Winslow man continues spur-making tradition

<i>Todd Roth/NHO</i><br>
Leon King, who has over 50 years of experience in making hand-made spurs, shows a pair of his "famous" spurs. He got his start after purchasing an inferior pair of spurs from a mail-order catalog. Today, he produces about 25 pairs a year. Among the notables who own King spurs is former Navajo Nation President and State Sen. Albert Hale.

<i>Todd Roth/NHO</i><br> Leon King, who has over 50 years of experience in making hand-made spurs, shows a pair of his "famous" spurs. He got his start after purchasing an inferior pair of spurs from a mail-order catalog. Today, he produces about 25 pairs a year. Among the notables who own King spurs is former Navajo Nation President and State Sen. Albert Hale.

WINSLOW, Ariz. - In the shop behind the house on Mulberry Street are created some of the finest spurs in the United States. Leon King is the artist/craftsman who produces around 25 pairs of custom spurs every year. The going price is from $350 to $500 per pair, depending on silver and engraving. Each spur is a custom creation, no two pairs being alike.

Every spur is hand formed, welded, accessorized and assembled by King, who has over 50 years of experience in the craft. He made his first spur in a Tucumcari High School shop class during 1954. Previously, at 12 years of age he had ordered and received a commercial spur pair by mail order. King was disappointed at the quality of the spurs for his hard earned $12. That disappointment is what led him to create his own spurs a couple years later. After making his first spurs in shop class he was swamped with requests from his friends to make spurs for them as well. King began his early custom spur business by selling each pair for $5 to $10 at Clovis horse sales. In 1990 he began to number and catalog his creations, which is when his current business model began.

People who own King spurs include the past Navajo president Albert Hale, who has two pairs. In 2001 King was profiled in Sports Illustrated magazine and he's in "Bits and Spurs," a large coffee table photo book. Sixteen professional world champion rodeo competitors own and use King spurs because they are unbreakable and beautiful as well.

For orders and information about King spurs, call King at (928) 386-2013.

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