Jackson Taylor's tragic death at the Estancia Valley Ranch Rodeo in Moriarty deeply impacted the local community. The East Mountain Rodeo Association is organizing a raffle to support Taylor's family, underscoring the unity of the ranching community during tough times.
When Jackson Taylor died in an accident during the Estancia Valley Ranch Rodeo in Moriarty in July, it had a profound impact locally.
While Taylor wasn’t from the area, hailing from Lockney, Texas, he was a regular on the ranch rodeo circuit — and had even been on a reality television show featuring cowboys — and he was a big part of the rodeo family, said Chris Morgan, board chairman of the East Mountain Rodeo Association.
“We are from a rural community and one thing about rural communities is we come together to help when things like this happen,” he said. “We come together to help families out.”
The association is conducting a raffle, with all of the proceeds going to Taylor’s family, Morgan said. With thousands of dollars worth of prizes available, tickets will be sold through Thanksgiving week, with the drawing set for Nov. 22.
“I’ve gotten to know his mom and dad fairly well through this whole experience,” Morgan said. “I’ve learned a lot about Jackson, and him as a kid and everything in general.”
Rodeo riders and their families – whether professional or working cowboys like Taylor – understand that it is an inherently dangerous business and that accidents can happen on the rodeo grounds or on the range.
“Every one of these guys, when they climb on board these animals, just like out on the ranch, anything can happen at any time,” he said. “Sometimes you get fluke accidents. I’ve been with his parents and they told me he went out doing exactly what he loved doing. It’s a shame how it happened, but in the same respect, it brought a community together and it brought folks together and made it more impactful that we in the ranching community that we’re here to represent and support and when bad things happen we all work together and pull together to overcome it.”