July 31, 2014

Executive Leathers

Back in the Saddle

Doyle Conner Jr., a sixth-generation Florida cowboy, has a passion for Florida Cracker history. But what really "trips his trigger," he says, are antique leather saddles. He's acquired a reputation nationally for his careful restorations. His shop is tucked away in the barn on the family ranch in Monticello.

Conner's interest in restoring saddles dates back 25 years, when he bought his first vintage saddle. It needed a lot of work. Sticker shock prompted him to learn the tricks of the trade himself. "Somebody put a lot of time and effort into building that saddle," he says. "I can't stand to see that little bit of history go to waste."

Since then, Conner's restored saddles -- including some by famed makers like Florida's Floyd Lingle, SC Gallup and the Collins Brothers -- have wound up in the Smithsonian, the American Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Will Rogers Museum, the American Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage and in senior executives' offices. He recently turned down a $5,000 offer for that first vintage saddle he bought for $150.

Tags: Around Florida

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Major archaeological discovery unveiled
Major archaeological discovery unveiled

In roughly 15 feet of water about 1,000 feet offshore from Fort Pierce, shipwreck salvager Eric Schmitt made a major archaeological discovery.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Your thoughts about fast-food workers joining unions:

  • Good idea - they need more bargaining power (and possibly higher wages)
  • Not in favor - bad for business and the price of burgers

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe