Best of the Boat cowboy: Ray Heid |

Best of the Boat cowboy: Ray Heid

Best Cowboy, Ray Heid.

While he rides horses to ski, has filmed with Warren Miller and lays figure-eights above his Del’s Triangle 3 corral, Ray Heid is equal parts cowboy and skier. But it’s the former where he won voters’ hearts.

“I ride for a living six days a week, and ride for fun on Sundays,” said Heid, 81.

Come winter, you’ll find him saddling his guest ranch’s horses in a hand-sewn, knee-length, elk-skin coat with beaver pelt collar, topped by a balaclava and cowboy hat. Come summer, he’ll do so in a yellow rain slicker, jean jacket and same well-worn hat. In fall, he leads horse pack trips to hunting camps in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.

Even at 81, atop his trusty horse Stormy and on a custom saddle copied from his grandmother’s, he’s still riding as much as ever at his guest ranch, which he’s been running since 1985.

“One year, we named all the horses after the weather and another we named them after spices,” he said, his guests straddling such steeds as Cinnamon, Ginger and Breezy.

“I just love riding. You get out there and hear nothing but the horses’ hoofs and breathing and the wildlife calling, and I think, ‘This is the way to live.’”

Best Cowboy

• Winner: Ray Heid

• Runners-up: Cookie Lockhart and Billy Kidd

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