Welch, a legendary rodeo cowboy and trainer, passed away on January 22, 2023, at the age of 88. Born in 1934 in the small town of Kermit, Texas, Welch grew up with a deep love for horses and rodeo. He started his professional rodeo career in 1956 and quickly became one of the most successful cowboys of his time.
Throughout his career, Welch won numerous championships in cutting, reining, and calf roping events. He was a six-time National Cutting Horse Association World Champion and a two-time All-Around Cowboy at the National Finals Rodeo. Welch was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979 and the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame in 1989.
A Trainer and Mentor to Many
After retiring from professional rodeo in 1977, Welch turned his focus to training and mentoring up-and-coming cowboys and cowgirls. He opened the Buster Welch Training Center in Weatherford, Texas, where he taught cutting and reining to riders of all ages and skill levels.
Over the years, Welch trained and mentored numerous world champions, including Bill Freeman, Phil Rapp, and Lindy Burch. His training methods were known for their emphasis on horsemanship and the bond between rider and horse.
A Legacy that Lives On
Welch’s impact on the rodeo and cutting horse industries cannot be overstated. He was a true pioneer and innovator, constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible in the sport.
Today, Welch’s legacy lives on through the countless riders he trained and mentored, as well as his contributions to the development of cutting horse competition. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, but his memory will continue to inspire generations of riders to come.
Remembering Buster Welch
Those who knew Welch remember him as a kind, humble, and dedicated man who always put his horses and his students first. His love for the sport of rodeo and cutting was infectious, and he inspired countless riders to pursue their dreams.
Welch’s funeral will be held on January 28, 2023, at the First Baptist Church in Weatherford, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the National Cutting Horse Association Foundation in Welch’s honor.
The End of an Era
With Welch’s passing, the rodeo and cutting horse communities have lost a true icon. His contributions to the sport will never be forgotten, and his legacy will continue to inspire riders for generations to come.
As we mourn the loss of a legend, we also celebrate the incredible life and achievements of Buster Welch. He leaves behind a legacy of excellence, dedication, and passion that will continue to shape the world of rodeo and cutting for years to come.
A Life Well-Lived
At the end of the day, Buster Welch’s life was defined not by his many championships, but by his love for horses and his unwavering dedication to the sport he loved. He was a true cowboy in every sense of the word, and his legacy will continue to inspire riders and horse lovers around the world.
Rest in peace, Buster Welch. You will be deeply missed, but your memory will live on forever.