The 149th Silver Spurs Rodeo is in the history books, and once again, it wasn’t just a success from a rodeo perspective, it was a success from a community perspective.
On June 3rd and 4th, the stands in the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee were filled with rodeo fans from Osceola County and all over the Southeast, and what they saw and felt was a rodeo that isn’t just in the community, it’s part of the community. Every Silver Spurs Rodeo is an action packed event, with all seven traditional rodeo events wowing the crowds one after another, but the riding club places just as much emphasis on stepping back and saying thank you, to our veterans, to those in need, and to organizations who are caring for those in need. This year, that included the 2022 Special Olympics USA games, who were given an opportunity to utilize the Silver Spurs Arena for the Special Olympics Equestrian events.
Dustin Bronson, who served as the Big Boss for the final time during the 149th Silver Spurs Rodeo, is a seventh-generation Osceola County resident, and a member of a pioneer cattle family of Osceola County. Bronson is no stranger to rodeo or the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Growing up in the Silver Spurs Riding Club and a grandson of one of the founding members, Charles “Shang” Bronson, Dustin is a third-generation “Big Boss” and was excited to carry on the family tradition, and hopes to some day watch his two boys follow in his footsteps.
“I’m going to continue to be a part of the Silver Spurs Riding Club and the rodeo, and my boys are excited that hopefully someday when I get older they can join me in the rodeo, and eventually take over and who knows? Maybe they’ll end up as Big Bosses. It’s really a family deal for us,” Big Boss Dustin Bronson shared before the final night of the 149th Silver Spurs Rodeo began.
Moving forward, the Silver Spurs Riding will be in good hands as the next Big Boss steps into position, that being Clifton Clifton, who is also no stranger to rodeo, or to Osceola County.
“It’s a huge honor, following in the footsteps of many generations of great cowboys, and cow women, so this is something I’ve been looking forward to and an opportunity to continue to do what we do,” the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s next Big Boss said after Friday night’s rodeo.
Chapman, whose family has been in the cattle business for four generations, is busy raising his four boys to continue on in the family business and tradition. They of course will be the fifth generation. Clifton’s grandparents were part of the founding members of the Silver Spurs Riding Club with the property that the Silver Spurs Arena is now on was owned by the Chapman family with the house he grew up in is stall right next door to the arena.
“I started in Quadrille as soon as I could sit in the saddle, and we’d put our horses in the barn and ride right over to the arena, and so it’s been part of what we’ve done since I was little,” the future Big Boss shared with Positively Osceola’s Krissi Hardy.
Chapman says what will be his biggest emphasis when he takes over the reigns as Big Boss will be to highlight the immense amount of hard working volunteers that make the rodeo and all the functions of the Silver Spurs Riding Club happen.
“We love partnering with the community, and anything we can do to be a good partner with the community, and that helps the community, we’re going to do. There are Silver Spurs Riding Club committees that work hard all year to make sure the rodeo happens, from souvenirs, to concessions, to helping out behind the chutes. They are all volunteers that work throughout the year to plan for these events. They do it because it’s our history and our heritage, so there’s pride in what they all do together. It was all built on a club wanting to ride horses together, and spend time together, and that’s still what we do together today, and so much more, Clifton Chapman said when asked what will be important to him when he becomes Big Boss.
So, when the October Silver Spurs Rodeo comes around, keep an eye out for Big Boss Clifton Chapman. He won’t likely be sitting in a seat watching all the Silver Spurs Rodeo action, he’ll be part of it once again!