Christmas is a season of tradition, and no one knows that better than Michael Martin Murphey. The iconic, horse loving musician has worked diligently to keep alive the spirit of the first Cowboy Christmas Ball for more than two decades. This year, he launches into the next 20 years with his popular Cowboy Christmas Tour.
Sponsored by Spalding Labs the leading natural fly control company, Murphey and his acclaimed Rio Grande Band will spread Holiday Cheer through nearly 20 cities including a stop in Anson, Texas, where the Cowboy Christmas Ball originated in 1885. “The first time I came to the annual Cowboy Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas, where the community has celebrated the holidays with this event every year since 1934, I was floored that the community had worked so hard to keep it going,” Murphey said. “I fell in love watching the older couples dance and the dances being passed on to the younger people. It reconnected me to the tradition.” That tradition began on Christmas night, 1885, when arriving in Anson, Texas native New Yorker Larry Chittenden chronicled a dancing spectacle unparalleled in those days by composing the rhythmic, rollicking lines of The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball, a six stanza verse that is still remembered and anthologized in print and song. Modeling a show after the annual Anson event, Murphey took the celebration on the road, and has over the past two decades, performed the ball in such prestigious venues as Bass Hall (Ft. Worth, TX), The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Oklahoma City, OK), the National Hispanic Cultural Center Journal Theater (Albuquerque, NM) and The Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University (Austin, TX).
As Cowboys Christmas new sponsor, Spalding Fly Predators is proud to be joining Michael in this cherished holiday celebration. Per chief fly guy, Tom Spalding, "We've been helping horse and livestock owners keep their facilities fly free for over 39 years. Michael's passion for ranching and horses makes him the perfect partner in our quest to spread the word about enjoying the cowboy lifestyle without flies. Concert goers can receive a free copy of our 2015 calendar featuring the gorgeous paintings of renowned Cowboy artist Kenneth Wyatt, and they'll be treated to an onsite traveling display featuring Kenneth's paintings as well."
This year's tour begins on Nov. 21 in Colorado Springs and will continue through December. Visit www.michaelmartinmurphey.com for a complete listing of stops on the tour. “The Cowboy Christmas Ball is steeped in everything I hold dear of growing up in Texas at Christmas time,” Murphey said. “All the old dances are here... the waltzes, the mazurkas, the Paul Jones, the Virginia Reel... all these dances are still done here. The women make their own costumes and clothes and the men still wear string ties and frock coats. It’s a family reunion of friends. “This is my favorite season of the year,” Murphey continued. “We remember our fathers and mothers. We celebrate our children and we treasure our friends and the many blessings given by our Lord. It really brings out the very best in all of us.”
To register to win 2 VIP concerts tickets to a Michael Martin Murphey show when he is in your area click here.
See the newest Michael Martin Murphey video we've done in our video section.
Deer flies are water breeders and can travel long distances, making them impossible to control in their larval stages. However, there are a few ways to help keep them away from you. BugPellent Gel is a good repellent if they are bothering you while out riding. If they bother you more in a specific spot, such as near a pool or in a back yard, etc., then a trap may be another way to go. There are traps that you can build yourself. You can search online for plans to build the home made version by searching for Manitoba Trap. For deer flies, another trap that works pretty well is to get something like a kickball and paint it blue (deer flies are particularly attracted to blue), then cover the ball in a product called Tanglefoot (you can usually find this at places like HomeDepot), then hang the sticky blue ball in a tree near where you spend time.
Extended Deer Fly Information
"We and they love your Fly Predators. No annoying flies around the manure in the barn or even in our house." says happy Fly Predator customer Kathy S.
Kathy cares for her big and beautiful oxen Dale, Max, Jake, and Chip by using Fly Predators. Her oxen weight about 2,600 pounds each and stand anywhere from 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall! That's a lot to love! :-)
Thanks so much for sharing these terrific photos with us! You can read more wonderful customer testimonials close to home on our Customer Quotes Near Me page!
Dr. Robert M. Miller discovered Pat Parelli at Bishop Mule Days when he was not yet 26 years of age. Dr. Miller recalls witnessing a young man loudly explaining to a small group of perhaps a dozen people how he was going to mount a mule colt and ride it for the first time. "This ought to be good" Dr. Miller thought to himself, and stopped to watch the show. A half an hour later he returned to his camper where his wife, Debby Miller was taking a break and told her, "I want you to come see this young guy working with a colt. I have never seen such natural talent in my life."
After Pat's demonstration was over Dr. Miller introduced himself.
"I know who you are." Pat said. "You work for Western Horseman Magazine."
Dr. Miller collected Pat's contact information and on his way home, got an idea. Dr. Miller pitched the idea of an article for Western Horseman Magazine to Pat on his colt starting technique. Pat was delighted. The article turned out to be a series of three in three consecutive issues titled, "A New Look at Same Old Methods." The series launched a demand for Pat's services, and the rest is history.
You can read Dr. Miller's 3 part series articles "A New Look at Same Old Methods" here.
Dr. Sharon Spier is a brilliant member of the faculty at the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in California. I recently attended one of her lectures at a veterinary conference. The subject was Pigeon Fever, a rapidly spreading disease of horses caused a bacteria, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis.
I never heard of this disease when I was in veterinary school in Colorado, nor when I practiced in Arizona.
However, after I moved to Southern California in 1957 I saw many hundreds of cases. Known as “Dryland Distemper” a majority of cases involved abscessation in the pectoral muscles of the chest. The huge swellings led to the term “Pigeon Fever”.
Nearly all of these cases survived, but in some cases the abscesses developed elsewhere as in the belly wall, the sheath of males, or the udder of mares. Still, most cases survived, with or without treatment. However, sometimes the abscesses were internal, as in the abdomen. If such an abscess ruptured, the patient usually died.
Back then, how the disease was spread and why it was so regional (mostly in Southern California, but some in the North) was a mystery.
I was aware of several factors:
1. Those ranches and stables that used fly repellants on their horses rarely got the disease. Most of the cases I saw were at places that did not regularly use repellants on the horses even though many of them used insecticides on the premises.
Similarly, once Fly Predators (Spalding Laboratories) became available, the users very rarely experienced the disease. So, for example, because I have always used repellants on my equines, and Fly Predators on the premises since 1979, I have never had a case of the disease in my stock.
This led me to believe that the bacteria were spread by biting flies, now a proven fact. House Flies, Stable Flies and Horn Flies have been incriminated.
2. I often saw cases in the same horse year after year. This suggested a poor immune response and it explains why, after half a century, a simple effective vaccine is not yet available. Research continues.
3. The disease has spread slowly, but progressively all over the U.S.A. and elsewhere. It is more common in warmer climates (probably because of a longer fly season) but now is seen in all climate zones.
Although not a highly fatal disease, it is a nasty, painful, and debilitating problem. For now the best preventative seems to be fly control, including the regular use of repellants on the horses, plus proper use of Fly Predators. On small properties, like mine, this necessitates convincing neighbors to use Fly Predators. I was able to do this. Many horse properties are small enough so that even if Fly Predators are used, the flies from neighboring properties negate the effectiveness of the program.
I have often thought that subdivisions zoned for horses and horse clubs would do well to adopt a Fly Predator program as a communal effort.
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