Cutter Bill, Dash for Cash and Depth Charge are just some of the well-known horses Ray Bankston and his company, Dalco, has photographed over the years. He regularly took photographs of horses at the Oklahoma State Fair, the Texas State Fair, Louisiana State Fair, Colorado State Fair, as well as fairs in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Illinois. Ray Bankston even photographed youth shows, such as the National Youth Congress, and he was the official photographer for the 4-H shows until his retirement in 2005.
Photographs of Jerry Wells, Matlock Rose, Dale Livingston and Chip Knost are included in this collection, as well, which are familiar names to those associated with horse breeding, cutting horses, and quarter horses. Bankston also worked with Rex Cauble, a wealthy, controversial Texan and owner of the famous horse, Cutter Bill. Bankston took many photographs of Cauble and the Cauble Ranch. Several black and white images from the 1960s are featured of Cauble and later images depict the Cauble Ranch in a color format.
Bankston took images of paintings by Orren Mixer, too, who was a popular equine artist. Some large format color negatives of his work are part of this collection.
In addition to his horse-related photographs, Bankston photographed some celebrities throughout his career, such as Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Ken Curtis and Milburn Stone. Curtis, who played Festus, and Stone, who played Doc, on the television series, Gunsmoke, were often seen at horse shows during the 1960s.
Unlike some horse photography, Ray Bankston's photos have never been altered from their original state even though some of his clients have asked for enhancements to their images.
Events or other names are often abbreviated throughout this collection. Some examples of this include 4-H Finals (4-H F.), Appaloosa (App. or pluralized, Apps.) referring to the horse breed, the American Quarter Horse Association (A.Q.H.A.), the Athens Summer Jubilee (A.S.J.), Britannia Farm (B.F.), Britannia Farm Winter Classic (B.F.W.C.), Britannia Farm Spring Celebration (B.F.S.C.), Britannia Farm Santa Classic (B.F.S.C.), Britannia Farm Summer Classic (B.F.S.C.), Colorado State Fair (C.S.F.), Circuit (Cir.), Greater Houston Quarter Horse Show (G.H.Q.H.S.), Guadalupe Valley Horse Breeders Association (G.V.H.B.A.), Guadalupe Valley Quarter Horse Show (G.V.Q.H.S.), Heart O' Texas (H.O.T.), Jerry Wells Show (J.W.S.), Kansas State Fair (K.S.F.), Louisiana State Fair (L.S.F.), Louisiana State University (L.S.U.), National Cutting Horse Association (N.C.H.A.), National Cutting Horse Association Championship (N.C.H.A.C.), National Cutting Horse Futurity (N.C.H.F.), National Reining Horse Association (N.R.H.A.), National Reining Horse Futurity (N.R.H.F.), National Youth Horse Congress (N.Y.H.C.), Oklahoma State Fair (O.S.F.), Pony of America (P.O.A.), Piney Woods (P.W.), Quarter Horse (Q.H.), Quarter Horse Show (Q.H.S.), Two Ring Circuit (T.R.C.), Texas Reining Horse Association (T.R.H.A.), Texas State Fair (T.S.F.), Tri-State Fair (T.S.F.), Trinity Valley Exposition (T.V.E.), World Championship Finals (W.C.F.), West Central Texas Finals (W.C.T.F.) and Youth Show (Y.S.). These abbreviations do not always refer to actual names, but rather, they are names which Bankston has assigned.
The boxes contain 8x10 black and white photo prints and color photo prints mixed in with envelopes of black and white negatives, as well as color negatives. In many cases, there are anywhere from 5-50 negative envelopes per folder. For the majority of the collection, each envelope includes 12 negatives, and items with less than this are noted in the description. The boxes are arranged by date, but they do not necessarily go in chronological order by year.