As It Was: Woman Ropes Wild Stallion Men Couldn’t Catch

Jul 5, 2018

In 1916, a Klamath Falls woman roped a legendary wild stallion that had avoided capture by men for years.

Cowboy poet Tracy Layne wrote about the quest to capture the horse, saying that when men tried to round up the horse with his herd, “He would make for the mountains or sail down rocks like a bird.” 

Layne wrote that the stallion nearly drove would-be captors crazy, including the Pitchfork Boys, who lost him after several days in the desert, and Charley Duncan who tried shooting the big bay. 

The successful woman, identified as Mrs. Will Sims in news articles, was in business with her husband rounding up wild horses for rodeos.  One day she decided to get the wildest one of all for the Ashland Roundup.  Mounted on a horse named Telegraph, she ran the stallion into a lava bed.  After a rocky chase, Telegraph closed in on the wild horse and Mrs. Sims lassoed him, tying him fast to her saddle. 

The stallion was featured as the outlaw horse, newly named “Rim-Rock Johnny,” in the wild horse race in the 1916 Ashland Roundup.
 

Sources: “The Roping of the King of the Range.” Ashland Tidings, 3 June 1916, p. 8. Historic Oregon Newspapers, https://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn85042399/1916-07-03/ed-1/seq-8/#date1=01%2F01%2F1846&city=&date2=12%2F31%2F2017&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&lccn=&index=2&words=Mrs+Sims&proxdistance. Accessed 19 May 2018; "Woman Lassos A Noted Outlaw." The Evening Herald, 26 June 1916 [Klamath Falls, Ore.], p. 4. Historic Oregon Newspapers, https://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn99063812/1916-06-26/ed-1/seq-4/#date1=01%2F01%2F1846&city=&date2=12%2F31%2F2017&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&lccn=sn99063812&index=18&words=Sims&proxd. Accessed 19 May 2018.