Career with kids, horses leads rancher to Cowboy Hall of Fame
By Brenda Young
With a lifetime devoted to a career in juvenile law enforcement and a love of ranching, Steve Robinson said he is very pleased to be honored as one of four inductees into this year’s Liberty Hill Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame began two years ago for the purpose of honoring those who have made a contribution to the community and who work to preserve the western way of life through their unlimited dedication. Although the idea was derived by a small group of nominating committee members from the Williamson County Cowboy Church in Liberty Hill, there is no requirement that inductees must be members of the church.
“I received a call last week saying my name had been put forward to be inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame, with the presentations being made during the rodeo events the second weekend in May,” Robinson said. “I am extremely honored by this selection.”
The Liberty Hill Pro Rodeo and Bull Riding is scheduled May 9-11 at the Williamson County Cowboy Church in Liberty Hill at 8355 Ranch Road 1869, and Robinson will receive his award May 10.
“Currently, I work as a consultant with a company out of Washington, D.C. called Nakamoto Group, and we do consulting work with the federal government in corrections,” Robinson said.
The span of Robinson’s career was in the field of juvenile law enforcement, and he officially retired 11 years ago allowing him to have more time to devote to his lifelong roots in the ranching business.
“I was raised in the country, on a ranch, and that’s what my background is. I went off to college, got a degree in Criminology and Corrections, came back and went to work in juvenile corrections in 1975. I worked my way through that system and finished my career in 2003,” Robinson said.
He served as the Executive Director of the Texas Youth Commission from 1993 to 2003, which then served as the state juvenile correctional agency. Robinson said he was always interested in ranching; however, the responsibilities of his job throughout most of his career prevented him from participating in ranching and his love of team roping competitions.
“I’ve been active in ranching and horses again for the past 15 to 20 years,” he said. “As my schedule got to a point where I wasn’t assigned to an institution or involved with direct supervision of an operation, I was able to have more free time and got back into the horse business. My parents had a ranch on the Lampasas River in Oakalla, south of Copperas Cove, and I started working with the cattle on the ranch and got back into the cattle business.”
As time moved on, Robinson became more interested in team roping and began to buy horses. He and his wife, Karen, bought a stallion they still own, and that’s when they got into the business of breeding horses.
One of the unique factors characterizing Robinson’s rodeo competitions is he rides and competes with his own horses.
“It’s just something that I enjoy doing, and it adds to the enjoyment of the team roping event itself,” he added.
With all his success, Robinson is quick to credit his wife for her continued support throughout his career.
In consideration of his nomination, Robinson believes there are several influencing factors. First, he has gained recognition for the high quality of horses he raises and trains with his wife; and secondly, Robinson owns his own private arena, which he offers to young people so they can practice their skills.
“I’m always glad to have them here and help them participate as much as possible. What I enjoy most is their appreciation of the western way of life, as our world continues to change. Of course, Texas changes slower than most places, but you don’t have a whole lot of kids raised in that atmosphere anymore. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to see youngsters coming along who embrace the cowboy lifestyle and the wonderful feelings you get from developing good horsemanship skills. There are very few things in life that can equal the relationship a person can have with a horse. It’s a real strong bond,” Robinson added.