Route 66 News

Still roping ‘em in

Bushyhead is not much more than a wide spot on Route 66 in Oklahoma, but one weekend every year its population swells because of its Bushyhead Labor Day Pasture Roping and Barrel Race.

Bushyhead is hosting the event again this year, but it will be bittersweet. Its founder, Clem McSpadden, died at age 82 earlier this year.

McSpadden was known far and wide as an announcer at many big rodeos in the United States and Canada. He also was a state senator and a U.S. congressman. And according to this Wikipedia entry, he was the great-nephew of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers.

McSpadden’s widow, Donna, vowed to keep the Bushyhead roping event going. She told the Tulsa World that one reason for that is tourism:

“People will be driving down (Oklahoma) Highway 66, which parallels this pasture, and they will see this amazing amount of horse trailers and horses at a fast run through the pasture,” said Donna McSpadden, whose late husband, Clem McSpadden, founded the event in 1983. “Many of them are from abroad, who are on a Route 66 tour.

“We’ve had them come in from Scotland, Finland, Norway, Germany. We prop them up on a bale of hay with a Bushyhead T-shirt and cap, and they go on their merry way after taking rolls of pictures. That’s pretty good Oklahoma advertising.”

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