The Oakdale Cowboy Museum recently acquired the 1948 Clover Stampede Bulldogging Champion silver buckle won by Arizona cowboy Buckshot Sorrells. Local cowboy Ace Berry donated this piece to the Museum and tells us that he was a pretty young lad when Sorrells came to stay with his family during the first Oakdale Rodeo. “We lived on a ranch in Farmington at the time, and my mom would cook for the many cowboys that came out there to stay with us during the rodeo. He gave the buckle to my mom in appreciation of our hospitality.” For the past 65 years, rodeo cowboys congregate in Oakdale on the second full weekend in April to compete at the rodeo and will stay with local families during the week before heading off to Red Bluff, which is the following weekend.
Buckshot Sorrels learned to cowboy on Arizona ranches in the 1920’s and was known as an All Around hand. He entered professional rodeo in the 1930’s. Although he specialized in team roping, he was one of the few to have won first in calf roping and steer wrestling at Cheyenne in 1932. In 1947 and 1948 he was the IRA champion calf roper, and in 1950 he captured the RAA Team Roping crown. Sorrels continued to compete into the early 1950s.
His friend and competitor, Toots Mansfield, once remarked, “I think Buck is one of the best all-around ropers of all time. I also think he is the toughest of all team ropers.” In 1977 Buckshot Sorrels died of a heart attack while practice roping at his Arizona ranch. He was inducted into the Rodeo Historical Society Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1990.