Born in 1947, in Kyle, South Dakota, Duane Lafferty attended the Santa Fe Indian School in 1967-1968, where he began to refine his painting and sculpting skills. In 1971, he studied saddlemaking under Jim McGill in Whitewood, South Dakota. Duane has been in the saddlemaking business since 1972. He has worked and studied under master toolers and saddlemakers in Fort Collins and Longmont Colorado; Thoreau, New Mexico; and Hot Springs, South Dakota.
Wally Soosay worked as a full-time saddlemaker for about 20 years. Although primarily self-taught, in 1970 he took a course from Milton Free Water in Oregon, and in 1980 he learned to make saddle trees from Chuck Storms in Calgary.
Pete Standing Alone has worked on cattle ranches and in oil fields in Texas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, Alberta and Saskatchewan. After drifting for several years in the United States, he returned to Canada in 1955 and began building his ranch. In 1967, he started making saddles, and in 1976, when Prince Charles was to be made an honorary chief of the Blood Tribe, the chief and council of the tribe commissioned a silver mounted saddle for the prince. Pete has also had a colourful acting career, starring in seven films produced by the National Film Board, including Circle of the Sun and Standing Alone.
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