Gold Buckles Don’t Lie - The Untold Tale of Fred Whitfield

Eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield is pleased to announce his autobiography Gold Buckles Don't Lie is now available for purchase. Whitfield's autobiography starts with his childhood in Cypress, Texas and ends with the 2012 NFR. In addition to an inside look at his meteoric career in ProRodeo, fans who thought they knew all about Fred will be stunned at some of the details...many of which have never been told until now.

“This book will be a must read,” said Cassie Whitfield, Fred’s wife. “Through the book writing process Fred has opened up about so many things that his fans have never heard and even a few I didn’t know. You won’t want to miss it.”

See a sample below:

 

Table of Contents

Giddings.........................................................................................................1

 

Chapter 1: Kluge Road..................................................................................3

 

Chapter 2: We Just Wanted To Be Cowboys.............................................13

 

Chapter 3: Moffitt Oil..................................................................................25

 

Chapter 4: Houston......................................................................................37

 

Chapter 5: Bad Dads....................................................................................53

 

Chapter 6: The Pond....................................................................................65

 

Chapter 7: Bless Her Heart.........................................................................79

 

Chapter 8: Random Acts of Vengeance....................................................91

 

Chapter 9: The Ocean................................................................................105

 

Chapter 10: Madame X..............................................................................121

 

Chapter 11: A Full Recovery......................................................................137

 

Chapter 12: Once Upon a Time….............................................................149

 

Chapter 13: The All-Around......................................................................163

 

Chapter 14: Moon’s Last Run....................................................................179

 

Chapter 15: A Lion in the Winter..............................................................195

 

Chapter 16: Last Words...............................................................................207

 

Chapter 17: 2012...........................................................................................221

 

Chapter 18: The Last Chapter.....................................................................235

 

Epilogue.........................................................................................................246

 

Acknowledgements.....................................................................................247

Giddings

Each spring, the Texas Calf Ropers Association strategically planned their jackpot in Giddings around the San Antonio and Houston rodeos. It always drew some of the best ropers in the world simply because they were in the neighborhood and 1983 was no exception. They were all there. Roy Cooper came with four gold buckles, and another four to come; Barry Burk had seventeen trips to the NFR under his belt; Joe Beaver was still two years from the first of his eight world champion-ships, but every cowboy in Texas knew where he was headed. It was an elite club indeed, and they had all taken pretty much the same path to get there. Most who succeeded at that level had families steeped in rodeo for generations who gave them all they needed to get where they were.

Alongside the cream, there was a crop of another hundred or so less-notable entrants, but until you saw them rope, it was hard to tell a hero from a hopeful. Except one. He arrived in a borrowed pick-up, pulling a borrowed trailer – he rode a borrowed horse and paid his entry fees with borrowed money. Few knew who he was when he got there. Everyone knew who he was when he left.

Roy Moffitt, the guy who had loaned him the truck, trailer, horse and money was with him that day in Giddings. He remembers thinking oh my goodness when he looked around and saw the competition. “Roy Cooper was an absolute legend at the time,” says Moffitt. “And he was just one of several.” None of it bothered Moffitt’s young friend; in fact, that is just how he liked things – near impossible. It was on this day in Giddings, that Fred Whitfield beat the biggest names in the business to win the first round of the jackpot. He was sixteen years old.

**

That was a pretty big turning point and it was then I realized that I might have what it took. I was like 9.1 and I think 10 or 11 won second. I didn’t end up winning the roping, but I ended up winning third in the average…and I beat some bad asses to do it. They knew then there was a star being born down here in Texas and people started talking. Just like nowadays, they talk about who’s coming up, who’s going to be the next phenomenon, and after Giddings, they were talking about me.

I probably won twenty-five hundred dollars, so me and Roy were on cloud nine. Back then, at my age, that was like winning the lottery. First, I had to pay Roy because it was his horse and his rig and his fuel and he paid my fees everywhere we went, so he got a percentage. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing and that’s what I had without him – nothing. It wasn’t like I come from absolutely nothing, but I wouldn’t even call it middle class. It was lower class. But me and Roy had one of the best understandings in the world. Hell, there were times where if we didn’t have enough money for both of us to rope, then he’d just enter me – he wouldn’t even rope. Seriously, he’d enter me and say, “Stick it on ‘em,” and we’d leave with a boatload of money and be off to the next one.

Around the same time as Giddings, while I was still in high school, I took off rodeoing in Roy’s rig with Spot, his Appaloosa horse. I went to Sonora, Del Rio, and some other places down there to about five of those AJRA [American Junior Rodeo Association] rodeos. I think I won first at four of them and second at the other one. It was in Del Rio one night that I heard this guy say, “I tell you what, there’s a nigger come through here the other night on an app horse and I don’t know who he is, but if he keeps roping like that, we’re gonna know soon enough.”

I didn’t say much. I was the only black guy around there, and I’m thinking there ain’t no way I can whip all these sonofabucks. I’ll just keep putting these grass ropes on their ass and I’ll show them who I am.