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  • Writer's picture@ Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

"Bronco Buster", U.S. Presidents Carry On

Hair Like Mine: President Barack Obama invites Jacob Philadelphia, 5, to touch his hair after the boy asked whether it was the same as his. The Bronco Buster bronze sculpture is on the right. Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House Photographer at the time, took the photograph in 2009. Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, both sets of Souza's grandparents emigrated from the Azores, Portugal.


Whatever their political stripe, nearly a dozen United States presidents have breathed the same air as a cowboy grabbing a fistful of a horse's mane to keep his mount on the rearing animal.

All the leaders grasped their common bond of carrying on for the good of the country and of the world.

Sculptor Frederic Remington based The Bronco Buster (1895) on a sketched illustration for The Home Ranch, an article by his friend and future U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt, in Century Magazine.

The sculpture was the first of 22 by the artist, who previously had painted scenes of the American Old West, reported The Daily News of Batavia, New York (February 2, 2021). The bronze work exists in about 300 casts.

Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, the unit which he led in the Spanish-American War, presented him with a cast, which is at the Saginaw Hill Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York. Ronald Reagan also received a cast as a gift for Rancho del Cielo, a family ranch in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Santa Barbara, California, which became known as the Western White House. And Jimmy Carter, who also was given a cast, placed it in the White House, where it has stayed, mostly in the Oval Office, since then. 


The Bronco Buster (left) in the Oval Office shadows President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford on December 6, 1974. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly)


President Jimmy Carter stands astride The Bronco Buster in the Oval Office on February 2, 1977. (Photo by Marion Trikosko, from the Library of Congress)


The Bronco Buster (left) and President George W. Bush (Photo by Paul Morse Photography)


President Ronald Reagan and Robert D. Nesen, car dealer and diplomat, flank Nesen's gift for the Western White House when he was Ambassador to Australia (1981-1985), according to Great American Bronze Works.


President George H. W. Bush (right), the sculpture in the window, and Ron Kaufman, director of White House personnel, in February 1992 (Photo by David Valdez/White House file)


President Bill Clinton is briefed on the Kosovo War by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Hugh Shelton, CIA Director George Tenet (right), and others on March 31, 1999 with Remington's work in the window (Photo from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


President Joe Biden's private office when he had COVID-19 in 2022 with The Bronco Buster on the right


President Donald J. Trump presents the Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz , "one of the greatest (football) coaches in American history" on December 3, 2020,  reported ESPN. (Photo by Doug Mills/Pool/CNP Abaca Press/CNS)


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