Susan Kaplan-Williams

Speakers Committee Ambassador

Speech to Poultry Auction Committee

February 2007


Cowboys & Heroes

Tenderness, understanding, a strong sense of self, and a willingness to take on the world.

A hero is wise enough to be strong without cruelty, vulnerable without weakness, and loving without possessiveness.


A hero is tall enough and smart enough to reach his dreams without walking around with his head in the clouds


A cowboy is characterized by those statements. When you begin to talk about cowboys, their tall tales and their heroes – you soon realize the hard-working cowboys of the old West stood for the frontier spirit of courage, independence and self-reliance. They had a reputation for danger, daring, honor and heroism.


They were heroes of the old West, admired for the qualities that characterized noble values. Where a handshake meant your word and a man’s word was his bond. Those were the attitudes and forces that have shaped our country today.


Now, imagine a time when being honest, courageous and compassionate is still a way of life.


Imagine living in a world where people are genuinely and sincerely interested in helping others. Imagine people who dare to take a stand against the forces of nature and man.


Imagine, just for a moment, that those same heroes exist today. Guess what, they do.


The Cowboy ...horses...wide open spaces...the howl of a coyote in the night...songs and stories around the campfire...times when a handshake meant your word. There are places in the world where all these things are still alive and well.


Look around, right here in this room tonight - look at the person sitting next to you - and you will see someone who gives selflessly just to help others, who risks their own lives to save someone or who dares to stand up for the rights of a few.


Today’s heroes may not herd cattle through a wild prairie; they may not face down a gunslinger in the middle of the day or rescue the prettiest lady in town from a rattlesnake. But their stories are just as full of excitement, daring and courage.


Just who are those heroes of today who remind us of the cowboy’s noble qualities?


They are the kids who dare to dream of the future. Calf scramble kids, scholarship kids and Show kids, RITE kids, year round volunteers, sponsors…..


They are the parents who willingly sacrifice their lives for their children’s dreams. They are the people who give of their time and energy to make those dreams come true. They are teachers, counselors, coaches, mentors and Show volunteers -- they are YOU.


Heroes – everyone here in this audience tonight - have intelligence, honor, humor, passion and a dedication to a cause – the cause of helping Texas youth!


As I end my talk tonight, I would like to share with you the Cowboy’s Code – changed just a bit.


Cowboy Code – Show Kids Code


  • A cowboy and a Show kid  is a person who lives by "THE CODE." A person who's conduct is becoming of a lady or gentleman. Western chivalry is not dead in his life.

  • A cowboy and a Show Kid knows his job and does it... doing it right all day long.

  • A cowboy and a Show Kid learns his or her lessons, gets back up off the ground, dusts himself off and says, "Cowboy Up!"

  • A cowboy and a Show kid know when to stop and take time to talk to his creator.

  • A cowboy and a Show Kid recognize a beautiful thing and don’t try to change it.

  • A cowboy and a Show Kid breaks his horse in and then takes loving care.

  • A cowboy and a Show Kid has compassion, and lastly,

  • A cowboy and a Rodeo Volunteer are the heroes of today, dedicated to the task at hand.

 Thank you, and GO RODEO!!


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