Before there was Venus Williams or Nancy Lopez or even Billie Jean King, there was Lulu Belle Parr and Bertha Blancett and Lucille Mulhall.
The true pioneers of women's professional sports gripped reins instead of golf clubs, rode wild horses and bulls instead of thoroughbreds, and competed in dusty arenas rather than on grass courts. America's first female pro athletes grew up on farms and ranches of the West, like Lorena Trickey of Oregon, who started competing as a bronc rider to support the family after her parents died. They were cowgirls competing head-to-head with cowboys in rodeos all across America.
From the late 1890s through the 1920s, cowgirls like Dorothy Morrell and Tad Lucas were popular stars of big-time rodeo competitions like the Calgary Stampede, the Pendleton Roundup and the World Series Rodeo in Madison Square Garden of New York City.
Continued at... When Cowgirls Rode the Broncs
Out of the Past
Cowgirls of the Rodeo
Artwork: Cowgirl with Horse