The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 24, 2010

Suitcase with irreplaceable rodeo items stolen

ENID — Pieces of priceless rodeo history were stolen from a storm shelter where it was being stored, and the owner wants the items back.

Wayne Cornish, a local rodeo star, had irreplaceable belt buckles, medallions, plaques and photo albums stolen from a storm shelter within the last month. Some of the items were his, but most items were memorabilia from his father, Cecil Cornish.

Cornish’s father was a well-known Waukomis rodeo performer with his horse, Smokey. Cecil Cornish had Smokey trained to do arena tricks, such as sitting like a dog, playing dead and taking a bow. Cecil Cornish also trained a Brahma bull, Danger, to jump over cars, among other tricks.

According to an Enid Police Department report, the items were taken in about a month span after they were stored in a storm shelter to protect them from possible storms.

“All this stuff was supposed to be given to the rodeo hall of fame,” Cornish said. “When we had all the bad storms that nearly blew us away, we packed it up and took it to my in-law’s house and put it in their nice storm shelter. We didn’t lock it because it is close to the house. We tried to take good care of it. That’s why we took it over there.”

When Cornish returned to retrieve the items Wednesday, one of the suitcases the items were stored in was missing, along with the items it contained. According to Cornish, the suitcase had two belt buckles from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame with his father’s name on the back; two medallions, one from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and one from the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame; and two plaques from the Hall of Fame, one with Cornish’s name and one with his father’s name.

“We are talking about years of rodeo history. All our pictures, 60 years of rodeo history is gone,” he said. “All his medallions, his belt buckles are gone. It is pretty heart-breaking to lose all this stuff. I want to cry every time I think about it.”

Only one suitcase was missing from the shelter, which contained several other items in close proximity.

“Everything was there except the one suitcase. Somebody took it who doesn’t know what it is,” Cornish said. “We just want somebody who might know something, no questions asked, if they just return it. I don’t know why they took it. Nothing in there is worth anything to anyone.”

Anyone having information that will lead to an arrest or prosecution is asked to call Garfield County Crime Stoppers at 233-6233 or Enid Police Department at 242-7000. Callers can earn up to a $1,000 reward and will not be required to testify or be identified.

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