March 14, 2014
Ray Beechy is a cowboy who has overcome many obstacles. When he was 12 years old, he was involved in a sawmill accident, which resulted in his right arm having to be amputated below the elbow. The loss of his hand did not slow him down for long, however. It served to make him very competitive and he quickly became adept with using one hand. “It’s never kept me from much of anything other than shuffling cards - or clapping,” Ray said with a laugh.
As Ray grew up Amish, he did not start competing in rodeo until after he moved away from the Amish community when he was 16. He tells the story. “I was 16 when I really took an interest in the rodeo circuit. A friend of mine that lived close by was riding bulls at the time, and got me interested.” Ray was given a boost into rodeo by Galen “Peewee” Helmuth. “He got me started way back in the day and has taught me more than anyone else,” says Ray. He has also been inspired by Ray Cox, owner of Lazy C Rodeo School in Jacksonville, Ill.
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