Every year Western Legends is proud to Honor our local Cowboys and Cowgirls, as well as their families for all of the hardwork and dedication they put into our loving western community. Learn more about Western Legends Heritage & Music Fesitval's  Honorees.

Take a look at 2019’s Western Legends Heritage & Music Festival Honorees.


– Harold “Hal” Hamblin –


Hal says his ranching operation is fairly small, but it’s a combination of six generations of ranching efforts that goes back to Francis Marion Hamblin. (the brother of Jacob Hamblin) on the Hamblin side, and Adeline Amarilla Riggs, (Jacob Hamblin’s sister) on the Riggs side of our family.

Ranching was something Hal grew up loving, working with his father Metz Hamblin, and grandfather Foote Hamblin, until he was 18.

Hal’s dad insisted he go to college and further his education. Along with his pushing and the love of basketball, I was able to get my degree in education from Southern Utah State College, now known as Southern Utah University. During my junior year of college, my father developed cancer and he passed away in January 1972 at the age of 51. On April 8th of the same year grandpa Hamblin died. The best men I knew were gone. I pled with Grandma Hamblin to give me a year to complete my education, come home, and see if I could keep the ranch together, but gradually it began to be sold off. After graduation, I ignored a letter from Coach LaDell Anderson inviting me to try out for the Utah Stars basketball team. I married my sweetheart, Cynthia Heaton of St. George, and we returned to Kanab. I was employed by the Kane County School District as a teacher and coach; we started a family and began rebuilding the ranch.

The ranching operation we run today is a combination of both sides of my great, great grandparents. We run approximately 120 head of mother cows and 20 to 25 replacement heifers. We own or share crop about 110 acres of alfalfa and three-way mix hay.

Bottom line: I hope my father, grandfather and great grandfathers are happy with what we have done with their ranch. I hope my grandchildren learn to work with the land and cattle as we have and to cherish their heritage. This life style or way of life is why you and I are here today and may God bless your outfit as well as ours.

– David Johnson –

David is a 6th generation rancher, born in 1941 in Kanab, Utah  to the late Owen & Adeline Johnson. He he still resides in his hometown of Moccasin, AZ & has spent his entire life working cattle & horses.

When David graduated Fredonia High School he attended Dixie State College for one year.  He returned home to help with the ranch after his father was in an accident. He went to work for the Whiting Brothers sawmill grading lumber in Fredonia, Az.  He then married his high school sweetheart, Christine Millet Baker. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren & 11 great grandchildren.

Over the years David has expanded his ranching operations to include along with private land the cattle & horse permits that run down in Kanab Gulch & Hacks & Gramma Canyons in the winter & up on the Kaibab Forest in the summer months.

David in reflection says, “ I never got rich off the cattle business but was rich in relationships & friendships forged throughout the years.  I got to work with some of the very best men & had a front row seat to watch some of the young boys & girls in this area turn into top hands. I have also enjoyed the camaraderie of neighboring ranchers.  The experiences & adventures we have all shared are worth more than anything money could ever buy.”

The spirit of his forbearers resides in his soul as demonstrated by his life’s work.  David has done his best to instill in his children & his crew that the stewardship of the land & preservation of ranch life is of the utmost importance.  He has also instilled in his children, a love of the family ranch. He feels a responsibility to pass this ranch safely into the hands of the next generation.  He strives to leave his land better than he found it & hopes to inspire the upcoming generations to do the same.

David would  like to thank the people of Western Legends for helping  keep the heritage alive in our area through putting on these activities each year.


– Bruce Bunting –

Bruce was born and raised in Kanab and is a 1964 graduate of Kanab High School.  He played football, basketball and ran track. He is the son of Hubert and Mary Bunting.

Bruce’s family occupation is working and maintaining Centennial Ranch which was started by his great, great grandfather in the mid 1800’s.  His youth was spent in the Johnson Canyon area working the ranch with his father and three brothers maintaining a herd of 150 cows. That is where he gained his true love of ranching.  They moved the cattle from summer range at Johnson Canyon in the fall to the Kaibab mountain Range for the winter which Bruce continues currently.

In the 1950’s and the 1960’s the movie companies were in the area, and due to his experience with horses, he was hired right away.  He was in the cast as an Indian, member of the Calvary and a lawman in the following movies and TV episodes such as : How the West Was Won, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, and Wagon Train.

After graduation from High School Bruce attended Dixie State College until he was called to serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Afterward he attended the College of Southern Utah, studying Law Enforcement. It was at college that Bruce met his wife Leah. They were married in 1967 and now have 9 children and 26 grandchildren.

Bruce was the Chief of Police in Parowan Utah and later Chief of Police of Kanab City while still working the family ranch. Bruce then was hired as head custodian at Kanab High School which allowed him to work more hours at the ranch while not at the school. He retired after 30 years and is now running the ranch full time with his family.

They have increased the operation to 175 head of cattle making improvements on the water and the range land to maintain a healthy balance with the land and herd.  In 1998 Bruce was elected to the Kane County Conservation District and has been serving as Chairman to the board since 2000.

“Ranching is my passion and I am happy that I have been able to continue.”


Previous Western Legends Honorees

– 1999 Honorees –

  • Merrill McDonald
  • Faye Hamblin

– 2001 Honorees –

  • Fred Heaton
  • Vard Heaton

– 2002 Honorees –

  • Trevor Leach
  • Wallace Ott

– 2003 Honorees –

  • Leroy Judd
  • Norman Carroll

– 2004 Honorees –

  • Earl Henrie
  • Norris P., Maud Brown & Sons

– 2005 Honorees –

  • Preston Bunting & Sons
  • William Lloyd Cothern

– 2006 Honorees –

  • Calvin & Anna Johnson
  • Sylvan & Farris Johnson


– 2007 Honorees –

  • Clark & Dora Veater
  • Francis Marion Hamblin III

– 2008 Honorees –

  • Robert Dee Houston
  • Dennis Farnsworth Judd
  • Lyle Heyborne

– 2009 Honorees –

  • Violet Honey
  • Cliff & Reva Swapp

– 2010 Honorees –

  • Mel Heaton
  • Theo McAllister

– 2011 Honorees –

  • Virgil Robinson Riggs
  • Merlyn Vivian “Cowhide” Adams
  • Ronald G. Mace

– 2012 Honorees –

  • Carlyle S. Hulet
  • Effie & John Rich

– 2013 Honorees –

  • Calude Glazier
  • Henry Eyring Bowman

– 2014 Honorees –

  • Wesley Theo McAllister
  • Thomas Chamberlain

– 2015 Honorees –

  • Elmer Jackson
  • Kelvert Button

– 2016 Honorees –

  • Doug Hunt

– 2017 Honorees –

  • James Ott
  • Robert Ott

– 2018 Honorees –

  • David R Finicum