Some accounts say this loony idea started as a bet. Beesley wrote that it was all a promotional stunt to advertise Ketchum Idaho.
The stunters, or bettors, whichever you prefer, were Ted Terry, of Klamath Falls, Oregon; H.G. Wood, of Boise, and Vic Lusk of Butte, Montana. Their goal was to ride a bull to Madison Square Garden for the 1939 World’s Fair. They would pay their expenses by giving theatrical and radio performances as the Sawtooth Range Riders along the way, not coincidentally ginning up a little publicity.
The expedition included Josephine the pack mule, a horse named Silver Sally, and a dog named Skipper. The cowboys—bullboys?—would take turns riding the Durham-Herford bull fir which they paid $50. They figured it would take 18 to 25 months to complete the trip.
The bull started out with the name Ohadi, which clever readers will notice is Idaho spelled backward. Somewhere along the line, Ohadi became known as Hitler, no doubt a thumbing of the nose to the German dictator who was about to plunge the world into war.
Ernie Pyle, who would soon become a famous war correspondent, wrote a column about the adventure. He wrote that the Sawtooth Range Riders wore “three ten-gallon hats, checkered shirts, flowing bow ties, overalls, bright gloves, and high-heeled cowboy boots. They look just the way New Yorkers think cowboys look.”
Pyle noted that Ohadi had to be broken to ride all over again every morning.
By the time the group got to Chicago, more than two years after they left Ketchum, they weren’t a group anymore. Ted Terry was riding the bull alone, hoping one of his “boys” might join him again as he neared New York.
Three years and 3,000 miles later, Terry and his menagerie rode into the World’s Fair in 1940. Sally, Skipper, and Ohadi/Hitler were all in good shape. No word about what happened to Josephine the Pack Mule. No word, either, about any huge increase in visitation to Ketchum, Idaho, due to the bull-riding stunt. There were quite a few who began visiting the newly built Sun Valley Resort, though. And that’s no bull.