In his welcome to this chronicle of Western Horseman’s 75 years, current Publisher Darrell Dodds writes, “On the following pages, former Western Horseman Publisher Randy Witte has authored the most comprehensive history of the magazine that’s ever been written.”
Even more important: “Witte also recognized that a magazine, when done well, can be magical in its ability to educate, inform, entertain and inspire.”
That belief obviously focuses on the stock-horse industry. But the passion to deliver the “magic” has come from staffers themselves, horse owners as invested in the western lifestyle as the magazine’s readership.
Among the magicians: Witte’s larger-than-life predecessor, Dick Spencer, and longtime Editor Pat Close, who rode 40 years for the brand, and many others on the magazine staff. All, Witte says, contributed to “take the readers to places they’d never go, meet interesting characters they’d never heard of and learn things they’d never imagined.”
That the magazine continues into its 75th year is testament that throughout its history Western Horseman successfully has pursued these objectives.
Randy Witte worked for Western Horseman magazine from 1977 through 2006, starting as editorial assistant and progressing through roles as associate editor, editor, and finally publisher beginning in 1989. In celebration of the magazine's 75th anniversary, he wrote a history of Western Horseman that is filled with colorful profiles of the owners, editors and writers who have informed and entertained generations of readers ever since 1936.
From the beginning, Western Horseman was there to encourage the formation of various breed associations and registries, and to help readers learn how to raise, train, care for, and use their horses. This book is filled with photos, personal recollections, and vignettes of the people who helped to grow the magazine and see the horse reemerge as an important part of the American West.Today, Randy and his wife, Marsha, still have horses, and they also raise Longhorn cattle east of Colorado Springs. During the course of 50 years, Randy went from being a Western Horseman reader to longtime staff member and now is back to being a dedicated reader of his favorite magazine.