Old Baldy

The unique funeral of a prominent Lovington personality was held in the quiet of the day here Monday. Not many people witnessed the burial. There was no singing, preaching, or flowers, but this personality will be missed by most all of Lovington. Old Baldy, 28-year-old roping horse owned by Troy Fort, has been laid to rest in the Lea County Fair Grounds at the site of the proposed arena.

Baldy will be honored with all the respect he deserves when the new arena is opened sometime around the middle of June or the first of July. He will have a marker at this grave and will represent all of the roping horses in this last frontier of the west.

This will be an appropriate time, as roundup time will be over and it is the time of the year when rodeo performers start thinking of shows across the nation such as Madison Square Garden Rodeo, Cheyenne Rodeo, Santa Rosa Roundup and others. As the gates open on the first attraction in the new arena, there will be a pause to honor one of the most famous rodeo horses in the nation.

Baldy resided in Lovington for about 15 years. He is remembered here for carrying five men to world championship roping fame. He was the greatest. He was gentle and kind around the ranch, but not may ropers could rope off him. He had such a terrific stop that not many were able to do much more than ride him, much less try to think about catching a calf.

Volumes could be written about Baldy. He was born in Oklahoma, and is well known there. Many ropers, both young and old, can tell you any number of tales about Baldy. One roper near Plains, Texas thought so much of Baldy that he went to Oklahoma to see Baldy’s brother!

When arena gates open on rodeos and ropings this year, old Baldy won’t be there. As mesquite grass turns green, and soft winds of spring blow across the range, the familiar sight of Old Baldy will be missing. Baldy is laid to rest where he was most at home.

[Lovington Leader, 18 Jan 1961, Lovington, New Mexico]