An Honest Try
Location: 4900 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Owner: Country Club Plaza KC Partners LLC
Artist: Bob Scriver
Dates: Copyright 1968; Installed 1985; Dedicated January 18, 1986
Medium: Bronze (sculpture), granite (base)
AKA The Main Event
A one-and-a-half times life size sculpture of a man trying to ride a bull. The bull is bucking and the sculpture catches the scene where the bull is nearly vertical during its efforts to throw the cowboy. This sculpture is one of a series that the artist did in association with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. It is also reportedly the first monumental statuary depicting the rodeo in the United States. It also became Scriver's signature piece and he later wrote a book about this series of sculptures that shared this piece's title.
This large bronze was cast as 17 separate pieces that were assembled together to reach approximately 13 feet tall and 10 feet wide on top of a five foot tall granite base. The name of the piece is etched prominently into the front near the bottom. The author's signature and copyright are etched into the back. It was transported from the foundry in New Jersey to Kansas City on a low-boy truck in open view. The journey took three days. Along the way, the sculpture was "whitened" by salt on the highways when it traveled through snow and it had to washed before installation.
The alternate title of the work is "The Main Event." According to Miller Nichols, "The principle event of a rodeo is when the cowboys ride the bucking bull. The title is fitting for the Main Street location."