The Early Years (quotes from Chuck Glover, founder)
It so happened I had been reading a lot of Spanish history about the time of Columbus. The King of Spain issued an edict. Folks listened to the King’s edicts. He said, “All the Gentlemen of the Realm must ride horses.” Poor old Columbus was so seasick, the King let him ride a mule.
These Gentlemen of the Realm were called Caballeros (which means horsemen in Spanish). It occurred to me that the men who followed me on horseback were the Gentlemen of the Realm, Landowners and Livestock men. Many people would not recognize the connection if we called ourselves Caballeros, so why not call ourselves The Gentlemen on Horseback?
The name stuck. It has influenced our attitude and behavior toward the property and rights of others. We are welcome back where we have been before.
I am proud to have been connected with this group of men for all these years. You can be proud to say, “I’ve ridden with The Gentlemen on Horseback.”
– Chuck Glover
“It’s strange how an idea catches on. It all started one hot day in July 1947. Jack Morris, at that time a Spokane realtor, and I rode to the top of Mica Peak. It was a good day’s ride. When we got back to my house, sitting in the shade, I said, “Jack, let’s take a pack horse and ride to the Washington Cattlemen’s Spring meeting next May.” It was to be held in Okanagan, 150 miles away. I wanted to see the country, the folded hills, across the Columbia by horseback instead of a car. We agreed and happened to tell a mutual friend, Charley Stark, a feature writer for the Spokesman Review (the local Spokane newspaper). He wrote an article for the paper. I got two hundred letters from men who wanted to go. Finally forty-five joined us. We gathered one May morning at McLellan’s riding stable. We threw together a camp outfit. Bud Steffan cooked for us on borrowed equipment, I bought grub and even furnished hay. I think the cost was $14.00 each for three days.
And, so started the legend of the Gentlemen on Horseback rides. For 3 decades we rode out of staging areas near Spokane on the trail to a destination where often the Washington Cattlemen’s Assn convention was held. The rides–some of which were all the way to the Pacific coast–had to be coordinated with government agencies, such as the US Forest Service and the BLM , and private landowners. Today, we most often all meet at a base camp site for the week and stage daily rides out of there into and around the area we’re camped. Some days we might ride 25 miles, while other days are shorter depending on what the riders want to accomplish that day. The rides are catered, so there is always a good and hearty breakfast to start the day, a sack lunch to tide us over in the afternoon, and a great evening meal where lies, complaints and jokes are told and re-told all night.
– Chuck Glover