The Making of a Champion by Chuck Sturgeon

Awoke this morning with Daddy on my mind; Budd Sturgeon he was named by Charles & Eva Sturgeon. All the way through Ames Public School with one year in South Texas school Daddy was Budd. After realizing others had a middle name he started signing everything Bud Leo Sturgeon. He dropped the 2nd d in Budd and added Leo who was a long time friend he had.

After marriage and 3 children “on the ground” he started using his best skill in ranching; roping. Soon after several of his friends & he started the Ames Saddle Club at Ames Oklahoma. (I have his parade shirt still; hanging in our home with Ames Saddle Club uniquely lettered.)  

The Ames Saddle club built an Arena on the “Yeoman Ranch” owned by his youngest Sister Lucy and her husband Kenneth. My Sisters and I grew up watching Daddy calf rope in Rodeos there and other towns in Northwest Oklahoma. Blackjack Fletcher was the Rodeo Clown and his donkey drew a lot of my attention in-between events. Getting to ride Blackjack’s Donkey was a treat but riding Daddy’s America Quarter Horse named Tar was way beyond the Donkey. Tar; Daddy used in roping but he loaned him to his good friend for hazing then called “bulldogging”. We kids could ride Tar and he was so gentle but back him up in the chute with a barrier stretched across, then the calf released, barrier released, and like lightning Tar positioned himself just where he was needed for Daddy’s well placed loop. Then down the left side in those days Daddy dismounted, crossed over and under the rope, flanked the calf, & tied him secure with his pegging string; TIME WAS THEN CALLED. Daddy didn’t win all the time but his love and joyful deep laughter following each successful rope time proved to me the “Making of a Champion – Bud & Tar” was a real thing.

I could write for Days what a Champion Daddy was and still is in Heaven. “Ole Tar” lived and died here on the Ranch; that was a sad day to remember.

Would be to God that every son could reverence their Daddy as I did. His passing from this earth I watched physically. I wasn’t a Christian at the time but four years later I gave my heart to Jesus Christ.

The Special horses here on the Ranch started with “Ole Tony”, then Tar, Cin, & Tal Ler. There were many others but these were special.

Today as Dea & I live on the Ranch; many things I see daily remind me of days gone by. I can truly say I have no regrets. Jesus has taken any that I did have and God put them in a Sea of Forgetfulness. That’s something to shout about! Thank You Jesus!!