Journal on the Road

Western Retail

July 5, 2011

Battle in the Saddle is known for its exciting western performances, but there’s also a lot of exciting shopping going on.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Troy Flaharty of Tryon, Oklahoma, makes bits and spurs for cutters, reiners,

Troy Flaharty etches details into a bit that will be a prize for American Rope Horse Futurity Association competition. (Larri Jo Starkey) For more photos, scroll to the slide show below.

ropers and barrel racers, so it’s only natural that he found his way to the inaugural Battle in the Saddle to sell his wares.

And it’s no surprise that he came back this year, where he’s among 30 vendors at Battle in the Saddle, presented by RFD-TV.

Troy started making bits and spurs about 20 years ago.

“I’m getting closer every day (to good),” he says with a smile. “I’m not where I want to be, but I’m getting closer.”

Appreciation of the handmade and the original led Troy to his custom business. His buyers want unique pieces, and they can pick their inspiration from the pieces he has displayed near the warm-up arena for the Jim Norick Arena at the Superbarn on the State Fair Park grounds in Oklahoma City.

Spectators at Battle in the Saddle will be able to see offerings from cowboy hats to western magazines to leather and rhinestones. Admission is free, and the shopping is open daily during the competition.

The Journal is on the road for the 2011 Battle in the Saddle. For coverage from the Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association World Series of Cutting event preliminaries, check out

For more Journal photos from the first day of competition at Battle in the Saddle, watch the slide show below. Click on each photo to read the caption.

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