Honey Stevick DeFord was born on December 19, 1934 in Casper, Wyoming, daughter of Harry H. and Agnes Stevick, and grew up ‘on the
Antelope Creek Ranch belonging to her parents near Bill, Wyoming, in Converse County.
Honey spent her youth on the ranch with her mother Agnes, a former school teacher, home schooling her until high school. During high school she would spend winters in Douglas with her mother renting a house while Harry stayed on the ranch.
In the words of Harry Stevick, “She does not remember when she was first on a horse – not a yearling I am sure. First I would throw her over my shoulder and she would sleep. Later she rode in front of me in the saddle. We took many a wild ride. When she was four she got her own
horse, so ornery a little Shetland as ever lived. He had raised a dozen kids and knew every trick in the book. Many a day we would ride sixty miles and the little Shetland, Peter, would come in fresher than my second horse.”
Harry would “pull her out of class” or take THE Honey” (her nickname) away from Agnes to help around the ranch. Harry believed that motorized vehicles were a passing fad so he continued to raise horses even till the 1940s. He quotes again, “We raised hundreds of beautiful Belgians and many fine Arabs. When I saw they were hurting a thirteen section pasture, we disposed of over two hundred Belgians at one time. We gave away sixty head of the best Belgians and sold one hundred sixty-five to one man who shipped them to France after World War II. They all left the ranch at one time. The Honey and I gathered these horses and corralled them without help — a tremendous tribute to her ability as a horseman.”
Honey spent two semesters at the University of Wyoming but the call of the ranch was too great. She married Warren Wuthier and they spent
several years at Antelope Creek Ranch before it was sold in 1960. She spent time in Johnson County working on the Wuthier Ranch near Banner, WY. She was also on leased ranches in Park County and Fremont County near Lysite, WY.
In the 1960’s, she ran barrels in the Professional Girls Rodeo Assoc. that is now the W.P.R.A. She trained barrel horses, going to rodeos in
Denver, Fort Worth and the outdoor rodeos also. She has a gold PRCA and gold WPRA card. For 25 years (she lost count) she was a timer for the National High School Finals Rodeo. She also flagged State High School Rodeos and too many to count team ropings around Wyoming. She was Old Timer Queen, now called Senior Pro-Circuit, at Lander and Newcastle.
In 1979 she married Jerry DeFord and they managed the Rocking Chair Ranch of the Walt Disney Family near Dubois, WY. They later ran
some cattle near Alcova, WY and then ended up on the Weston County/Niobrara County line. Honey was always in the saddle through all
of these “cattle campaigns”, never one to be around the house very long.
Jerry DeFord passed away in 2008 and Honey came back to Johnson County to help her son, Steve Wuthier, with ranch work on the Wuthier Ranch, where she still rides checking cattle while Steve irrigates and puts up hay. In her spare time Honey has been a published Cowboy Poet and still times for the Sheridan Elks Youth Rodeo in Sheridan, WY. and enjoys a good game of cribbage every chance she gets.