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According to Rick Stewart, “As noted in the catalogue entry for A Bronc Twister, the term ‘weaver’ refers to a specific action of a bucking horse-something Russell would have known and fully understood when he conceived it in sculpture. The same is true of The Bucker and the Buckaroo, which accurately depicts the behavior of a horse known to seasoned riders as a ‘sunfisher.’ According to Ramon Adams, “‘Sunfishing’ was a term used when a horse twisted his body into a crescent…or, in other words, when he seemed to try to touch the ground with first one shoulder and then the other, letting the sunlight hit his belly. Such a horse was called a ‘sunfisher.’” Russell, who could depict the myriad contortions of a bucking horse with consummate skill, claimed to have some firsthand experience with the subject. He once explained to Will James, ‘I never got to be a bronc rider but in my youthful days wanted to be and while that want lasted, I had a fine chance to study hoss enatimy from under and over. The under was a view a teripan gets. The over while I hoverd at the end of a McCarty rope was like an eagle sees-grand but dam scary for folks without wings. And, what I wanted was the saddle horn and it was far, far below me. Maby you’v been thair, looking down on a hoss with plenty of legs but no head. They ust to play peek-a boo with me lots.’”

The original owner of this bronze, Leah Ray Werblin, was an actress and famous big band singer who worked with Tommy Dorsey and Phil Harris.  She married David “Sonny” Werblin, an MCA music executive back in the 1930s. Sonny Werblin, an owner of the New York Jets, built Meadowlands Sports Complex. He raised and raced Thoroughbred horses through a company called Elberon Farms.

David “Sonny” and Leah Ray Werblin, Rumson, NJ
Private Collection, TX, 2000

Rick Stewart, Charles M. Russell, Sculptor (Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum, 1994), pages 268-273, example illustrated

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