Ace Berry, recent inductee into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Champions, and Christie Camarillo, Executive Director of the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, were both featured in separate western magazines, bringing Oakdale center stage in the national market for their individual accomplishments.
Berry graced the cover of the November issue of Western Horseman Magazine, for the feature – Glory without Gold — about how five cowboys became rodeo legends without winning world titles. Berry tells about his rodeo days and how winning the Gold Buckle (world championship) didn’t seem to be a “big deal” to him back then. Looking back, he said he wished he had taken just one year to hit the road full time to see what might have happened. While Berry never won the Gold Buckle he accomplished something that no one else has ever done. He’s the only cowboy in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association history to win two National Finals Rodeo average titles at each end of the arena. He claimed team roping average wins in 1967 and 1972 and bareback riding average crowns in 1971 and 1972. Berry said that winning the average the same year in both the team roping and bareback riding was to him, just like winning a world title.
Camarillo found herself in the spotlight when American Cowboy magazine sought her for a feature story in the December/January issue.
The article entitled, Cowgirl Ambassador, offers a snapshot of the busy woman who is credited with keeping Oakdale’s western heritage alive and kicking with her dedication to preserving the area’s rich ranching history.
Camarillo said she thought she snagged the magazine’s attention with the promotional event that happened over the summer involving a sister city with a rich rodeo history as well.
“I believe we’re still reaping the benefits from the fun challenge we had with Stephenville, Texas over who was “really” the Cowboy Capital of the World,” Camarillo said. “It caught the attention of a lot of people. You wouldn’t believe the media coverage we received with that contest.”
As busy as Camarillo remains with her various committees, causes, and responsibilities — not to mention her own ranching and rodeo history with famous rodeo champion brothers — she was stunned when the call came for an interview.
“I was in disbelief at first but it did put a big smile on my face,” Camarillo said. “I’m always working on getting (free) media exposure for the Cowboy Museum and constantly send press releases to various media outlets for our events. So talking about the Cowboy Museum is something I do all the time. But when she said they wanted to feature me as a “trailblazer” I said, are you kidding! It is exciting though how we have blazed a successful trail for the Cowboy Museum and I’m proud we’re being recognized nationally for it. We are the Cowboy Capital of the World, you know.”
This is Camarillo’s first feature in a national publication though it’s no surprise that she’d snag the interest of a western publication eventually as Camarillo is, as the title says, an ambassador for promoting the western way of things.
In addition to her duties as the executive director at the Cowboy Museum, Camarillo was tapped to join the Rodeo Historical Society’s board of directors under the umbrella of The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
“It feels great to be recognized anytime but to be recognized in a magazine that epitomizes the western lifestyle and western people is about as good as it gets,” Camarillo said.