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Monday 10 December 2018

Cowboy Mick sets up his own slice of the Wild West...in Laois

A real-life Irish cowboy has revealed how he turned his Laois farm into a Wild West-style ranch with its own saloon and jailhouse.

Laois man Mick LaCumbre, who stars in RTE series Stetsons and Stilettos, reveals how he has his own piece of American-style frontier in the Midlands with the Fossey Mountain Springs Western Riding Ranch.

Mick is among a small but growing community of horse lovers who are now living their lives cowboy-style and training their American breed horses Western-style.

A real-life Irish cowboy has revealed how he turned his Laois farm into a Wild West-style ranch with its own saloon and jailhouse.

Laois man Mick LaCumbre, who stars in RTE series Stetsons and Stilettos, reveals how he has his own piece of American-style frontier in the Midlands with the Fossey Mountain Springs Western Riding Ranch.

Mick is among a small but growing community of horse lovers who are now living their lives cowboy-style and training their American breed horses Western-style.

And the Stetson-wearing Irishman said he lives his entire life Western-style 24/7 on his ranch in Timahoe, where he trains Appaloosa horses and teaches clients to rope cattle.

“No matter what time of the day you see me this is who I am. I’m a cowboy at heart,” he says.

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“I always wanted to have a cowboy town, so I built my own. We have a jailhouse and a boot store.”

He even has the toilets in his ranch housed in the facade of a two-storey saloon.

Shooting

And he said visitors to the ranch get the full Western experience, from riding the range to shooting practice and roping cattle.

“We teach people to rope. There’s not that many roping in Ireland. It’s illegal to rope cattle in Ireland unless you have a breakaway rope, which I have.”

The only thing missing is cattle, but the Fossey Ranch is technically a riding school, although the saloon and roping lessons give it the feel of a working farm.

Mick says horse-lovers can get a taste of Western riding without going all the way to the States.

Irish horse-lover Niall Bradley is also obsessed with everything cowboy and western – which he dates to his brain haemorrhage 15 years ago.

“Sure, I had a brain haemorrhage 15 years ago and I was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital. I don’t know if they planted a horse’s hair in my brain, but from then I’ve been crazy about horses,” he says.

Competing

He explains on Stetsons and Stilettos how he has been competing with his horses in the All-Ireland Western Horse Championships, which are held in Leitrim.

“There are quite a lot of riders in it. It’s the love of the horses and the whole cowboy thing goes with it. They put on their Stetsons and go show a horse. We try to make it look easy, but it’s not easy.

“It’s one of the hardest disciplines because you are only allowed to use one hand.”

His daughter Danielle says people do double takes when they see her cowboy dad walking down the street.

“It is very unusual to have a daddy that is a cowboy that lives in Ireland because they are normally from America,” she says.

“When he is walking down the street with a cowboy hat on him, everybody s looking at him. They’re like ‘he’s not wise’.”

His wife Jackie says he “eats, sleeps, drinks horses”.

Night

“He works day and night, morning, noon and night, seven days a week. I am a horse widow!” she says on the show.

l Stetsons and Stilettos will be shown on RTE One on Tuesday at 7.00pm


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