Buckle Up with Camilo and Gio de la Cruz

Cesar de la Cruz's kids sport his Cheyenne Frontier Days buckles.
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Cesar de la Cruz's kids sport his Cheyenne Frontier Days buckles.

Despite being a sanctioned event at Cheyenne Frontier Days for only 10 years, Cesar de la Cruz has won the “Daddy of ’Em All” twice: in 2006 with Colter Todd and in 2010 with Derrick Begay. Among team ropers, only Jake Barnes has won it that many times.

Credit: Kirt Steinke

Credit: Kirt Steinke

According to Cheyenne Frontier Days tradition, the buckle has five wreaths, and each year a contestant wins, a diamond is added to the wreath and the year won engraved inside it. Plus, you get another buckle. No one has filled a buckle in a single event. Steer roper Everett Shaw, bull rider Smokey Snyder, barrel racer Kristie Peterson and all-around hand Jim Shoulders all won it four times.

De la Cruz’s sons, Camilo and Gio, wear his buckles from Cheyenne and he has joked that if he and his wife, Arena, have another child, he’ll have to win Cheyenne again.