NFR-qualifying heeler York Gill still wears the buckle he won at the Rodeo de Santa Fe (New Mexico) in 2005 with World Champion David Motes on the head side.
“I was 22, and I hadn’t gone all winter,” Gill remembers. “Dave called me and asked if I wanted to rope, and because of who he is and what he’s won, I said ‘Put me down.’ I didn’t have any money won and just wanted the opportunity to go. So winning that first PRCA buckle with Dave Motes had so much meaning.”
Motes and Gill won the average at the two-header rodeo after driving all night from the Reno Rodeo to make Santa Fe.
“I was riding JR, a horse I bought from Martin Lucero,” Gill added. “He’s dead now, but he was an awesome horse and everyone knew him. I remember I was so nervous when we backed into the box on our second steer. We’d placed high in the first round and I just really got nervous. But we drew a good one and made another good run and hung on for the average.”
Gill said he often teases himself for wearing such an old-school buckle, but the vintage look attracts attention wherever he goes.
“It’s so antique looking, I’ve had more people walk up to me and tell me it was an awesome buckle than anything else I’ve worn.”