2009 Hall of Fame Inductee
ALBINO TAIS (Posthumous)
2009 Hall of Fame Inductee
Tais was born in northern Mexico in the late eighteen hundreds, and it is believed he was a full blood Yaqui Indian. During the days when Pancho Villa was fighting in the Mexican Revolution and across the border in the Southern US, the Yaqui Indians, among others, were pressed into service in Pancho Villa’s army. Part or all of Tais’s immediate family were killed by Pancho Villa in Mexico during this period. Tais escaped to California but not before he was shot in the leg. He retained an annoying scar, just above his ankle, for the rest of his life. Tais also had a brand on his back put there by Pancho Villa’s troops. He had very little formal education. At the turn of the century, and at the time of Pancho Villa in Northern Mexico, staying alive had a higher priority.
It was in California, during the late teens and early 1920’s that Tais learned to be a very accomplished horseman in the style of the old Spanish Vaquero. During the 1920’s he worked for Miller and Lux on ranches in California, Nevada and Oregon. At the beginning of the Great Depression, when jobs were almost non-existent, he spent a short stint on a chicken ranch. However, this Spanish Vaquero wasn’t cut out for chicken house duty so he didn’t last long.
In the mid 1930’s he and Tex Bouscal, his long time friend, gathered, purchased and traded for horses in Nevada and trailed them to horse markets in California as far south as San Francisco. They made several trips, one of the last being in the summer of 1935 and it was during this time that he and Tex ran a riding academy near Siegler Springs, California.
From 1935 to 1945 he rode for two large Nevada Ranches, the Quarter Circle A and the Twenty Five. At the Twenty Five he rode the rough string and broke colts. In 1945 the Jenkins Co. purchased the Twenty Five and so again he rode for many years under the Twenty Five iron.
Tais never made a bad horse, but he made a lot of bad horses good. All were trained in the old Spanish Vaquero way. He may not have had a show horse, but wherever he rode all of his string of 10 to 15 horses were top notch. In those years when he was riding the rough string he would often hobble his stirrups if he had a horse that was hard to ride. He was a beautiful roper and rider until the day he died. Heeling calves is an art in itself. On a brush strewn rodeo ground there was no one better. As many a roper can attest it is not uncommon to lose a thumb in the dalleys. On Tais’ right hand there was a stub you could see, where a thumb used to be.
There was never any doubt as to Tais’ ability as a buckaroo, he could do it all exceptionally well. However, one of his greatest attributes was Tais as a person. He was a fun loving person with a great sense of humor and that old time Spanish personality. He was a gentleman and very, very respectful around the ladies. Tais died as he lived, on horseback, June 29, 1960 at the St. Johns Field in Elko County, Nevada.
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