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Chuck Baley, a western legend living the life of his dreams

Pagosa Country resident Chuck Baley has nearly 60 years of tireless dedication and involvement with Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Traveling with his uncle from his hometown of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., to Cheyenne Frontier Days, he experienced the magnificent spectacle of CFD with the wonder only a child can see. The rodeo stirred something in his heart, something he had never felt before.

By his 16th birthday, Chuck Baley was back at Frontier Days living his dream working as a cowboy at CFD. His first job was an outrider for a chuckwagon racing team led by Henry Peterson. While under Henry’s tutelage, Chuck was able to have his own outfit. This wild event was conjured up by restless cowboys eager to prove who’s team could return to the finish line with the most gear still in their wagon There is a lot of thrill that comes from the victory and something to surely whoop about, these were serious races with potentially dangerous consequences, Chuck was right at home. He continued to work with Henry Peterson until 1967.

His reputation as a first-class cowboy and rodeo man spurred as his dedication to the demanding and rewarding work grew with time. He and his devoted crew spent 11 months a year traveling from one event to another on the circuit with Harry Vold’s, stock contractor and parade business, performing countless safety inspections of parade wagons, saddling and unsaddling more horses than have been born in the state of Kentucky.

Chuck still works with Harry Vold at CFD, as he has since 1977, Harry is someone Chuck can hardly come up with the words to express how much influence he has had on his career. Even though Chuck spends less time these days traveling with the rodeo, he continues to enjoy his career. Chuck is still driving horses.

On a small ranch outside of Pagosa Springs, he’s still cutting and raking hay fields with his favorite teams, teaching all who are willing to learn. His “Four Corners Driving School” is still passing on the knowledge of horses to the coming generations.

Chuck Baley, an American original, is truly a genuine western legend living the life of his dreams.

Courtesy Cheyenne Frontier Days.

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