Steve Roberts is a 2021 BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee in the category of working cowboy.
Roberts started his cowboy career at Rey Creek Ranch near Logan Lake at age 14. He worked there range riding, learning how to break colts, and shoeing under Rip Grey during summers and weekends until graduating high school.
During the following years he worked at various ranches in the Nicola Valley, including Stump Lake Ranch, Douglas Lake Cattle Co., and Nicola Ranch.
While competing at a rodeo, Kenny McLean offered Roberts a cowboy position at Bobtail Ranch, where he met and married his wife Dixie. They moved together to lease a ranch in partnership with Roberts’ brother Bruce near Williams Lake for five years.
When the lease term was complete, Steve and Dixie continued their cow/calf operation while raising their four children Camille, Jack, Ryan, and Will. Together they have been buying back some of the properties — including the 127 Mile — which were homesteaded by Roberts’ family as early as the late 1800s. In addition, Roberts takes on cowboy work at neighbouring ranches, mainly for Jared and Shelley Fletcher.
Roberts transitioned from saddle bronc to hiring out as pick-up man for various stock contractors and competing successfully in ranch rodeos, both of which utilized the horses he continued to break and train for the ranch. Some highlights were competing against many peers and winning the O’Keefe Ranch Rodeo four times, and winning an event and earning second overall with son Ryan, then aged 11, at the Williams Lake Ranch Rodeo.
Roberts is known as an accomplished cattleman with an excellent reputation as a horse trainer and farrier. Over the past three decades he has been involved in activities including holding various 4-H leader positions, coaching softball, and volunteering tirelessly at BC High School and Little Britches rodeos. In his day-to-day work, Roberts has introduced several youth to ranch life. Along with Dixie, he is proud to have raised hard-working kids who continue to be involved in cattle ranching.
Another aspect of Roberts’ cowboy lifestyle is creating drawings of Western scenes of cowboy life. Several are owned by cowboys who acquired them from him in cowboy trades.
Submitted by Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin and BC Cowboy Hall of Fame.