Quilcene: Cowboy celebrates lifetime of riding, roping and rodeoing

DABOB BAY — A man who came West in 1921 to be a cowboy and became a Northwest rodeo star will celebrate his 100th birthday Aug. 9 at his Tarboo Valley Ranch north of Quilcene.

“I always liked to ride,” said Jerry Getz. “My dad sat me up on a horse before I was old enough to walk.”

A trick- and fancy-rider for 20 years, Getz performed at county fairs in Washington, Oregon and Canada, jumping horses through flaming hoops, riding upside down clinging to horses’ tails, hopping on and off galloping horses and racing Roman-style standing astride two steeds.

He also raised and showed quarter horses and was a professional farrier, shoeing horses and traveling to horse farms throughout the Puget Sound area.

In 1993, at 90, he was named the oldest working cowboy in the Old Hand contest in Haines, Ore.

“I’d still ride but I only had one horse, and she wasn’t broke to ride,” Getz said. “The wife wouldn’t sanction me to ride her — thought I’d get hurt.”

Getz and his wife, Barbara, still live on the ranch they bought 50 years ago on Dabob Bay Road to breed and show quarter horses.

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The rest of the story appears in the Wednesday Peninsula Daily News.

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