Buster Welch was a legendary horse trainer and cowboy. The Cowboy Hall of Famer made a guest appearance on the hit neo-western drama Yellowstone.
Fay Owen Welch, better known as Buster Welch, was a professional horse trainer born on May 23, 1928, in Sterling City, Texas.
After a long successful career with many world titles in the cutting horse industry, he died on June 12, 2022, at his home in Abilene, Texas.
Welch got a job at the age of 13 breaking horses and working cattle. He went on to marry Sheila Dolin, who was also a successful cutting horse competitor, winning several championship titles.
Buster Welch’s Yellowstone Cameo
Buster Welch made a guest appearance in the season four episode of Yellowstone “Under A Blanket Of Red”. Welch plays himself and appears at the 6666 Ranch, where he once worked in real life.
In the episode, Jimmy comes across Welch talking to another cowboy played by actor Barry Corbin. At the time of the encounter, Jimmy has no idea who Welch is.
Afterward, one of the ranch hands tells Jimmy “There are three Gods in Texas: the Almighty himself, Buster Welch and George Strait. You just met one of them.”
Upon his passing, the official Yellowstone Instagram page made a post in memory of the legendary cowboy.
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“Buster Welch rode into the sunset this morning, leaving behind a legacy that changed the performance horse world forever. He will be missed and we will be forever grateful for all his wisdom and his contributions to the quarter horse world,” said Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan.
How Fans Reacted to Buster Welch on Yellowstone
Fans we pleased to see Yellowstone paying tribute to two legendary cowboys. Many were quick to jump on seeing Bsuter Welch and Barry Corbin at the 6666 Ranch in Yellowtsone.
Barry Corbin AND Buster Welch on @Yellowstone tonight?!?! That made me SOOO HAPPY!! I LOVE how #TaylorSheridan pulls in great character actors AND great horsemen for the show! This is Buster Welch working a LONGHORN on the great Peppy San Badger… 😊 pic.twitter.com/Avvn4laJHB
— Suzanne Hooper (@szhooper) November 29, 2021
Another fan wrote: “There’s three gods in Texas: the Almighty hisself, Buster Welch and George Strait. Best line so far @Yellowstone“
One more wrote: “Just now watching this episode and I thought I recognized Buster Welch!!! So cool. I work for King Ranch and he’s legendary❤️”
Buster Welch made a huge impact on the ranching world and will forever be known as a cutting horse industry legend and a great man.
Buster Welch’s Career
Buster Welch was a pioneer in the horse industry, becoming one of the most successful cutting and performance horse trainers. At just the age of 18, he became involved in the newly founded National Cutting Horse Association.
By the 1950s, Welch was already leaving his mark on the equestrian world. During his career, he worked as a trainer at some of the most prominent ranches in America including 6666 Ranch, Pitchfork Ranch, King Ranch and Long X.
Below are a couple of video of Buster Welch riding at 83 years old:
Some of the most notable horses Welch rode include Marion’s Girl, Chickasha Mike, Money’s Glo, Chickasha Glo, Rey Jay’s Pete, Dry Doc, Mr San Peppy and Peppy San Badger. His wide success with training cutting horses gained him national recognition.
Welch accumulated some of the highest honors among cutting horse competitions. He won four National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Championship titles (1954, 1956, 1974 and 1976). He also won a record five NCHA World Championship Futurity titles (1962, 1963, 1966, 1971 and 1977).
Welch also won the 1976 AQHA World Championship in Senior cutting. His cutting horse career brought home an impressive $1.7 million in lifetime earnings.
He also took home numerous other honors including becoming an inductee into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, National Cutting Horse Association Riders Hall of Fame and Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 2012, he took home the National Golden Spur Award for his “outstanding contributions to the ranching and livestock industry”.
Other awards Welch won include the Charles Goodnight Award, American Cowboy Culture Working Cowboy Award, AQHA’s 30-Year Breeder Award and the Western Horseman Award.
Welch is a household name in the cutting world and the Quarter horse breed. His contributions and legacy have left a lasting impact on equestrians everywhere.
To hear and see more of Buster Welch, watch a fascinating interview with him below: