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Wild West Show: Two hour glimpse of Old WestTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Francisco Flores
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Brian Hammill
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Roman Riding
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Trick rider
Photo by Joe Chitwood

From the opening music to the finale, the audience whooped, stomped, laughed and cheered as the Great American Wild West Show performed Tuesday night. 

Patterned after the original Buffalo Bill's Congress of Rough riders, the show gave the crowd a glimpse of the Old West.

Prior to the start, an estimated crowd of 2,500 were entertained by movie actor and singer Bob Crouse along with his partner "Miss Kitty” who sang western songs by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers’ "Happy Trails."

 North Platte's Buffalo Bill, Bruce Richman, rode on the stagecoach during the grand entry.

Richman told the audience they would be pleased with the show.

The stagecoach raced around the arena and Buffalo Bill fired his revolver into the air.

Owner and producer Don Endsley welcomed the crowd and said they were happy to be a part of the 50th anniversary of the Nebraskaland Days celebration and considered it an honor to be performing in Buffalo Bill's home town.

"There is no other place in the world we would rather be," he said.

"Cody always presented the American flag, even when he performed before the Queen of England," he said. The flag was paraded around on horseback as the national anthem played.

Two chuck wagons, each pulled by a team of four horses, started the show.

Endsley urged the crowd to make noise.

"The louder you are, the faster they will go," he said. When the race was over the Canadian driver edged out a victory over the Colorado driver.

Native American Brian Hammill along with his family performed several traditional dances.

Hammill, from Arizona, is a tribal member of the Ho-Chunk nation and a proud American military veteran of the Gulf War. He is a four-time world champion hoop dancer. 

Hammill told the audience that the hoop dance signifies the various circles of life and represented an eagle taking flight, a hummingbird hovering and butterfly emerging from the cocoon and the moon and the stars.

Roman horseback rider Jenelle Burton raced around the ring with four golden palominos. She stood on two horses with another team ahead, controlled only by a long set of reins. 

"Kit and Kat Colt" put on a fast draw demonstration for comic effect.

Francisco Flores showed why he is a two-time world champion and 10-time U.S.  champion charro as he twirled his rope through a variety of tricks.

A cattle drive complete with Texas longhorn steers gave the crowd an opportunity to see an example of cowboys in action. "Buck Shot Bob" herded the steers around the ring.  Bob was the wrangler for the TV series 'Dallas' and has also been sheriff of Johnson county Texas for 18 years, Endsley said. 

Horse trainer Jerry Thorton put his horse Bolero through a series of moves that stirred the audience. The horse danced to several tunes, doing the twist and the Macarena.  

Max Reynolds of Lexington displayed his roping, riding, whip cracking and shooting skill in several acts, culminating with handling two revolvers on a galloping horse with the reins clinched in his teeth.   

John Payne, the One Armed Bandit and Company, excited the crowd. Payne is a 12-time PRCA Rodeo Act of the Year. On his mule, he was able to herd two massive trained buffalo onto the top of his horse trailer. The crowd gave him a standing ovation for his performance.

After the last act, every performer stood under the grandstand where fans could receive autographs and talk a little.

Don and his wife Sharon Endsley started the Wild West Show in 1996. According to their website, producing the show is a family affair. They write the scripts, produce the music and book the shows. 

They are always looking for ways to make it more exciting each year. Son Tim is the production manager and works closely with performers and animals to keep the shows flowing smoothly.

 The two-hour show will have a second performance Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. at the Wild West Arena.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/25/2014
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