The Great Cowboy
Race of 1893 started in Chadron, a small town in western Nebraska, on June 13 of that year. “Doc” Middleton, the race favorite, is at far left; “Old Joe” Gillespie, the eventual winner and runner-up Charlie Smith are also marked. Each man was allowed one horse plus a spare for the 1,000-mile ride. In true enduro tradition, there was a shotgun start but the riders, most of whom were experienced cowhands, did not bolt off dramatically at a gallop. Instead they moseyed out of town at a walk, knowing they had to take good care of their mounts to have any chance of making the distance.