Female Bull Riders
To start this blog off I would like to ask the men a question, a serious question and one that should be answered honestly no matter what the response. What men out there have ever been out shined by a woman? I mean I’m sure its happened a time or two. You know what I mean when all your buddies are watching and that one girl beats you in a foot race or can beat you in a one on one game on the court. Whether we like to admit it or not it does happen, and nowadays its happening more and more and it does not matter what sporting event this happens in. But nowadays its easier to handle because the times have changed then from back then when Amelia Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. I bet when Amelia made history there were those few guys who were slightly upset. I’m not sure why they would be upset, that’s awesome in my books and it shows growth in the world of sports. In my mind if any guy complains about women being in sports then he earns the right to step into the boxing ring with Laila Ali and see how far he gets before she knocks him out. Love it or hate women are going to continue to show us “men” up in the world of sports and do not think for one second that they haven’t figured out how to ride bulls……….Because they have!!!
Yes Sir, you can bet the farm that women have tackled the monsters that make most men cry and go home beat up to their wives and mothers, and let me tell you that they don’t only get on to make a stand they win buckles. I have seen some talented lady bull riders in my day from starting as a Junior Steer Rider all the way up to Bulls, I have had my hard worked entry money find its way into a purse many times.
This dates back to when I was just a young buck entering my first rodeo in good old Milverton, Ontario. To say I was excited would be an understatement boy was I fired up and knowing my luck I had to draw the biggest one in the pen, well it did not work out for as I was thrown into the ground and winded so bad I thought I was dead, but I was fine. Now the big shocker that day was when the announcer started talking up this person who had won the last 5 rodeos and is leading the year end standings by a long shot, so I figured alright lets see a good ride. I was pumped until I heard the announcer say “Rebecca Hatfield” …..you betcha, it was a girl. I was speechless because i grew up watching my Dad and his buddies ride they were all big strong men not 90lbs girls. But eventually I accepted it and I accepted Rebecca taking all my money.
Now Rebecca may have been the first girl for my generation to ride steers in Ontario but this fad stretches way beyond me when riders like Robin Welch and Sherri Cahill would enter rodeos and take all the guys money, and these women did not win by default or because the guys had bad days, no no no they won because they were just simply better than the guys. Winning buckles and money and even being asked to travel with the guys to help pay for gas. Both Robin and Sherri went on to keep making money and eventually went on to other rodeo events.
So Rebecca took my money in Junior Steers I heard great stories about Robin and Sherri so when it came to bull riding was I ever shown up by a woman? You bet your ass I was and her name is Claire Hester. Shown up is putting that mildly, my first few years in bulls were spent watching Claire ride in finals and win rodeos. Hands down the toughest female I have ever met. I am reminded of one Sunday morning at a rodeo near Chatham Ontario and a bunch of us are exchanging stories of the weekends rodeos. A bunch of the guys and Claire had went to a big rodeo the night before and Claire was the victim of a nasty horn to the face, so I asked Claire how she feels and she removed her sunglasses and said “You tell me” it looked like a horror movie, her eye socket was shattered and nothing was holding her eye ball in her head (you cannot make this up). She said she was fine and that she was on extra strength Tylenol, I do not think that she got on that day but the fact that she was still standing and talking says a lot about her strength. Aside from being beat up and showing strength Claire was a dominating opponent in that arena taking down unridden bulls and getting on every bull she drew no matter what the reputation was. She had guys going up to her for advice on certain bulls that Claire had rode. Nowadays you can find Claire judging rodeos. Yes sir women know how to ride bulls ,just a few years ago the Junior Steer Riding event was tamed by 2 girls just over 5 feet named Holly Doner and Shelby Pattison. In the standings they were 1 and 2 and had all the younger boys smitten.
So whether or not you have been shown up my a female and have had your pride takin down a notch you better cowboy up and get over it because it is going to keep happening. I, myself love seeing women in the bull riding, it shows that our sport is growing and more and more people are getting into it. So guys the next time your at a rodeo and you see a pretty face by the bucking chutes you best keep those world class pickup lines for someones else cause that pretty face is entered in the bull riding and she can probably kick your ass.
Let Er Buck
Enjoy pictures of some of the women mentioned: