ChisholM trail festival celebrates 150th anniversary of famed cattle trail in oklahoma
YUKON, OKLAHOMA - The pounding of hooves, crack of leather, clatter of a chuck wagon and shouts of enthusiastic mounted riders filled the Chisholm Trail in the fall of 2017 as Oklahoma celebrated the 150th anniversary of the famed trail where is crossed Bob Funk’s land near Yukon.
The Chisholm Trail Festival was held on the land where the last golden trail marker was erected in Canadian County.
“From the first few cattle ‘headed north to Abilene’ followed by millions of head of cattle traveling the expanded route, we appreciate the significance of the Chisholm Trail being the largest man made migration of animals in history,” said Bob Funk, western enthusiasts and owner of Express Ranches and the famed Express Clydesdales. “We hope all individuals value and appreciate our country’s western heritage and encourage them to visit Chisholm Trail cultural centers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.”
The day began with 150 horseback riders on the trail wearing period clothing accompanied by the Express Clydesdales.
A geographically authentic mini-version of the trail will be set up near Yukon where Oklahoma cities can actually create their own stations to highlight their city’s unique Chisholm Trail history.
Cities like Duncan, Enid, Ft. Reno, Kingfisher, Chickasha Yukon, Tuttle, Concho and many more participated. There were pony rides, calf roping and other ranch-related activities for children and an authentic chuck wagon and modern food trucks to rustle up some trail chow for the thousands of visitors who attended.
Statue unveiled at historic chisolm trail marker in oklahoma
YUKON, OKLAHOMA - Millions and millions of cattle have made their way across Oklahoma along an historic point telling a unique story in the world’s history which is – the story of the cattle drives along the Chisolm Trail. The very last gold marker on the famed trail, celebrating 150 years in 2017, is located on the Funk Express Ranch, near Yukon. Two Oklahoma Governors, civic and business leaders joined the Funk family and friends on the trail Thursday, August 18 at 5:30 p.m. to reset the famed marker and add a new life-size statue of Bob Funk on horseback to commemorate the site.
The statue was a surprise gift to Express Ranch Founder and Express Employment Professionals CEO Bob Funk for his 75th birthday.
“My dad has always been a cowboy in his heart and in his actions. Depicting him on horseback and placing it on the Chisolm Trail was an ideal way to honor him on his birthday,” said Bob Funk Jr. “Bob Funk exemplifies the cowboy life, values and western lifestyle.”
The Chisolm Trail was the economic engine in post-war America to drive cattle over land from Texas to Kansas rail stations where they would be sold and delivered to eastern markets.
The statue depicts Funk on horseback looking down the valley on the Chisolm Trail where it crosses his land and where cattle still graze today. Family and friends, including such notables as country western star Toby Keith and national talk show host Sean Hannity, combined resources to bring the statue to reality.
“Bob and I share a commitment to preserve our western heritage so it was an honor and a privilege to be selected for this project,” said well-known western sculptor and saddle maker John David Rule. “The statue will stand in a very unique area of our state and nation and I think it’s going to become a destination spot. I’m already amazed how many people stop to see the area and take pictures. With the statue installation we expect that visitor traffic to increase.”
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin spoke at the event on behalf of Mr. Funk and former Governor George Nigh will served as emcee for the celebration. Entertainment was provided by the young singing sensation Olivia Kay from Edmond, Oklahoma.