Beginning around 1895, through the mid – 1930’s, women competed in rodeos across the nation. They participated in calf-roping, bronc and steer riding, bull dogging, and trick riding. Some were expert in firearms and gave demonstrations (i.e. Annie Oakley). During the 1920’s there was an outfit called THE PENDLETON DRUG COMPANY. They sponsored a number of these professional cowgirls. They had photographers take pictures (of the girls competing or stills) and placed these images on postcards, calendars, and other promotional material. The gals sponsored by the Pendleton Drug Company were often referred to as “THE PENDLETON GIRLS”.
In sculpting this piece, I desired to depict a young woman about to compete at the Pendleton Roundup in 1921.
Note: An amazing book to reference these women is entitled “Cowgirls: Early Images and Collectibles” by Judy Crandall.