This film from the Robert H. Frye Collection captures scenes of competitors at the Steiner Rodeo in Austin in the 1970s. It includes images of riders on both horses and bulls, as well as footage of the rodeo clowns.
Founded in the 1930s by Thomas Casper ‘Buck' Steiner, a former Wild West Show performer and owner of a saddle and boot making shop Capitol Saddlery (which is still is still in business on Research Blvd) the Steiner Rodeo Company was located on the Steiner Ranch, which is situated between Lake Austin and the Colorado river.
Buck Steiner, in addition to being a successful businessman was known as a character, who claimed to have drunk with Al Capone and Pancho Villa. He was performing in a Steiner Rodeo exhibition in Cuba with the country singer Gene Autry, when Castro's revolution broke out, and had to call then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to get himself, his money, and his cattle out of the country.
The Steiner Rodeo company was well known for its inclusion of celebrity guests and for the skill of the Steiner family themselves. (Buck's son Tommy was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1996, and his son Bobby was a World Champion Bull Rider in 1973.) The XS logo on the back of the rodeo staff's shirts became an iconic brand for the family.
Although the family has since sold the ranch, to property developer Taylor Woodrow, they continue to be Austin business owners, running the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse located on the Steiner Ranch land, and Capitol Saddlery, which Buck ran himself until his death at the age of 101 in 2002. Their rodeo tradition continues as well, Buck's great-grandson Sid achieved the title of World Champion Steer Wrestler in 2002.