By Hayley M. Cook
WILLIAMSON – A Williamson area native will be honored July 26 by the National Day of the Cowboy organization.
Barb Richhart, who currently lives in Colorado, is originally from Forest Hills, Kentucky, and lived with her family in Williamson.
The daughter of a coal miner, her life began in the coalfields of Kentucky, where she lived on a farm with her large family, the third of 11 children.
Richhart moved with her family at age 13 to Gunnison, Colorado, and there she learned about real cowboys and adopted a genuine cowgirl lifestyle for herself from a young age.
Richhart married a cowboy and became a packhorse outfitter and rancher on a 60,000-acre spread. Now she lives in Mancos, Colorado, and is a disc jockey hosting the weekly two-hour country radio show “Cow Trails,” which is broadcast on KSJD in Cortez.
Richhart has been honored before, both for her work as a DJ and her dedication to the cowgirl lifestyle. In 2009, she was honored as “DJ of the Year” by the Western Music Association, the first female DJ ever presented with that award.
Richhart was named “Cowbelle of the Year” that same year and has been a member and officer of the Cowbelles and the Colorado Cattle Women as well. She has been a long-time advocate of the cowboy lifestyle, directing the attention of senators and congressmen to the numerous challenges someone faces in the ranching industry.
Over the past 10 years, the National Day of the Cowboy has been celebrated across North America as an annual commemoration of cowboy culture and the cowboy way of life.
Richhart is one of four recipients of the prestigious 2014 Cowboy Keeper Award. She will share the honors along with the late cowboy artist Earl Bascom, as well as cowboy poet Andy Nelson and the famous cow town of Dodge City, Kansas.
The National Day of the Cowboy is promoted by a nonprofit organization that works to preserve North America’s cowboy and pioneer heritage. Many states have passed resolutions in support of this commemoration.
Hayley Molloy Cook is a news reporter and writes features for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279, or on Twitter @hayleymcook.