After performing at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival for more than 10 years, Dave Thornbury and his rope have become a signature feature of the event.
The almost 70-year-old trick roper has lived ‘cowboy’ his entire life. His family worked on rodeos and wild west shows in the Midwest. Throughout his career, he made saddles and chaps in Calabasas and roped for a living.
“At four years old I had a rope in my hand,” Thornbury said. “This is the way I grew up and nothing has changed.”
SCV saw its hottest day of the year so far on Saturday, but that didn’t stop Thornbury from performing.
“I just enjoy roping and I enjoy people, that’s the bottom line right there,” he said.
In fact, performing at the festival for more than a decade has earned him a place in many family’s hearts, with a new generation fascinated with the ropes.
“I’ve spun with kids that came back years later and they have their kids here now,” Thornbury said. “The young kids really get mesmerized by the ropes, and I want to keep that alive.”
Diane Bullock has been going to the Cowboy festival for years, and like many other families, she has made it a tradition to take a picture with the trick-roping cowboy.
“I thought he was awesome as soon as I walked into the festival,” she said. “He’s doing what he loves and it’s great to see people like that. You feel like you have stepped back in time when you see him.”