The widow of a rodeo champion killed by a cop 12 years ago as he argued with his father is asking a judge to prohibit her father-in-law from using her late husband’s name in marketing the Cowboy’s complex of Western-themed stores in Scott.
A lawsuit filed by Chiara Bacque, the widow of Ken Bacque, claims she had an agreement with Larry Bacque after her husband’s death to not use her husband’s name in the Cowboy’s line of businesses Larry Bacque owns.
Ken Bacque was a well-known horseman who competed nationally in rodeos. In court papers filed Thursday, his widow claims Larry Bacque and his stores “regularly use Ken Bacque’s name and likeness both on in-store advertising, on their products and on internet advertising and marketing.”
The suit also requests that businesses associated with Larry Bacque also not use Ken Bacque’s name, including the RFD-TV television network, which broadcasts rodeos and bills itself as “Rural America’s Most Important Network.”
Chiara Bacque and her children also are seeking money they may be entitled to due to the alleged violation of the agreement, including profits earned by anybody or any business using Ken Bacque’s name without permission, according to the suit.
Jeffery Speer, the attorney for Chiara Bacque, said the only allowance his client gave in using her husband’s name was on the Ken Bacque Memorial Arena that sits behind Larry Bacque’s line of Cowboy’s stores.
“They use it (the name) for sales and advertising,” Speer said Friday. “The family’s just had enough. … She’s mad and the family has had enough.”
Bacque was 38 when he died on May 19, 2004, after being shot outside of the then-named Horseman Western Store on Ambassador Caffery Parkway north of Interstate 10. A Scott police officer shot the younger Bacque, who was arguing with his father.
No criminal charges were ever filed, but Chiara Bacque won a civil jury trial in federal court that found the Scott officer used excessive force when he fired his .40-caliber weapon. The jury also found that the officer and Bacque were equally guilty in the confrontation, but the verdict left the city of Scott liable for monetary damages.
Scott officials settled with Bacque’s wife and children. The amount was not disclosed.
Speer said using Ken Bacque’s name contributes to sales at Larry Bacque’s businesses. Speer said he’s sent numerous demand letters telling Larry Bacque and Cowboy’s employees and associates to cease using Ken Bacque’s name.
“They assured me that they’re not doing it,” Speer said, only to have others point out the Cowboy’s social media posts that advertise events and merchandise using Ken Bacque’s name.
A message left for Larry Bacque at Cowboy’s Western Store on Friday afternoon was not immediately returned.
Ken and Chiara Bacque’s two sons are now 14 and 19 years old, and their oldest, a daughter, is a junior at Baylor University, Speer said.
“This woman has done a stellar job raising her kids,” Speer said. “She could have used some help.”
Bacque was a Louisiana champion calf roper in high school who in 1984 placed third in the nation in the event. He turned professional and ranked in the top echelon of calf ropers worldwide, according to his obituary.