Empire Ranch Roundup & Open House wrap


Story by Harry Alexander / Southern Arizona News-Examiner
Photos by Sally Reichardt / Southern Arizona News-Examiner

The annual Empire Ranch Roundup & Open House was held under clear skies and pleasant temperatures in southeast Arizona on Nov. 7. Event organizers said there was an increase in the crowd numbers from the 2014 event, although official attendance figures were not immediately available.

The event showcased the historic ranching property. Established in the early 1870s near the Sonoita area, the Empire Ranch has been a working ranch under private owners up to the mid 20th century and is now managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Empire Ranch Foundation uses this event and others throughout the year to help raise money for preservation of the historic structures and maintenance of the lands. The historic ranch is located about 40 miles southeast of Tucson. It has been the site of Hollywood productions including “Oklahoma,” “Red River,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Monte Walsh” and many more.

The Roundup & Open House featured numerous events tied to ranching and the Old West. It also featured a number of area Western genre authors. Among the events were Cowboy Conversations where attendees heard stories about the Old West and ranching. Fort Huachuca’s Memorial B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry provided a living history demonstration of what life was like as a cavalry soldier in the late 1800s. Plenty of food and western style entertainment was also available.

Enjoy a photo essay of the event courtesy of Southern Arizona News-Examiner Photo Editor Sally Reichardt:

One of the many artist concessions at the Empire Ranch Roundup & Open House.
Horse ‘n Around Rescue. The rescue is operated by Steve Boice whose family once owned the Empire Ranch. Steve also grew up on the ranch.


Getting ready for the branding iron demonstration. A brand was placed upon the cattle to show what cattle belonged to which ranch. Each brand was a unique design.
Placing the brands on pieces of wood to show off the brand and as a souvenir for a lucky member of the crowd.


A demonstration on roping cattle. It’s not as easy as it looks!
KVOI Radio host Joe Dreyfuss of “The Visit” program heard Sundays at 5pm MST (and a real cowboy!) narrates to the crowd how gathering the cattle is done.
Western music entertainment at the Empire Ranch Roundup & Open House.


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