This is an original antique saddle marked E. C. Lee Pierre,So. Dak. Maker in two different places as well as it has the intials T.R. on it and is misisng a stirrup.Emmett C. Lee was located in Pierre, South Dakota. His first catalog was issued in 1907 and his twentieth catalog in 1927. History is sketchy concerning the beginnings of E.C. Lee but his saddles tell the story of a great artisan and leather craftsman. His saddles consistently displayed ornate tooling, uncharacteristic of the period. Lee Saddles were world famous during the 1920’s. His popularity grew during this period because he made the Cooper Contest Saddles. The original contest saddle was made for Kenneth Cooper who lived west of Ft. Pierre, South Dakota. Kenneth Cooper was the Casey Tibbs of his day. Casey Tibbs was a nine-time, world champion cowboy who went on to become a Hollywood celebrity in the 1950’s. The swell or pommel of the contest saddle came out wide on both sides so a rider could get his knees under them and “lock on”. The saddles were later disqualified for competition. This style was better known then and today as a ”Bear-Trap Saddle”. E.C. Lee made other style saddles, but his “contest saddle” was the most popular with cowboys who supplemented their income riding bucking horses.
Price $ 395

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