story by Lori O’Harver GLEN ROSE, Texas – “We’re thrilled to have the bronc riders back in town, but honestly? It’s the TBRA lady ranch […]
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Meet the Sponsor A Cut Above Buckles
story by Lori O’Harver
Careers ABOARD high flying bucking horses never last forever. Finals jackets are cool, but they won’t last forever, either. When it comes to the awards that are meant to last a lifetime then become family heirlooms to be handed down through generations, the trophy buckle is still the hardware that means the most. The Texas Bronc Rider’s Association (TBRA) and corporate partners A Cut Above Buckles work hard to make sure those great career wins are remembered with distinctive buckles of beauty and durability.
Andy Andrews was born a cowboy. As a young man, he successfully worked both ends of the arena and spent his spare time apprenticing for the saddle maker down the road. His fascination with building the tack he’d use with his own hands was strong. Today, after 63 trips around the sun, he still wakes up drawn to the craft that became his chosen. You can see and feel his passion in every trophy piece made by his company, A Cut Above Buckles.
“Growing up in New Mexico, I rodeoed with several Native cowboys who were skilled silversmiths. I didn’t just learn from them, I was captivated by the art. Gary Gist’s work astounded me. His attention to detail and engraving was inspirational and set a very high bar,” said Andrews.
“In 2000, the president of the International Professional Rodeo Association, Ronnie Williams, called to ask if I’d build the 2000 finals and year end buckles. He said he wanted me to make them ‘a cut above’ every other buckle they’d ever offered. That’s how our company got its name.”
“We were still a kitchen table operation back then. Business exploded when we moved the operation to Murrieta in 2005,” Andrews said.
Today, as many as 700 buckles can be under construction at A Cut Above. Each one is carefully crafted and as important to the maker as it will be to the one who’ll wear it with pride. They are guaranteed for life.
“Our company attitude is simple and never varies,” said Andrews. “We’ll find a way to make our customer happy.”
A Cut Above Buckles prices reflect the work that goes in to each individual piece. The use of what Andrews calls ‘non precious metals’ combined with gold and sterling silver allows them to build beautiful, heavy pieces that will withstand being worn for a lifetime before being handed down to the next generation as family heirlooms.
“My favorites are in our Signature Collection because those buckles contain the most work. They’re fully loaded,” Andrews said.
“We’re proud to partner with the TBRA and fully support their mission to revitalize bronc riding,” said Andrews. “Daryl and Michelle McElroy have already taken bronc riding to a whole, new level. They are tirelessly working to promote what they do and educate the general public in a different way than has ever been done.”