Missouri Cowboy Poets Association to host fundraising event

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | 5:34 p.m. CDT; updated 5:40 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 16, 2008

COLUMBIA — As the dust settles on Saturday at the Show Me Farms Sale Arena, visitors will have a chance to peer into history as the Flying T-E Ranch presents "An Evening in the West."  A chuck-wagon meal will be followed by a show put on by the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association and Del Shields.

The Missouri Cowboy Poets Association formed in 1996 when Don Collop, Leroy Watts, Richard Dunlap and Jeff Anslinger got together to promote and preserve the cowboy way of life through song and verse. Collop is chairman of the board for the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association and calls Watts the father of the association. 

If you go

WHAT: "An Evening in the West"

WHERE: Show Me Farms Sale Arena, seven miles south of Columbia on Highway 63 and then a little more than a mile on Route AB

WHEN: Meal at 5:30 p.m. and show at 7 p.m. on Saturday

COST: $20. A few tickets are left and may be purchased at the door.

Collop said the purpose of this event is to raise money for the Missouri Cowboy Poets scholarship program. Funds will go to youth interested in a career in agriculture.

The association has about 60 members, but its numbers have been as high as 100 in the past. Members dress in traditional cowboy garb and perform songs, read poetry and even do rope tricks. 

Del Shields is the co-host of "Best of America on Horseback," which airs Saturdays on RFD-TV.  Shields' motto is, “Come as you are, prepare to go away a little bit Western.” The show's Web site says some refer to Shields as “the cowboy with the velvet voice.”

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