Cowgirl Research Paper

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One of the early-day cowgirls, and two time Hall-of-Famer, Vera McGinnis says on the profession of rodeo cowgirl, “If I’d pulled up right then, I likely would have missed the years of hardship, heartache, fun, adventure, a smidgen of fame, and finally, a broken body. But I’m glad I didn’t, … I always felt that I wouldn’t trade being a rodeo cowgirl for any other profession”. Cowgirls were among the first female athletes in the United States. From the beginning of the sport of rodeo, many women competed alongside the men in all aspects of the rodeo events. While the events were separated into gender-designated categories, women continually proved their equivalence in skill, establishing cowgirl as a profession. It wasn’t until 1929 when female bronc rider Bonnie McCarroll was thrown from her horse and trampled to death that the by-laws and regulations began to exclude women from the professional circuits. As the sport of rodeo has since evolved, the role of cowgirls has been severely impacted, replacing their involvement as athletes to promotional figures. From the start of the 20th century, women began competing alongside the men in many of the rough stock events. In fact, from 1890-1943 there were more than 450 cowgirls that worked as professional cowgirls . Many of the cowgirls competed…show more content…
Whether the competitor is female or male, the odds of suffering injuries or death are equal. There are countless examples of severe injuries and death sustained by men competing in these events. In the years following McCarroll’s death, there was a similar incident involving a seasoned professional bronc rider being trampled by his horse in competition. This lack of discrimination raises the question as to what made the RAA deem this sport so dangerous for women that they were excluded from all professional circuits, yet men and young boys compete regularly, and frequently encounter unpredictable

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