The Chapmans: A Legacy of Tradition in the Silver Spurs Rodeo
For decades Osceola County has been home to the Silver Spurs Riding Club, a living testament to the spirit and heritage woven into a tight-knit community. As part of the heart of this club, you'll find the Chapman family, who have made their lives dedicated to tradition, ranch life, community, and rodeo.Embarking on their journey in the rodeo industry years ago, the Chapman family's story is one of dedication and selflessness. Aileen "Bill" Chapman, a founding member of the Silver Spurs Riding Club in 1941, seized the opportunity to make a difference during the tumultuous times of World War II. With her husband, "Chappy" Chapman, fighting overseas, she resolved to contribute profoundly to her community. In 1944, Aileen and other founders created the inaugural rodeo, not only entertaining those at home but also supporting the war effort by collecting war bonds as entrance fees.Aileen and Chappy's love for their community and the rodeo only deepened over the years. The Chapman family's enduring legacy is evident in their decades-long involvement in breeding Brahman cattle on the Double C Bar Ranch. Aileen's memory is honored through the Miss Silver Spurs Pageant, where her name adorns the prestigious horsemanship award. Moreover, in 1951, the title of Big Boss, the club's one-year term president, was bestowed upon "Chappy" Chapman.Carrying the torch of their family's work ethic, Jimmy Chapman and his wife Leslie have continued championing the cause of the Silver Spurs Riding Club for nearly half a century. Leslie proudly served in various roles, from managing the cowboy concessions stand to holding the esteemed position of Round-Up Boss Secretary in 1979. Presently, she volunteers at the souvenir booth during the rodeo performances. Meanwhile, Jimmy Chapman, exemplifying the essence of leadership, passionately continued the family's tradition as the Big Boss of the Silver Spurs Riding Club in 1979, like his father Chappy.Today, the legacy baton has been passed to the next generation—Clifton Chapman, son of Jimmy and Leslie. A true embodiment of a cowboy, Clifton's warm smile and unwavering passion for the rodeo inspire all who encounter him. Raised amidst the atmosphere of the Silver Spurs Rodeo, Clifton's formative years were enriched by witnessing his family's spirited participation in various events. Together with his wife Ashleigh, they have nurtured their four boys, instilling in them the love for rodeo and the time-honored values of ranching. In addition to his responsibilities as the esteemed Big Boss, bestowed upon him in 2022, Clifton enthusiastically participates in the rodeo's Quadrille, creating cherished memories with his children.
The Chapman family's impact extends beyond their involvement in the rodeo. Their commitment to preserving and promoting the traditions of the rodeo has transformed it into an iconic event deeply rooted in the community's fabric. As true stewards of tradition, they have become beacons of inspiration for future generations. With each passing year, as the Silver Spurs Rodeo continues to captivate audiences and ignite the flames of passion, the Chapman family's legacy will shine.