Title:
COOLER WITH RETRACTABLE HORNS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Described is a cooler that stores and maintains food and beverages at a desired temperature, but also doubles as a training apparatus for steer roping. The steer roping apparatus may be integrated with a cooler handle configured as steer horns and an optional steer snout. The horns and/or snout may be extended, rotated or otherwise adjusted to generate various horn and snout positions for simulating a complete training regiment.



Inventors:
Chandler, Megan (Henderson, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/676917
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
02/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/521, 273/338
International Classes:
B65D81/38; A63B67/06; B65D1/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050077306Thermal container with pedal operated lidApril, 2005Jackson
20050082284Collapsible cargo containerApril, 2005Ouyang
20040112902Paint tray liner system and methodJune, 2004Campbell
20080061064Collapsible canister liner for medical fluid collectionMarch, 2008Michaels
20090212057Electrical OffsetAugust, 2009Bravo et al.
20070221672Composite Lined ClosureSeptember, 2007Kim et al.
20080230409FLORAL STAND, FRAME KIT AND CONTAINER AND METHOD OF USESeptember, 2008Elfezouaty
20080128429Drinking glass with a removable magnetic markerJune, 2008Towery et al.
20100076901Food Delivery Packaging and ProcessMarch, 2010Bosher
20070138188Drink sleeveJune, 2007Mace et al.
20060065655Collapsible insulated containerMarch, 2006Taylor



Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBERG TRAURIG (LV) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A cooler comprising: a body; and a handle coupled to said body, said handle configured as a pair of horns.

2. The cooler according to claim 1, wherein said body includes an interior cavity for storing and maintaining food and beverages.

3. The cooler according to claim 2, further comprising a cover for closing said interior cavity, said cover being removably detachable from said body.

4. The cooler according to claim 2, further comprising a cover for closing said interior cavity, said cover being hingably attached to said body.

5. The cooler according to claim 1, further comprising one or more wheels coupled to said body.

6. The cooler according to claim 1, wherein said pair of horns are retractable and extendable.

7. The cooler according to claim 1, wherein said pair of horns are movable in a substantially vertical direction.

8. The cooler according to claim 1, wherein said pair of horns may rotate through a range of 180 degrees.

9. The cooler according to claim 1, wherein said handle further includes a member configured as a snout.

10. The cooler according to claim 9, wherein said snout member may rotate through a range of 180 degrees.

11. A training apparatus comprising: a body defining a cooler space; and a pair of horns coupled to said body, said horns being retractable and extendable.

12. The apparatus according to claim 11, further comprising a snout member coupled to said body.

13. The cooler according to claim 12, wherein said snout member may rotate through a range of 180 degrees.

14. The apparatus according to claim 13, wherein said body includes an interior cavity for storing and maintaining food and beverages.

15. The apparatus according to claim 14, further comprising a cover for closing said interior cavity, said cover being removably detachable from said body.

16. The apparatus according to claim 14, further comprising a cover for closing said interior cavity, said cover being hingably attached to said body.

17. The apparatus according to claim 13, further comprising one or more wheels coupled to said body.

18. The cooler according to claim 13, wherein said pair of horns are movable in a substantially vertical direction.

19. The cooler according to claim 13, wherein said pair of horns may rotate through a range of 180 degrees.

20. In combination: a cooler having a body with an interior cavity for storing and maintaining food and beverages; and a training apparatus coupled to said cooler, said training apparatus including a handle configured as a pair of horns.

21. The combination according to claim 20, further comprising a cover for closing said interior cavity, said cover being removably detachable from said body.

22. The combination according to claim 20, further comprising a cover for closing said interior cavity, said cover being hingably attached to said body.

23. The combination according to claim 20, further comprising one or more wheels coupled to said body.

24. The combination according to claim 20, wherein said pair of horns are retractable and extendable.

25. The combination according to claim 20, wherein said training apparatus further comprises a snout member.

26. The cooler according to claim 25, wherein said snout member may rotate through a range of 180 degrees.

27. The cooler according to claim 20, wherein said pair of horns are movable in a substantially vertical direction.

28. The cooler according to claim 20, wherein said pair of horns may rotate through a range of 180 degrees.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the present invention relate to coolers, training devices and combinations thereof, more specifically, to a portable cooler that can be used to train for steer roping.

BACKGROUND

Coolers have become increasingly popular as their portability has been enhanced with wheels and handles. They are commonly used in various outings such as picnics, parties and camping for maintaining food and beverages at a desired temperature. In other instances, they are used at competitions and sporting events.

Steer roping is perhaps one of the oldest roping skills practiced by those engaged in cattle ranching operations or at rodeo competitions. One of the ways to practice steer head roping is to use a training apparatus that simulates a steer's head so that roping practice can be repeated without undue or burdensome delay.

Although both devices have been around for a long time, no one has thought to combine them such that a cooler may act as a training apparatus related to a rodeo competition. More particularly, there exists a need for a portable cooler that can also function as a training device for steer roping.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, a first embodiment of the present invention discloses a cooler comprising: a body; and a handle coupled to said body, said handle configured as a pair of horns. The cooler can further include a cover and one or more coupled wheels. Ideally, the horns are retractable and extendable longitudinally and moveable vertically. Furthermore, the handle can also include a member configured as an animal's snout. The design of the cooler allows it to function as a training apparatus for steer roping.

Other variations, embodiments and features of the present invention will become evident from the following detailed description, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a cooler with retractable horns according to the presently disclosed invention;

FIGS. 2A-2B are corresponding side views of the cooler with the horns retracted and in a downward position;

FIGS. 3A-3B are corresponding side views of the cooler with the horns in a retracted downward position and, after having moved through a range of motion, in a final extended upright position; and

FIGS. 4A-4B are corresponding side views of the cooler with the horns upright and longitudinally extended for practicing the skill of steer roping.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention can be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential character thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore considered in all respects to be illustrative and not restrictive.

Initial reference is made to FIG. 1 illustrating a perspective view of a cooler 10 with a handle configured as horns 18 according to the presently disclosed invention. The cooler 10 includes a body 12 having an interior cavity for storing and maintaining food and beverages at a desired temperature. Although shown as substantially rectangular, the body 12 can take on any number of polygonal shapes and sizes. The cooler 10 further includes a cover 14 for closing the body 12 wherein the cover 14 is removably detachable from the body 12. Alternatively, the cover 14 can be pivotably coupled to the body 12 by hinges or other means (not shown). Both the body 12 and the cover 14 can be made of known insulating materials and can further include inner and outer shells and/or foam layers. The body 12 may further include utensil drawers or hinged shelves (not shown) on the sides thereof. The cooler 10, as shown, has wheels 16 for improved mobility and portability. Although the cooler 10 has only two wheels 16, the cooler 10 can have fewer or more than two wheels 16.

The cooler 10 includes a handle configured in the shape of a pair of horns 18 along with a snout 20 disposed about one side of the body 12 of the cooler 10. The horns 18 can be longhorns shaped to simulate those of a steer. Preferably, the length 22 of the horns 18 from end to end is about 44 cm (or 17.25 inches) when retracted and 55 cm (or 21.75 inches) when longitudinally extended. However, the length, shape and size of the horns 18 can vary depending on a user's and/or manufacturer's preference. The horns 18 as shown are operably coupled to a pair of handle rails 24, which can be hingably attached to the sides of the body 12 of the cooler 10. The handle rails 24 and corresponding hinges are better illustrated in subsequent figures. Alternatively, the horns 18 can be removably detached and stored when not in use. Ideally, the horns 18 can be rotatably coupled to the handle rails 24 such that the horns 18 can freely rotate themselves. Also, the handles may be configured as a steer's head as well. The snout 20, in addition to being a decorative simulation of an animal's snout, can also function as a handlebar similar to that of the pair of horns 18. In other words, both the horns 18 and the snout 20 can function as handlebars and need not be mutually exclusive. Ideally, the snout 20 is hingably attached to the handle rails 24 to provide a more realistic visual perspective of an animal for roping purposes, which will be discussed in more details to follow. Although only one set of horns 18 and one snout 20 are described and illustrated, there can be a plurality of horns 18 and/or snouts 20 disposed about the body 12 of the cooler 10.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 2A-2B illustrating corresponding side views of the cooler 10 with the horns 18 longitudinally retracted and in a downward position, which is a preferred position for storing the cooler 10. As described above, the horns 18 may also be detachably removed from the cooler 10 for storage purposes. As shown, the handle rails 24 can be coupled to the side of the body 12 by a hinge 26 or other means, which allows the handle rails 24 along with the horns 18 and the snout 20 to swing through a range of motions as shown in subsequent figures. In FIGS. 2A-2B, the handle rails 24 and the horns 18 are pointed in a downward position with the horns 18 being longitudinally retracted. The snout 20 is pointing upward, but remains aligned with and between the handle rails 24 as viewed from the side as shown in FIG. 2B. Alternatively, the snout 20 may extend away from the side of the cooler 10 and be used as a handlebar even when the handle rails 24 and the horns 18 are pointing downward. Additionally, although the snout 20 is hingably attached to the handle rails 24, the snout 20 has the ability to slide the length of the handle rails 24 along slits or slots (not shown) formed within the handle rails 24. In other words, the snout 20 can slide upward or downward independent of the horns 18.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 3A-3B illustrating corresponding side views of the cooler 10 with the horns 18a, snout 18a and handle rails 24a in an initial position similar to those shown in FIGS. 2A-2B and a final position with the horns 18b and handle rails 24b upright and the snout 20b pointing downward in a preferred position for moving or transporting the cooler 10. As shown in FIGS. 3A-3B, the handle rails 24a, horns 18a and snout 20a are initially situated as they are shown in FIGS. 2A-2B. By means of the hinge 26, the horns 18a, snout 20a and handle rails 24a are able to swing through a range of motion of approximately 180 degrees centered about the hinge 26 in the direction as shown by the arrows 21 (i.e., counter-clockwise from 6 o'clock to 12 o'clock as best illustrated in FIG. 3B). The final upright position of the handle has the horns 18b and the handle rails 24b pointing upward while the snout 20b is pointing downward. Similar to the initial lower position of the handle, the snout 20b can be aligned and between the handle rails 24b as viewed from the side as shown in FIG. 3B. Furthermore, while in a final upright position, the horns 18b may be extended (shown by the two arrows 23 in FIG. 3A and by comparing the total length of the initial horns 18a to those of the final horns 18b) to provide additional handling area for moving or carrying the cooler 10 as necessary. In addition, the horns 18b may be extended for while in the upright position to allow the cooler 10 to be utilized as a roping dummy for steer roping practice.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 4A-4B illustrating corresponding side views of the cooler 10 having the horns 18 in different roping positions. FIGS. 4A-4B show the horns 18b and handle rails 24b in an upright position and the horns 18c and handle rails 24c in a lower position both with the snout 20c pointing downward. In this portion, as previously suggested and shown, the horns 18b may be used for steer roping practice as if roping an older or larger steer. Alternatively, the horns 18 may be manipulated so that they point straight upward and parallel with the handle rails 24 (not shown). Preferably, to realistically simulate steer roping, the height of the horns 18 and the snout 20 can be adjusted by manipulating the handle rails 24. Because of slits or slots within the handle rails 24b, the horns 18b along with the snout 20 can slide the length of the handle rails 24b resulting in the horns 18c and the snout 20c having a final position that is lower than the initial position and more flush with the handle rails 24c and the sides of the cooler 10. As best illustrated in FIG. 4B, the horns 18c can be situated closer to the top of the cooler 10 cover 14 such as if to simulate roping a older or larger steer. Also shown in FIG. 4B, the final position of the snout 20c simulates a protruding snout 20c, which is as expected when one attempts to simulate roping a young steer.

The means, including springs, hinges, coils and the like, for manipulating, such as retracting, extending or adjusting, the horns 18 are well known and are not discussed in further detail herein. Ideally, the horns 18 are made of plastic, metal or other synthetic material. Alternatively, the horns 18 can be actual bull horns. Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to several embodiments, additional variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.