Web Appraisal: Amarillo Slim Classic Cutting Horse Saddle, ca. 1981
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Web Appraisal: Amarillo Slim Classic Cutting Horse Saddle, ca. 1981

August 15, 2019


GUEST: It’s a cutting horse saddle that was
a presentation saddle or a winner in a particular class at the 1981 Amarillo Slim Preston cutting
classic at the Sahara in Reno, Nevada. I rescued it off a fence post so it wouldn’t
be ruined, and I’ve tried to just give it a little life back, and that’s about as much
as I know about it. APPRAISER: So it was pretty dried out when
you got it. GUEST: It was dried out. It was abused. APPRAISER: Saddles shouldn’t be left out in
the weather. They don’t survive very long, and can you
tell me who Amarillo Slim was? GUEST: Amarillo Slim Preston was the legendary
poker player. He cut quite the figure. APPRAISER: He did come up with his own cutting
horse classic. Cutting is the process of separating cattle
out in pens. To brand them, to give them shots, and take
care of them, and it became a sport. The horses were raised by King Ranch, major
ranchers began to do it in competition, and it became a real landmark Texas event. And they used a saddle that had a little bit
wider fork on it, so you could tighten your knees up because they switch back and forth
real fast. The horses are really fast and really well
trained. They have a real sense of, it’s called cow
sense, of moving these cattle around and keeping on one. The saddle was made in Oliver Saddlery, and
it’s marked. The connection with Amarillo Slim puts it
in a different category. All of a sudden you’re talking about guys
who are interested in poker, in gambling memorabilia, in rodeo history, all these different things
makes it a collectible that’s different from the saddle category. And, what did you pay for it? GUEST: $300. APPRAISER: That’s okay. You did okay. I would say, if it would come onto the market
in an auction situation, because of the gambling affiliation and the Amarillo Slim connection,
probably $800 to $1,200. GUEST: Wow. APPRAISER: If it came on the market. Pretty easily. An all-around Texas connection.

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