‘Yellowstone’: Meet Buster Welch, One of the ‘Three Gods of Texas’

by Maria Hartfield
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Hit series Yellowstone takes fans on a journey through the ranching world in the 21st century. With its commitment to authenticity, the show introduces audiences to Buster Welch, a real-life horse trainer in Season 4’s fifth episode.

The popular American drama series comes from Taylor Sheridan (Sons of Anarchy) and John Linson (Great Expectations). Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner), who owns the largest ranch in Montana. The Duttons must come together to defend the property against a growing list of enemies.

In Season 4, Episode 5, titled “Under a Blanket of Red,” the show takes a moment to spotlight iconic horse trainer Buster Welch.

Who is Buster Welch?

Buster Welch is a legendary horse trainer from Sterling City, Texas. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2004. Welch specializes in horse cutting. Cutting is a western-style equestrian competition in which a horse and its rider demonstrate their ability to work together in front of a judge or panel of judges. In other words, it’s a sport where competitors show their ability to herd cattle from horseback.

At the age of 13, Welch left home to work on a ranch in Midland, where he began breaking horses. At 18, Buster began competing in several NCHA (National Cutting Horse Association) championships.

He went on to win first place in the National Horse Cutting Association World Championships Futurity competition a total of four times. He also worked at the infamous 6666 Ranch, just like in Yellowstone.

We meet Buster Welch in Yellowstone‘s Season 4, Episode 5, which names him ‘one of the three gods in the state of Texas alongside singer George Strait and God Almighty himself.

Yellowstone‘s Season 4, Episode 5

In the episode, Jimmy arrives at 6666 Ranch in Texas, where he’ll become a proper cowboy. This comes as a punishment for Jimmy after disobeying John Dutton by taking part in a rodeo event in season 4.

In the episode, Jimmy works his first at the ranch and immediately finds a place to nap. He wakes to a conversation between senior ranch hand Ross (Barry Corbin) and none other than Buster Welch himself.

The 93-year-old Welch plays himself and shares memories of cutting horses with Ross in a moving conversation.

Fans React to Buster Welch’s Appearance

Yellowstone fans were quick to voice their approval on social media.

One fan took to Twitter, saying, “The one and only! 93 years old and still dropping wisdom! He’s the Babe Ruth of the Cutting Horse world!”

Another posted: “Most people don’t know that that is one of the greatest old cowboys that ever cowboy’d in cowboy in’! #Cowboys #Yellowstone A TRUE LEGEND! 👏👏👏”

“There’s three gods in Texas: the Almighty hisself, Buster Welch and George Strait. Best line so far @Yellowstone,” commented another.

Welch’s devoted fanbase And finally, this fan shared a picture of Buster Welch in his prime:

Season 4 of Yellowstone continues weekly on Sundays at 8/7c on Paramount Network.

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