Rodeo Cowboy Gets Western Justice

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Ninety-one year old cowboy G.K. Lewallen experienced a little Western justice after the prize saddle he won at Madison Square Garden in New York City 65 years ago was stolen by a burglar in Stephenville.

Four months ago, after a burglar stole his trophy saddle, buckles, his wife’s jewelry and the medallion he received after being inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame, part of National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Okla., Lewallen figured it was all lost.

That’s when Josh Allen wandered into a pawn shop 112 miles away in Garland.

"It had just come out of hock," said Josh Allen. "They just put it on the shelf before I got there."

Allen just happens to be a saddle repairman. He knew he was looking at hand-tooled leather history, and he was determined to get it back to the man who won it.

"Yeah, I tried to buy it," Allen said. "They wanted $500. I talked them down to $380. Know how much they gave for it? $100."

Allen called investigators, who returned the saddle within hours.

Despite his years, G.K. Lewallen easily swung his leg over the saddle on a bench in his living room. He smiled and kicked his legs in the stirrups. "I'm just real proud I won it," he said. "It is a good saddle. I've had it for 65 years."