Bertha Blancett on Eagle, [Pendleton Round-Up] Walter S. Bowman, Pendleton, Oregon, ca. 1920 By 1920 rodeos regularly featured three cowgirl events--bronc riding, trick riding, and relay racing. Cowgirls had to stay on a bronc for 8 seconds (men 10 seconds), ride with two reins instead of one, and ride one-handed like the men. Most cowgirls rode with hobbled stirrups (stirrups tied together). The ladies' bronc riding event was dropped by 1941
Bonnie McCarroll (1897-1929) was bronc riding champion at Madison Square Garden in 1922, at Yankee Stadium in 1923 and at Wembley Stadium in London in 1924. McCarroll was thrown and fatally trampled by a bronc at the Pendleton Round-up of 1929. Ironically, this was to be her last rodeo since she and her husband, Frank McCarroll, had planned to retire. As a consequence of her death. McCarroll thrown from "Silver" Pendleton, OR taken by W.S. Bowman, Pendleton, Oregon, 1915
Mabel Strickland was a very early rodeo trick rider and cowgirl. She was one of only two ladies to rope and bust steers in the 1920's. She also rode broncs, Although only 5' 4" and 112 lbs dripping wet, she was tough as wang leather and was named Worlds Champion Lady Bronc Buster and Trick Rider in 1921.
Rose Smith, Cowgirl Portrait circa 1930 Printed from original negative, silver gelatin dry plate, 7"x5" Rose Smith was a trick and bronc rider. In 1923 at Ringling’s Madison Square Garden contest, she won $960, including the $600 first prize in bronc riding, $185 day money (daily prizes), and $175 in the costume event. She was married to Oklahoma Curly Roberts.
Publicity photos of Eloise Fox Hastings Wilson (1882-1948). She did trick and bronc riding with the Irwin Brothers’ Wild West Show. In 1948, Foghorn Clancy, her manager and publicist, described her trick riding performance: “...she was a little heavy to be very graceful... she had one of the fastest running trick riding horses ever seen in a rodeo arena, ‘Buster,’ and the red-headed girl on that flying mount doing any kind of a stunt was little short of sensational."
Ruth Roach -- World Champion Trick Rider and member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; Mable Strickland -- Walla Walla raised Queen of the Rodeo; Rose Smith -- bronc rider; Prairie Rose Henderson -- Wyoming cowgirl and bronc rider.