A cowgirl is more than the boots, hats, saddles and spurs she wears; it’s a spirit, mindset and lifestyle that resonates within women of all walks of life and nationalities.
Tammy Pate, a lifelong horsewoman, bootmaker and artist from Montana recognized the significant influence women have in the western culture and lifestyle, and their unique sense of strength, style, creativity and can-do attitude that spurs many of them to start their own businesses as artists of different mediums, from colt starting and ranching to painting, photography, leather crafting, rawhide braiding and silversmithing.
To showcase the talents and journeys of western women artists and inspire others to pursue their passions in traditional western trades, Pate started Art of the Cowgirl, a gathering of top horsewomen and artisans who share their skills and stories with the public through educational demonstrations, ranch horse and ranch rodeo competitions, and a trade show. The goal is to raise awareness about the contributions cowgirls and artists make to the western culture and lifestyle, as well as raise funds to support a fellowship program that unites emerging artists with masters in their trades for hands-on learning opportunities.
The second-annual Art of the Cowgirl event will take place January 24-26, 2020, at Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona. The event will feature female horsemen, fine artists, songwriters and musicians, and gear makers, including silversmiths, rawhide braiders and saddlemakers. The invited “Masters” in their disciplines will present workshops and demonstrations, as well as have their work for sale in the trade show of hand-selected vendors. There will also be a women’s ranch rodeo and exclusive horse sale with horses bred and trained predominantly by women for ranch work and performance events.
New this year will be the World’s Greatest Horsewoman competition produced by Mesa Pate in which women will vie for the championship and an entry into the prestigious World’s Greatest Horseman competition held in conjunction with the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Celebration of Champions each February in Fort Worth, Texas.
Each year, Pate selects artisans who are masters in their respective mediums to attend the event as vendors and presenters. The Masters selected for 2020 include:
- Rawhide braider and horsehair hitcher Teresa Black, Plush, Oregon
- National Reined Cow Horse Association world champion horsewoman Sandy Collier, Santa Maria, California
- Custom hat maker Sheila Kirkpatrick Massar, Twin Bridges, Montana
- Equine artist Shannon Lawlor, Alberta, Canada
- Photographer Barbara Van Cleve, Big Timber, Montana
- Saddlemaker Nancy Martiny, May, Idaho
Art of the Cowgirl exposes attendees to different disciplines and styles of horsemanship through educational demonstrations. Presenters at the 2020 event include:
- Sidesaddle horsewoman Lee McLean, Alberta, Canada
- Ranch horsemanship clinicians Annette Coker and Kevin Meyer, Douglas, Wyoming
- Rancher and competitive horsewoman Carmen Buckingham, Bruneau, Idaho
- Working cow horse trainer Sarah Dawson, Perrin, Texas
- Colt-starters Reata Brannaman, Sheridan, Wyoming; Alicia Adamson, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Lee Smith, Wickenburg, Arizona; and Zach Ducheneaux and Jenn Zeller, Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ArtoftheCowgirl.com, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Art of the Cowgirl.
Photos available upon request
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