Saturday, February 24, 2018

Before the Iron Horse

 There were real horses. And in Florida that meant cowboys.

OK, Cowgirls. The 31 annual Florida Cracker Trail Ride across the state ended Saturday, February 24, 2018 with a parade in Fort Pierce. The ride started Feb. 17 on the west coast in Bradenton honoring the Florida cowboy pioneers.

After the War Between the States (recent unpleasantness) a group of pioneers were know as Florida Crackers because of the cracking sound from the whips they used to drive cattle and oxen pulling carts and wagons. Every year they would drive the scrub cattle across the state from west of Ft. Pierce to Bradenton and then to Punta Rassa for shipment to Havana, Cuba. Other sources say the cattle operations started earlier.

The Cracker Trail was the only dry route across Florida with the Kissimmee River and its floodplains to the north and Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades to the south. For more information, go to

For another interesting read see:  Jacob Summerlin (February 20, 1820 – November 4, 1893), aka the King of the Crackers and King of the Cracker Cow Hunters, was reputed to be the first child born in Florida after the land was ceded by Spain.


  1. Interesting, informative, and fun to look at. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the comment. I took the video so you could hear the whips cracking. I am sure it was just a coincidence it was more cowgirls. :)
    Miss your blog.

  3. Enjoyed that! Rollin', rollin', rollin'! Keep those doggies rollin'....

  4. Thanks. Florid has a long history of cattle ranching going back five centuries. A good article here:
    Then there is the Florida Cracker Cur dog used to herd cattle. See here for more information and a photo: