This exhibit has been put together by Jim and Janie Liles of Congress, Az over a period of many years.
Janie and I rodeo’d for over 20 years, while I participated in the bareback riding, with an occasional test of the bulls and saddle broncs, Janie ran barrels. As the kids grew up she hauled them to every rodeo she could.
When I neared the time for me to leave the competitive life of the arena myself and three other gentlemen formed a committee to produce our local rodeo that I managed for 10 years.
After leaving rodeo life for some years, we formed Lazy J Rodeo Safety Equipment after the serious injury of professional bull rider Ross Coleman.
It was at that point that the “Crash Pad” was born, growing into the largest rodeo safety equipment company in the world, furnishing equipment to rodeos and associations in the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Sweden.
We sold that company in 2014 and have had the opportunity to work on the “Riggins’-n- Rhymes” exhibit full time. We will be exhibiting the collection on a very limited basis so that the rodeo world can also enjoy it.
What is “Riggins’-n- Rhymes” ?
The “Riggins’ & Rhymes” exhibit is a unique exhibit of over 50 bareback riggins’ from the 1900’s, to the riggins’ used by cowboys going down the road today.
In addition, are vintage rough stock spurs made by Bobby Blackwood, Kelly, and others. We are expanding the exhibit to add vintage equipment from the bull riding and saddle bronc riding events. Pictures and articles about the history of the bareback riding round out the display.
This is the only exhibit of it’s kind in the world and is displayed in a small private museum in Congress, Az..
It is our wish to share this exhibit with the public with a very limited showing at major events or venues like the WNFR and the Cowboy Hall of Fame. The uniqueness of this exhibit and the items in it make it extremely attractive to the cowboys of the past, as well as the present and also to the general public as they can now see up close exactly what the cowboys are using, both today, and 115 years ago.
Our exhibit has been named “Riggins’-n-Rhymes” because I also am a cowboy poet with a book published called “The Cowboy Way”, which has many great poems about the rodeo life, as well as others.
When showing the exhibit a little cowboy poetry fits right in. An educated audience, is what we as producers and participants need, to promote our sport. Long Live Rodeo!
What Are Our Goals ?
The goals of this very unique and great exhibit is to make it available to the general public on a limited scale.
We intend to display the exhibit at three to four very special venues to allow the general public, as well as the rodeo family to be able to see up close the equipment from the 1900’s up to present time.
The history of these great vintage pieces of rodeo equipment, as far as we have been able to research, is very interesting and surprising.
The bareback riggin’ has gone through more changes than any other piece of rodeo equipment.
This is an exhibit built around the history of the equipment, and those that designed and tested it throughout the 20th century.
Most of the development came from everyday cowboys, weekend warriors and folks that were never recognized for their efforts in bringing this great sport to where it is today.
The ability for cowboys and fans alike to view this equipment up close, not only brings back great memories, but it allows those not as familiar with the sport to see exactly what our contestants are using today as well as 115 years ago.
An educated fan base is a fan base that comes back again, and again and again.
Financial Requirements for Sponsorship Display Specifications
As with any free exhibit, there must be a way to continue to build and market the exhibit so that it receives maximum exposure to the general public as well as those in the rodeo industry. In order to do this we are seeking a National Sponsors to put their name on this unique exhibit and use it in their marketing plan throughout the year. We have what is undoubtedly the newest, most unique product, in the rodeo world. Our exhibit is a 501 (c)(3) LLC.
Education of our sport is the one place I feel our sport falls down and something we feel compassionate about. This exhibit gives people the opportunity to actually see up close what they can’t see from the grandstands.
To better understand the announcers as they attempt to explain the equipment used by the contestants, and to compare the equipment of today, with the equipment of the founders and pioneers of our sport.
Bringing this unique exhibit, to a great venue like the WNFR, would attract crowds throughout the two weeks of the convention, and the rodeo. An educated audience enhances their rodeo experience.
Exhibit measures 10′ x 20′ x 10′ and requires a secure indoor environment.