Tragic news on a Sunday. Reports from the horse world indicate that legendary horse trainer, cowboy, and all-around riding icon Buster Welch passed away at the age of 94.
Yellowstone fans will remember Welch from his appearance in episode 5 of Season 4, “Under a Blanket of Red.” He played a part in Jimmy’s famous detour from Montana to the 6666 Ranch in Texas. Buster Welch, along with Barry Corbin, were two of the men tasked with turning Jimmy into a bonafide cowboy.
Buster Welch’s Timeless Legacy
Taylor Sheridan doesn’t just cameo anyone in his shows, especially Yellowstone. Buster Welch more than earned it. In 2004, he was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. His specialty was horse cutting — an equestrian event in which riders demonstrate their ability to handle cattle in front of judges.
Working with horses is something that runs deep in people’s blood. When that itch gets into them, they just can’t stop themselves from embracing it. Welch took that love for horses and cutting and raised it to another level. His work inspired, taught, and helped mold generations of cutting competitors. A true legend through and through, Buster was breaking horses by the age of 13 and was competing in championship cutting shows by the time he was 18.
Sheridan fancies himself a bit of a cowboy, too, of course, and working with Welch was a no-brainer. The writer-director wants his ranch work to be as accurate as possible and Welch was a part of that process for a time.
When you talk about cowboys – this man was the real deal. There are folks that are ahead of their time, there are others that are a blast from the past, and then there are those like Buster Welch – timeless. His work will live on for years in the work that those who learned under him perform and the lessons they pass on to others.
Cutting at the 6666 Ranch In Real Life
While Buster Welch played a big role in the transition to the 6666 ranch for Jimmy on Yellowstone that isn’t his only connection to the place. For Welch, his influence, blood, sweat, and tears are all part of the real 6666 ranch. It was one of the many stops on his journey to becoming a world champion cutting rider.
So, a legend passes on. Texas has had its fair share of icons and cowboys, but Welch feels like a member of a lost generation. Something that feels like it belongs in a movie.
But Buster Welch was the real deal. Rest in peace to the cowboy, and condolences to his family and loved ones.