• 1989 –Mountain States Circuit Bull Riding Champion; Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo in Rapid City, S.D. • 1991 –The Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont. • 1992 – Split the win with Brent Thurman at the Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont. Although he enjoyed success within the Rocky Mountain region, Morris never qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. “I wouldn’t say that wasn’t one of my goals and I can’t say I regret it,” Morris said. “Years ago, when I was competing, Gary Leffew (ProRodeo Hall of Famer) told me, ‘You ride better every year that I’ve known you, and the only reason you haven’t gone to the NFR is because you don’t go to enough rodeos. You ride as well as the middle 15 guys that go every year.” While competing, Morris announced rodeos on Prime Sports Network and FOX Sports – including Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days for nine consecutive years starting in 1989. “The one Lane (Frost) got killed at was my first one,” Morris said. “I was the last person he interviewed with on camera before he was killed.” During his time as a bull rider, Morris sustained a torn groin, broken bones, including one that required screws in his leg, and various hip injuries. “What took me out was at Casper (Wyo.) in August 1994,” Morris said. “I couldn’t walk. I had to go to therapy and learn to walk again due to a hip injury.” Although he was out of the chutes, he wasn’t out of the game. Morris wrote a column called, “My Cowboy Hat Still Fits,” that ran for 12 years in Humps and Horns magazine. His book with the same title came out in March 2005. Now, he’s cooking up something entirely different – cookies. COWBOY KITCHEN Morris’ transition from bulls to baking was gradual. Around 1995, he started baking for himself and would give cookies to his friends. His friend Mike Bond initially suggested Morris sell his cookies back in the ’90s and told him not to share his recipe. “I never really pursued it,” Morris said. “I kept doing it and giving them out. I just got more satisfaction out of how much people liked them.” Morris would spend the holidays with Bond’s family, and each time he was asked to bring his cookies. “They’d invite me to the major holidays, and I’d asked what to bring and he’d say, ‘You know what to bring,’” Morris laughed. “I’d bake some for everyone and a batch for him. I’d bring cookies to dinner, and they’d eat them before dinner.” Morris had some prior experience in the culinary arts, having worked as a banquet coordinator at the Holiday Inn in Laramie, Wyo., while in college. “But that has nothing to do with now, what got me going is I like cookies,” Morris said. “I really like cookies. After I got out of college, I said, ‘I like chocolate chip cookies and nobody will bake them for me, so I better do it myself.” Fast-forward nearly 25 years and thousands of cookie-handouts later and his hobby is blossoming into a business, Cowboy Chute Out Cookies. “It’s my recipe that I’ve tweaked here and there,” Morris said. “My son, Justin, said he will take over the business. He’s 19 now, and I foresee getting it up and running and turning it over to him.” Three-time Wrangler NFR bull rider Parker Breding got a taste of Morris’ cookies when they met at a bull riding competition in Elizabeth, Colo. “They were the best cookies I’ve ever had,” Breding said. It was the first time Breding had heard of a cowboy baking cookies. “It definitely caught me off guard,” Breding laughed. “I hadn’t seen Abe for a few years, and he is definitely killing it. I got three or four bags of cookies
Morris does all of the baking, packaging and mailing of his cookies from his home in Aurora, Colo. He uses his own recipe that’s been modified over the years. Photo courtesy Abe Morris
from him, and whenever I see him, I want to get more.” Morris isn’t sure what the future holds for his cookies. He mostly bakes on the weekends since he still works his full-time job at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver. “I’mmore concerned with the success than the money,” Morris said. His cookies can be ordered through his website, cowboychuteoutcookies. com or over the phone. “I’m not ready for mass mailings, I’m not equipped for it,” Morris said. “Eventually I’ll need to work out of a commercial kitchen, but I don’t want to get in over my head. I’m just moving gradually.” Although he was inducted into the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame in 2010 and the SalemCounty New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Morris doesn’t think rodeo will be what he’s remembered for. “I honestly believe the cookies will be my legacy and will far surpass anything I did in the sport of rodeo,” Morris said.