Coca-Cola Cowboy and Women’s Lifetime Achievement recipients Mike and Brenda Wilder talk decades of volunteerism and family fun in the Silver Spurs Riding Club
For over eight decades, members of the Silver Spurs Riding Club have worked year-round to coordinate rodeos to positively impact the community, alongside several generations of their family. The Clubs’ foundation is built on sound values and morals, charitable contributions, and volunteerism. As a thank you for years of service, the Silver Spurs Riding Club Board of Directors celebrates long-time volunteers with the Coca-Cola Cowboy award and Women’s Lifetime Achievement award each year. Honored as the 2022 Coca-Cola Cowboy and Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Mike and Brenda Wilder reflect on their years of service to the community and the Silver Spurs Riding Club.
Born in 1954, Mike Wilder always knew he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps of running cattle. After graduating high school on a Tuesday night, he moved to Osceola County and began working at Turkey Hammock Ranch the next morning, finally becoming what he wanted to be, a cowboy.
Brenda grew up in a ranching family, working cattle and frequently attending the Silver Spurs Rodeo as a little girl. It was love at first sight when she met Mike, or so he claims, and the two married. Mike and Brenda always knew it would be an honor to become members of the Silver Spurs Riding Club. When their daughters, Bridget and Stacey, started riding in the quadrille, it was time for them to work towards a nomination for membership. Brenda took a vacation to sell rodeo tickets several weeks before rodeo performances, and Mike volunteered his time on the stock committee.
Mike and Brenda Wilder were initiated into the club in 1989 after serving their two years and being nominated for membership. After Bobby Monts De Oca hung up his hat as the radioman, handing Mike the radio mid-rodeo performance, Mike called the shots and communicated from inside the arena during performances. Brenda worked in the contestant hospitality and continued to sell presale tickets over the phone, all by hand, as there were no computerized tickets systems back in the day.
During their 33-year membership, the Wilders have served several ends of the Silver Spurs Riding Club. Mike spent years making trophy saddles and chaps for rodeo athletes and their hometown rodeo queen, Miss Silver Spurs, with the help of Brenda’s design eye. Today, the Wilders volunteer and show their support to many different aspects of the Silver Spurs Rodeo. They not only cook homemade food to serve delicious meals in the hospitality room, but they also support their grandchildren in the quadrille and help chairman of the special rodeo committee Sara Berlinsky and co-chair Bridget Wilder Coggins put on the special rodeo each February.
To be recognized by a club that has given back to the community, produces family-oriented, action-packed rodeo events, and where many of their family memories are made, the Wilders are honored to be the 2022 Silver Spurs Riding Club Coca-Cola Cowboy and Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.