American Cowgirl Candle

  • $25.00


Strawberry Leather - Sweet Strawberry mixed with genuine Leather!  Trust me on this one, its ah-ma-zing!

Born of necessity on Old West homesteads and tempered by decades of competition, the rodeo cowgirl comes from a long lineage of pioneering women.

While their urban counterparts were restricted to more traditional female roles, women of the American West were roping and riding broncs. Wild West Shows featured women like Annie Oakley shooting and riding, and Lucile Mulhall, who was the first woman to be called a cowgirl. In 1904 Bertha Blancett was the first woman to ride a bronc at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. As rodeos gained popularity, producers capitalized on the novelty of special exhibitions and women who rode broncs. The Pendleton Round-Up was also one of the first to feature female performers.

Mabel Strickland won steer-roping titles in Cheyenne and Pendleton in the 1920s, but the rodeo cowgirl was already being slowly replaced by the “ranch girl,” predecessor to rodeo queens. Some historians cite the death of bronc rider Bonnie McCarroll at the 1929 Pendleton Round-Up as contributing to the shift, but really, urban crowds were less comfortable with women competing with men. Producer Col. W.T. Johnson included women bronc riders at New York City rodeos in Madison Square Garden, but by the time the Cowboy Turtle Association formed in 1936, women were excluded from rodeo’s main events. 

Competition between Autry’s ranch girls led to the development of barrel racing. These first events included figure-eight style patterns, which evolved into today’s cloverleaf barrel pattern. In 1967, Martha Josey and husband R.E. Josey founded their barrel racing school that pushed the sport to a more refined level of horsemanship. While women’s bronc riding continued to decline, roping events like team roping and breakaway roping grew in popularity thanks to youth and high school rodeo and the formation of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

The WPRA World Finals crowns world champions in the all-around, breakaway roping, heading, heeling, and tie-down roping, as well as barrel racing’s junior division, and derby and futurity divisions. The United States Team Roping Championships host popular female divisions, as well.

The most important aspect of rodeo and ranch life are the animals.  During times of hardship, brutal weather and regardless of the markets, ranches and cowboys value the safety and health of their animals above everything else.  Their animals are the priority and feeding, watering and bedding down cattle and horses long before the rest of the family gets to head to hotel is routine.  As rodeos evolved, one thing remains the same, the traditional ideals of sportsmanship, showmanship and mentor ship are still valued above all else.