Christmas is a season of tradition, and no one knows that better than Michael Martin Murphey. The iconic, horse loving musician has worked diligently to keep alive the spirit of the first Cowboy Christmas Ball for more than two decades. This year, he launches into the next 20 years with his popular Cowboy Christmas Tour.
Sponsored by Spalding Labs the leading natural fly control company, Murphey and his acclaimed Rio Grande Band will spread Holiday Cheer through nearly 20 cities including a stop in Anson, Texas, where the Cowboy Christmas Ball originated in 1885. “The first time I came to the annual Cowboy Christmas Ball in Anson, Texas, where the community has celebrated the holidays with this event every year since 1934, I was floored that the community had worked so hard to keep it going,” Murphey said. “I fell in love watching the older couples dance and the dances being passed on to the younger people. It reconnected me to the tradition.” That tradition began on Christmas night, 1885, when arriving in Anson, Texas native New Yorker Larry Chittenden chronicled a dancing spectacle unparalleled in those days by composing the rhythmic, rollicking lines of The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball, a six stanza verse that is still remembered and anthologized in print and song. Modeling a show after the annual Anson event, Murphey took the celebration on the road, and has over the past two decades, performed the ball in such prestigious venues as Bass Hall (Ft. Worth, TX), The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Oklahoma City, OK), the National Hispanic Cultural Center Journal Theater (Albuquerque, NM) and The Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University (Austin, TX).
As Cowboys Christmas new sponsor, Spalding Fly Predators is proud to be joining Michael in this cherished holiday celebration. Per chief fly guy, Tom Spalding, "We've been helping horse and livestock owners keep their facilities fly free for over 39 years. Michael's passion for ranching and horses makes him the perfect partner in our quest to spread the word about enjoying the cowboy lifestyle without flies. Concert goers can receive a free copy of our 2015 calendar featuring the gorgeous paintings of renowned Cowboy artist Kenneth Wyatt, and they'll be treated to an onsite traveling display featuring Kenneth's paintings as well."
This year's tour begins on Nov. 21 in Colorado Springs and will continue through December. Visit www.michaelmartinmurphey.com for a complete listing of stops on the tour. “The Cowboy Christmas Ball is steeped in everything I hold dear of growing up in Texas at Christmas time,” Murphey said. “All the old dances are here... the waltzes, the mazurkas, the Paul Jones, the Virginia Reel... all these dances are still done here. The women make their own costumes and clothes and the men still wear string ties and frock coats. It’s a family reunion of friends. “This is my favorite season of the year,” Murphey continued. “We remember our fathers and mothers. We celebrate our children and we treasure our friends and the many blessings given by our Lord. It really brings out the very best in all of us.”
To register to win 2 VIP concerts tickets to a Michael Martin Murphey show when he is in your area click here.
See the newest Michael Martin Murphey video we've done in our video section.
Deer flies are water breeders and can travel long distances, making them impossible to control in their larval stages. However, there are a few ways to help keep them away from you. BugPellent Gel is a good repellent if they are bothering you while out riding. If they bother you more in a specific spot, such as near a pool or in a back yard, etc., then a trap may be another way to go. There are traps that you can build yourself. You can search online for plans to build the home made version by searching for Manitoba Trap. For deer flies, another trap that works pretty well is to get something like a kickball and paint it blue (deer flies are particularly attracted to blue), then cover the ball in a product called Tanglefoot (you can usually find this at places like HomeDepot), then hang the sticky blue ball in a tree near where you spend time.
Extended Deer Fly Information
"We and they love your Fly Predators. No annoying flies around the manure in the barn or even in our house." says happy Fly Predator customer Kathy S.
Kathy cares for her big and beautiful oxen Dale, Max, Jake, and Chip by using Fly Predators. Her oxen weight about 2,600 pounds each and stand anywhere from 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall! That's a lot to love! :-)
Thanks so much for sharing these terrific photos with us! You can read more wonderful customer testimonials close to home on our Customer Quotes Near Me page!
My horse farm, where I have lived for 40 years, is only 5 acres. Behind us is a mountain. Across from us is a lake. To the West there is a large ranch. East of us are two small 5 acre places, one with horses, the other with other animals. East of them are similar small places.
When I started using Fly Predators in 1979, transforming my home from a severely fly-infested place to one, as it is now, a place with a very minimal fly problem, I had to persuade my neighbors to also use Fly Predators. That’s because the range of efficacy for these tiny insects is limited. Five acres is a small place. If only I used the Fly Predators, they would reduce the fly population, which, here in Southern California lasts 8-9 months of the year. However, because of the neighbor’s fly problem, the effect would not be as dramatic as it is.
So, understanding the technology and the science behind it, I realized that I would have to convert my neighbors to become Fly Predator users.
Here’s what I did:
I explained to the owners of the large Canyon Ranch to the West of us what I was doing. Since their fence line was close to my home, their cattle (and manure) was also close. I asked permission to use my Predators on their side of the fence. They said, “Sure”, and seemed interested in the technology.
Result? They became Spalding Labs customers forever afterward, using the Fly Predators around their home, which is half a mile down the road from my home. (But I still use my Predators on their side of my fence.)
East of us, I asked the two immediate neighbors if I could use my Fly Predators on their property, so I could enjoy relative relief from flies.
Both agreed and were interested as I explained the technology, especially because I was a large animal veterinary practitioner. The result? They became Fly Predator customers and remain so to this day. This is the reason we get such good results on our small properties.
Before I retired from practice I persuaded several horse subdivisions with lots varying in size from ½ acre to 2½ acres to convince their community horse associations to use Fly Predator programs on the respective entire subdivisions. This guarantees optimum control over the obnoxious and harmful fly population.
I never could imagine in 1959, when I discovered that foals can be trained quickly, effectively and lastingly, that it would change my life and that, after practice retirement, it would result in a second career.
I have taught at all but five veterinary schools in Canada and the U.S.A., plus many in other countries.
I have done live horse clinics and seminars all over the world. My wife, Debby, and I have been to more than 40 countries, some many times.
For example, in June of 2015 we returned for our 9th visit to Switzerland. It was still cool. Early spring in the Alps. Actually it was my 10th visit because my first was at age 19 on an army furlough.
Switzerland is our favorite foreign country to visit. Aside from the incredible mountains, the beautiful towns, the immaculate streets and roads (you never see trash) the overwhelming beauty of every village, every farm, the meadows, and the forests, and the nice people, are the reasons Switzerland is our favorite place to visit.
I became aware on this last trip of one problem; flies in every restaurant we ate in ten days. No matter how upscale the restaurant, there were flies.
Why? Several reasons:
No matter how expensive the restaurant, and they are expensive ($20 hamburgers). Of course, the food is great. The flies love it.
So here’s a message to Switzerland, land of two outstanding veterinary schools and among the world’s foremost scientific and agricultural technologies:
The flies in Switzerland are very elusive. I tried swatting them many times, but only twice did I kill any: Once with my hand, and once with my menu. (They may have been old.)
This unplanned second career would not have happened if I were not a writer. I wrote about my foal training and it was published several times. This led to invitations to teach what I called “Imprint Training” (because it is trained during the immediate postpartum imprinting period).
That subsequently, led to requests to speak about Imprint Training at a school, or an expo, or a veterinary convention, or a horse group.
I respond as follows:
“I’ll be glad to accept your invitation. But, I teach equine behavior including foal training.
The response has always been, “Oh good!” Except once.
I was invited to speak at an annual Walking Horse conference. So I said the usual. They said, “No! We only want to hear about Imprint Training.”
So, I said, “Okay.”
When I went, however, I gave them my whole presentation on behavior, including foal training.
They were happy and so was I.
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