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Guy Holt



In 1903 Guy Holt won the World Championship Bronco Rider contest at Cheyenne Frontier Days, riding Young Steamboat – the horse that was a half-brother to the famed Steamboat. He also won the Festival of Mountain and Plain in Denver in 1903, and that September he rode Steamboat at the Albany County Fair in Laramie.


B. C. Buffum took a photograph of Holt on Steamboat during that ride in Laramie, which was later used to create the symbol for the University of Wyoming Cowboys. The Buffum image also may have been one of many photographs artist Alan True used for inspiration for the original piece of art he drew that became the Wyoming license plate and ultimately the cowboy bucking horse symbol for Wyoming.


Guy Holt’s father, Thomas D. Holt came to Wyoming from Texas with a trail herd in the 1880s and stayed to become the foreman for the McGee-Haygood outfit. Guy, born Dec. 5, 1883, on the Lannon Ranch near Cheyenne, was the oldest in a family of three boys and one girl.


In 1890 Thomas and wife Mary Lannon acquired a ranch on South Crow Creek, in the Iron Mountain country west of Cheyenne. Guy Holt no doubt got his cowboy start there on the family ranch. Later he worked for Charlie Irwin on the Y6 Ranch. One story goes that Irwin had a standing bet of $1,000 in gold to anyone who could outride Guy Holt. While working for Irwin he rode alongside some of the best cowboys of the day including Clayton, Ed, and Jimmy Danks, and Hugh and Duncan Clark. He knew Tom Horn and another story goes that they once shared a bedroll when out in a range camp.


In 1904 he married Annie Jo Gearheart, whose family also ranched in the Iron Mountain country.


In 1905 Guy Holt was voted “most popular cowboy” in two polls, one for Laramie County cowboys and another for cowboys from throughout Wyoming. The Wyoming State Tribune conducted the polls, and the prize was an all expense paid trip to the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon. In 1908 he took part in an exhibition ride for the Buffalo Bill Wild West in North Platte, Nebraska.


After marriage Guy and Annie Holt lived on the Holt Ranch on South Crow Creek. Along with his brothers David (Pat) and Eugene, he broke and sold horses for the soldiers at Fort D. A. Russell. Guy and Annie had seven children, five of whom grew to adulthood: Gwen, Evelyn, Tom, Florence and Ethel.


In 1905 the City of Cheyenne appropriated the waters of Crow Creek for city use. This impacted the value of the Holt Ranch. Although the Holts filed suit against the city, they lost, setting a precedent for Wyoming water law that stands to this day. Because of the loss of the water rights, the Holts left Laramie County and relocated to Sublette County, where they established a new ranch near Cora. Guy and Annie Holt later relocated to Jackson Hole in 1926 where they had another ranching operation. He died in Jackson on June 26, 1946.

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