FACT: There is no such thing as evolution, only those animals Rick Guinn allows to live.
Many of you will recognize this local cowboy as the owner of Boundary Ranch and the world-renowned animal tracker from Guinn Outfitters.
But it may surprise you that he is also the leading man from a feature ’70s film called Buffalo Rider. In the film he portrays the character of C.J. Buffalo Jones, an olden-day wildlife conservationist and real life Chuck Norris. Rick delivers arguably the gutsiest performance ever seen in a small-budget film, all the while gallivanting around on a buffalo like it ain’t no thing.
Which came first, the role or the rider?
Born in Banff, Rick’s early life was spent with his family “rasslin’ animals” out at Rafter Six Ranch. In his teens, he moved to Park City, Utah, scoring a job at a wild animal compound where the connection was made between his expertise with semi-trained wild animals and the commercial and movie industries.
One animal in particular intrigued him: Grunter, the buffalo. Everyone at the compound was petrified of the beast, but Rick promised himself he would tame and ride it, even if it killed him. It almost did, on multiple occasions.
One day, with the help of a few friends, Rick managed to saddle the buffalo and throw his leg over its huge, hairy back. In a split second, Grunter trampled across the pen, reared up, and smashed through a fortified ten-foot-high wooden fence, releasing himself into the wild.
There was only one thing holding him back from total freedom: the indomitable spirit of Rick Guinn. “I didn’t want to lose my saddle,” says Rick, so he held on for dear life as the beast ripped clean through not one, but three barbed wire fences before finally exhausting himself a few miles later. Rick casually hopped off and led him back to the compound. This was the first step in a year-and-a-half-long process of refocusing Grunter to the point where he could almost be controlled.
With his newly-honed skills, Rick was an obvious (in fact, the only) choice for the extremely dangerous role of “Buffalo Rider.”
The film itself didn’t make much of a splash on the big screen, but a compilation of clips have gone viral on YouTube (altogether nearly eight million hits to date) thanks to the mockumentary series known as “Guy on a Buffalo.” Rick’s acting and buffalo-riding talents are both accentuated and spoofed by the clever lyrics and the toe-tapping country-swing in this four-video series. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.
Next time your friends are beaking about how hardcore they are, keep them in check by reminding them of the time Rick karate-chopped a cougar in the face to save his own life (in an accidental on-screen attack). Or the time he was dragged a quarter of a mile at a gallop through dense underbrush with his foot stuck in Grunters saddle. Or maybe the time he was attacked by two wolves at the same time and had to teach them a lesson with a walking stick. Or maybe the time when…
Think you’re pretty tough? Find out how you stack up against this Buffalo Soldier by taking our Test Yer Mettle quiz.
Got time on your hands and a hankerin’ for some buffalo? Watch the full movie here.(Article written for Summer 2012 issue of Highline.)