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Ryan Cope

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Oakdale
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date:
Death/End date:

Ryan Cope Bio

Biography for Ryan Cope
www.copesaddlery.com

Ryan Cope is an Oakdale, CA Saddle maker. Nestled along the Western slope of the Sierra Nevadas, Oakdale is a gateway to Yosemite National Park. It had been Ryan’s goal from a relatively young age to work his way up into corporate ranch management. He began his young career breaking horses as a freshman in his high school FFA program. Ryan has worked for several large cow outfits over the years, in four Western states. Along the way he met a gentleman named Forrest Shoup (An Army Chaplain in the Korean War) who, with a desire to pass on his skills, decided Ryan would be a worthy recipient. Forrest, a true artisan, was a well respected “Bay Area Stamper” during the days of Visalia, Rowell’s, etc. Ryan spent 97-98, his final year in the Fresno State Animal Science program, driving every Saturday to work with Forrest in Sonora, CA. After graduation Ryan decided to pass on a riding job on a large Ranch in Oregon to stay in Sonora and work with Forrest. It grew into a great friendship, which remained until his passing in 2010. (In 2010, two weeks before his death, Forrest was told he would be awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Academy of Western Artists.)

In 2000, it was time for Ryan to move on with his career goals. So, he packed up with his new wife Lisa, and moved to Monterey Co., CA. In 2001 Ryan inherited Forrest Shoup’s shop. According to Forrest, Ryan is the only person he ever taught to build saddles. So, consequently Ryan has a strong desire to continue and grow the gift that Forrest passed on to him. Ryan spent a lot of time building saddles in the evening and taking care of cattle by day. In 2004, at 28, he took a job as operations manager for a mid sized cattle operation in Oakdale, CA. Ryan soon realized that he was going to have to give up saddle making if he wanted to excel at his day job. Not wanting to do that he decided to take his saddlemaking full time.

Ryan’s wife Lisa plays a big role in their saddle business. She weaves saddle blankets, among other things, which compliments his saddles very well. She learned her trade from a 5th generation Swedish weaver. Their son R.C. was born in 2002 while working at the Jack Ranch in Cholame, CA. Today all of Ryan’s focus is on Saddle making. He finds it very rewarding, though not always easy. However, he still finds time to help his neighbors when they need an extra cowboy.

 

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