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People Top 5
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- June 30, 1975
- Vol. 3
- No. 25
When You Call Steve Ford a Tenderfoot, Better Smile, Pardner
On his first day Steve confined himself to a few lessons on a mechanical bucking machine. But the next day he began to feel his oats, bulldogging a steer and joining a 32-mile trail ride along a former Pony Express route. Before bedtime the gang ate buffalo ribs, drank beer and listened to Western actor Slim Pickens recite dirty cowboy poetry. Then Steve, riding a 9-year-old Appaloosa mare alongside another actor, Ross Martin, helped herd 40 steers back to Casey's spread. ("No matter how rough it got," Martin said, "there wasn't a peep out of him. He hung in like a young tiger.") Observed Tibbs, "He has good balance and knew how to handle the horse when chasing a steer through heavy brush."
Finally Steve faced his biggest test—bronco-busting. "I've got to go sometime," he said as he left the chute, and go he did, in five seconds. Still, his grit earned him a John Wayne-like salute from Slim Pickens: "The kid rides real good."
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