Sep 8, 2011

Labor Day Weekend at Laguna

We were honored to be invited by John Romero and the Sedillo Cattle Association to participate in their fall working. Our days started early with feeding the horses well before dawn and hitting the highway toward Laguna. Upon our arrival we were warmly greeted by John and one by one each member of the association.

September 3rd Gather... Headin' out to gather the cattle on this 100,000 acre spread.
John Romero and Rick Iannucci heading out as dawn breaks over the mountain and we can tell the difference between a bush and a cow.

John rop'in... Nice catch!

Stuart Romero, President of the Sedillo Cattle Association with Rick Iannucci President of Horses for Heroes - NM, Inc.

Stuart, John and another member of Sedillo make sure which unbranded calves are with which momma cow. After roping that calf they call out the brand /owner to the branding crew who then get to work with their "running irons". This is real old school watching these "branding iron artists" at work.

Everyone in the association gets into the work in some way or another. From tending the fire where the irons are heating to mixing the vaccines everyone is there to "get 'er done!"

Cowboy Up! co-director Nancy De Santis mixes vaccines with the vaccination team.

Keepin' track and everything in order.

September 4th Gather...Bringing them in.
After gathering the cows they are moved into the corrals to pair back up. While they are settling and the irons are heating up the group forms a circle for a prayer in the Laguna language to honor and bless their working and for the safety of the people working and the livestock. Following that and before the teams are assigned we presented both John and Stuart with our Cowboy Up! trademark, usually presented to our graduates, and made them honorary members of the Order of the Purple Wild Rag. This was a special honor in many ways as John's father and Stuart's grandfather was in the army and received the Purple Heart during his service. It is indeed our honor to have them as our brothers.

Stuart being presented his Wild Rag by Cowboy Up! graduate, USMC Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sterling Bucholz while Rick Iannucci and John Romero look on.

John being presented with his Purple wild rag by Cowboy Up! graduate, US Army Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient Alroy Billman.

Joe Streaker Cowboy Up! crew member holds 'er down while he waits for the branding team.

John & Stuart have quite the job of having to recognize and identify all the brands of each Sedillo Cattle Assoiation member.

Sedillo Managment at it's finest.

John and Rick making sure she'll be "good for another year".

Our wonderful crew from Sedillo posing with Nancy on her Birthday! What a great way to spend your birthday Nancy!