Portraits United in Style and Culture
TRUE WEST X TRUE CRAFT
Grit. Determination. Passion. Style. The American cowboy culture of bull riders, trail riders, ranchers and horseman reflects the spirit, durability and craft of our fall collection. Shot in the wide-open spaces of the western landscape by legendary photographer Cliff Watts, we recognize the life’s work of these 2nd and 3rd generation cowboys and the legacies they’re each creating.
Meet Patrick McAleenan
How would you describe your life’s work?
Widely varied and unfinished.
What would you like your legacy to be?
I’d like to leave a legacy of having been a good and decent man who always stood up for what I believed in. I believe that, ultimately, our legacy only really matters to ourselves. You have to be able to take pride in who you are and what you’ve done, as a person, while you’re alive. My legacy might matter to others but won’t matter to me once I’m gone.
What makes something a classic?
A classic is something that maintains an exceptional level of quality or beauty over time.
How did you first start working with horses?
My father—who was born to a wealthy Irish family in New York City—dreamed of being a cowboy. So, he became one. He was an accomplished cowboy and master horseman by the time I was born. I grew up with horses and western heritage as an integral part of my life.
What are you most passionate about?
My father always said I had an “overweening sense of justice” and he meant it as a compliment. I’ve always been passionate about what is right and fair.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my 31-year relationship with my wife, the love of my life.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like simple and classic styles. I’m not flashy. I like a good pair of jeans and a solid colored shirt, preferably in jewel tones: deep reds, greens and blues. I love a great classic, pair of shoes or boots and a great looking cowboy hat. I still have a black, wide-brimmed, Resistol hat that my brother bought for me, 43 years ago, at Nudies Western Wear in North Hollywood. I still have a few pairs of boots that I’ve had for decades. I like plain leather or rough-out leather boots: no exotic skins or flashy styling. I’m picky about my boots, so when I find a pair I like, I keep them as long as they last.
What is your favorite horse’s name or the one you’ll never forget?
I never knew his real name, but I called him “Gargantua.” He wasn’t a good-looking horse. He was an ill-tempered, line-back dun that was part of a string of horses loaned to the summer camp where I ran the equestrian department. He was built like a buffalo: big in front with small hind quarters. I trained him really well, to the point where I could do handstands on him, but he wouldn’t obey anyone but me. People would see me ride him and think he was the best horse to ride, so they’d request him, but he would just stand at the rail with his ears back, annoyed but unmoving, no matter how hard they pulled on him or kicked until I came over and gave him the go-ahead. He was ugly but he was smart. He knew when the person sitting on him knew what they were doing and when they didn’t. I liked his cantankerous, independent, nature.