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Label, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

Friend Ad Letter is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné as reference number CR.ILU.154.

An original bill of sale dated 1975, and original typed letter from original owner to new owner regarding information about the Russell letter will accompany the lot.

According to Western art historian Brian W. Dippie, “Ad Day, general manager of the Knight-Watson Ranching Company in southern Alberta, was responsible for the bucking horses that gave the Canadian stampedes their formidable reputation. With Ray Knight, Day ran the show in 1918 at Lethbridge, and his friendship with Russell was solidified there. Charlie and Nancy sat in the grandstand with Day’s family, watching a titanic struggle between men and horses. In one competition, the Day horses scored a clean sweep, throwing every rider they faced and precipitating a near mutiny as contestants protested that the horses were ‘too large and too tough.’ Needless to say, Russell loved it. The next year in Saskatoon, the paper reported the arrival by train of an iron-grey mare that Day imported ‘especially for the Stampede.’ The mare could have been a gunslinger hired to mow down the enemy, the way it was described. ‘According to Mr. Day she has ‘some iron-grey disposition.’ Buck? Well, say. It took Mr. Day all the morning to get her four feet on the ground long enough at one time to detrain her. ‘She’ll do,’ was all that Mr. Day would say about her.’

“When Day asked for a reference in 1925, Russell responded enthusiastically. Ad Day, he wrote, is ‘a friend of mine who I have known many years.’ His people were cow folks, he was born in cow country, and he had ‘lived all his life on cow ranges he knows cows from Texas to the Saskatchewan north for maney years has handled riding and roping contests he knows that business from start to finish he baught and owned some of the most famus bucking horses in the northwest … when a bronco twister drew a Day horse he dident scratch much.”

Pete and Janet Taggares, Washington

Brian W. Dippie, Charles M. Russell, Word Painter: Letters 1887 -1926, Amon Carter Museum, 1993, p. 339, illustrated

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