Jeremy Buhler got a wild hair a couple weeks ago. So he got out his horse clippers and went to whacking on his trademark facial hair.
“It was just time,” said the Canadian-native 2016 World Champion Heeler, who was at his American home in Phoenix when he literally showed his face for the first time in years. “Time to start a new one.”
Buhler started his world-famous beard nearly four years ago—in August of 2014—when then-partner Rhen Richard bet him he couldn’t go without shaving until that November.
“I won the bet, and by that point I just decided to keep it,” said the Arrowhead, Alberta, cowboy, who won the world with close friend and countryman Levi Simpson in 2016. “It kind of grew on me.
“I’ve always hated shaving. And a lot of people in my family have always had beards. Two of my three brothers and me (Kelly, Justin, and Jeremy) all had beards. Our fourth brother (Clint) is a cop, so he’s not allowed to have a beard.”
It took a three-prong approach of horse clippers, electric shaver, and a razor to get the job done. Since the close shave, not even some of his best rodeo buddies have been recognizing Buhler.
“The guys are all friendly, and will say, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ when they walk or ride by me,” Buhler said. “Then later on that day, they’ll come up and tell me they had no idea it was me. If that’s happened once, it’s happened 60 times. No one recognizes me. I could have robbed a bank with the beard then shaved, and no one could have identified me.”
“I told him yesterday I had no idea who he was,” Clay O’Brien Cooper said. “I’ll bet I rode by him 10 times before I recognized him. He switched horses, too, so that made him even more mysterious.”
“The only people who recognize me know me from the old days,” said Buhler, 30.
“I didn’t do a double take, but it brought me back to when we were kids,” Simpson said. “I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Instead of looking like an old man, he looks like a little kid. He’s got a baby face.”
Get a good look at him now. Buhler says he’s going to give it a couple months, but will then shelve his razor blades again and get started on the next one—just in time to give Santa Claus a run for his money in the Best Beard Contest.
“I figured it’d grow back better if I shaved it off,” Buhler said. “If I start in June or July, I should have a good beard back by winter.”