Artesia’s Western Sculpture Roundup
The Cattle Drive series is designed to represent and honor the ranching industry in southeastern New Mexico that began in the late 1800s and was significant to the development of Artesia. The three sculptures feature personalities common in the Pecos Valley during the Cattle Drive era and depict an action that may have been typical in the Southwest of the late 1800s. More information about the sculptures and the historical context of the story is found on plaques at each sculpture site.
Second & Texas
The Rustler was a personality common in the Wild West, some well known, such as Billy the Kid, who traveled this area frequently. A rustler would steal cattle from a herd, alter the brand, and claim the as his own to sell. In this scene, the Rustler has the calf down and is preparing for a gun battle. The Rustler was created by Robert Summers and unveiled in July 2009. Could this be Billy the Kid?
The Trail Boss
First & Main
The monumental bronze sculpture was created by Vic Payne and unveiled in March 2007 as the first in the series. The Trail Boss would have been the man in charge. Often an owner of a small herd, he may have pushed small herds owned by others for a fee. In this scene, the Trail Boss has been called into action by The Vaquero.
Second & Main
Vaquero is Spanish for cowboy. Hispanics of the era were known for their skills as cowboys and the influence is evident today in many Spanish-based words used for cowboy equipment, such as chaps, lariat and others. In this scene, the Vaquero has spotted a rustler trying to steal cattle from the drive. The Vaquero was created by Mike Hamby and unveiled in May 2008.
View Artesia, New Mexico Cattle Drive Tour in a larger map