Obituary: Bob Samon
Bob was born April 2, 1936 in Berkeley, Calif. and passed away June 1, 2009 in Reno after a hard-fought battle against cancer.
He attended schools in the Walnut Creek area and after graduating from high school attended the University of California at Davis.
Bob’s life-long passion was anything connected to horses and ranching so after college, he came to Battle Mountain where he worked as a buckaroo for the W.T. Jenkins Land and Livestock Company, owned by long-time Nevada ranchers, Louise and “Cap” Marvel. He spoke happily of going out to summer range with the wagon in springtime with his string of horses and the other cowboys and coming back to the ranch only after the fall work was done.
When the Company was split up, Bob worked for several ranches including those of Tom and Rosita Marvel in and around Battle Mountain and the “25” Ranch in Battle Mountain. He managed cattle, ran hay crews, and continued honing his skills as a horse trainer.
In between ranches, Bob owned and operated his own training and show horse business in California and Nevada. He also managed the performance horse program for Wilbur D. May at the Double Diamond Ranch.
In 1978, he married Nancy, his wife of 31 years, and they settled in Washoe Valley where they reside today. Bob worked in warehousing and construction and continued developing Samon Quarter Horses. He and Nancy bred, trained, and showed their own cutting horses to numerous championships while Bob continued training outside horses, giving lessons, and judging.
Bob’s specialty was starting colts. Having spent several summers with Tom Dorrance, the originator and master of natural horsemanship, Bob applied many of the techniques he learned from Tom to produce young horses with good minds and solid foundations.
His other love was helping people with their own horses. He especially loved working with kids and guided several young cutters to National High School Rodeo finals.
He was a founding member and past president of Western Nevada Cutting Horse Association and a long-time member and past president of Nevada Reined Cow and Cutting Horse Association. He was also a long-standing member of the National Cutting Horse Association, the Nevada Farm Bureau, and the American Quarter Horse Association.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son Emitt of Las Vegas, Nevada; brother Mike (Joann) of Easton, Maine; two granddaughters Aisha and Coryna Samon of Reno; two brothers and sisters-in-law; a nephew, and many true and wonderful friends.
His was a proud legacy of a disappearing way of life. He will be greatly missed, but he made an awesome ride!
A celebration of Bob’s life will be 11 a.m. , Sunday at Bowers Mansion in the Washoe Pavilion.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s name may be made to Youth Scholarships, National Cutting Horse Association, 260 Bailey Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.