This summer, Murdock rode his black quarter horse as he led dozens of guests through Hyde Park in his 19th annual horseback ride and picnic, served in a Maywood parade and taught children about horses at the South Shore Cultural Center.But what "The Man With No First Name" really wants is to succeed at his 20-year quest: persuading Chicago officials to let him establish a permanent equestrian center near Washington Park.

"They keep saying they want me to do it," said Murdock, 60, founder of the Broken Arrow Horseback Riding Club in the South Shore. "If I don't stay on them about it, it's out of sight, out of mind."

Unfortunately for this South Side cowboy, his dream of setting up about 5 acres for a horse stable, riding areas and classes clashes with the city's 2016 Olympic bid. Click Here to Read More

Korey Flowers, a 15-year-old cowboy from Auburn Gresham with the Broken Arrow Riding Club, fell in love with horses when he was 3 years old. He paid attention as his family members woke up every morning, cared for their horses and headed off to their 9-to-5s before returning to ride. Click Here to Read More

In the News

The leader of a self-described group of Black cowboys in Chicago is distancing himself from the so-called “Dreadhead Cowboy” who rode a horse on the Dan Ryan Expressway this week. He goes by “Murdock, the man with no first name,” and he is president of the Broken Arrow Horseback Riding Club of Chicago, which has been around for 31 years.

Murdock, 72, said he and the other African-American club members are not bashing Adam Hollingsworth, the “Dreadhead Cowboy” who prosecutors say harmed his horse by running him several miles on the Dan Ryan on Monday. Hollingsworth faces several charges, including animal cruelty; his horse may have to be euthanized, authorities said. Murdock says maybe the riding enthusiast really didn’t know better. But he adds: “It puts us in a bad light to give you the impression that we don’t know what we’re doing, as a race of Black people when it comes to horses. Click Here to Read More

The founder of Broken Arrow Riding Club, which hosts a well-attended annual ride on the South Side, says he’ll renew efforts to bring a stable to Washington Park.


Its founder and president—who, enigmatically, goes by Murdock, the Man with No First Name—says that he’s been urging the city for years to build a stable near Washington Park that can become a venue for competitions and classes. “It’s not quite the same as basketball courts, which you can build anywhere. But the people that are interested can come,” he says, adding that like other sports, it could give young people something to do to keep out of trouble. Click Here to Read More

The annual event is one of the biggest for an organization that began on Jan. 15, 1989, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 70th birthday, not an unintentional decision according to club founder Murdock, The Man With No First Name. Though known for its South Side "black cowboy" members, the club is open to people of all backgrounds.

"Being in the city, horses and the cowboy way of life allows people to have tranquility," said Murdock, acknowledging that the black cowboys were small in numbers but had a proud tradition. "We wanted the club to represent peace. That's why we have a broken arrow as our symbol."

There are about 100 active participants in the organization, which also holds its Speed and Action Rodeo at the South Shore Cultural Center every June, Murdock said. On Saturday morning, the northeast corner of Washington Park was taken over by dozens of families with members dressed in cowboy gear and many riding their horses that they loved. Later in the afternoon, the cowboys planned to go on a ride that would take them south then east through Hyde Park's Midway Plaisance before going north on the lakefront to 47th Street before doubling back. Click Here to Read More