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Lawrence County cowboys honored for Canadian trick riding

Weldon Bascom, a traditional trick rider, performs the Roman running jump.

Two famous Lawrence County cowboys have been selected and honored as pioneers of the rodeo performance event of trick and fancy riding, and inducted into the Canadian Trick Riding Hall of Fame.

Honored as trick riding pioneers, Earl and Weldon Bascom lived in Canada before moving to Mississippi in the 1930s.

The Bascom brothers lived in the Arm community, where they cowboyed on the Hickman Ranch.

The Bascoms learned trick riding from Ted Elder, who lived in Raymond. Elder was the world’s greatest trick rider, having won seven world championships in trick riding.

The Bascom brothers were his most famous students.

Earl Bascom was a traditional trick rider performing before rodeo audiences from Mississippi to Canada.

Weldon Bascom was a traditional trick rider but also was a performer of the Roman running jump.

In the Roman running jump, the cowboy or cowgirl stands straddling the backs of two horses which are tethered together as a team.

The horses are galloped at full speed toward a barrier, usually a Model A convertible, which the horses are trained to jump over.

To make it more exciting and daring, a platform of fire was added on top of the car, which the horses and rider jumped over and through the burning flames.

In the trick riding event, a rider performs a variety of skillful stunts – one leg stands, shoulder stands, and difficult arm maneuvers – holding onto the saddle while riding a fast galloping horse around the arena.

Trick riding was one of the events performed at Mississippi rodeos produced by the Bascoms in the 1930s.

These cowboys were honored performers who helped pioneer and popularize trick riding in Canada and Mississippi.

Earl and Weldon Bascom have been called the “Fathers of Mississippi Trick Riding” besides being honored internationally in the Canadian Trick Riding Hall of Fame for pioneering that entertaining rodeo event.