GUTHRIE, Texas — A legendary Texas cowboy who recently got a brush with Hollywood fame has passed away.
Buster Welch, a longtime horse trainer at the 6666 Ranch in West Texas, died at 94, according to a post on social media by "Yellowstone," the wildly popular television drama that Welch appeared on last fall.
Welch, who was born in 1928, was a lifelong cowboy who began working on the Proctor Ranch in the 1940s.
He later worked at the Four Sixes, Long X and Pitchfork ranches. Along the way, he became one of the top horse trainers in the world.
Welch still holds the record for most National Cutting Horse Association World Champion Futurity titles, with wins in 1962, 1963, 1966, 1971, and 1977.
Welch also took home NCHA world championships in 1954, 1956, 1974, and 1976, according to the association.
He was inducted into the halls of fame for the NCHA and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.
Welch had a memorable appearance on the last season of "Yellowstone."
One of the storylines involved the character named Jimmy getting sent to the Four Sixes Ranch to brush up on his cowboys skills. After Jimmy arrives in Texas, he meets two older cowboys, one played by the actor Barry Corbin and one played by Welch himself.
"There are three Gods in Texas," another character told Jimmy. "The Almighty himself, Buster Welch and George Strait. You just met one of them."
While "Yellowstone" is mostly set in Montana, the show has strong Texas ties: Its co-creator, Taylor Sheridan, grew up in Cranfills Gap and went to high school in Fort Worth.
And Sheridan also reportedly led an investment group that purchased the 6666 Ranch, where the Welch scene was filmed for last season.
Sheridan in a statement Monday said "a legend was lost today."
"Buster Welch rode into the sunset this morning, leaving behind a legacy that changed the performance horse world forever," Sheridan said. "He will be missed and we will be forever grateful for all his wisdom and his contributions to the quarter horse world."