“BELLE OF THE RODEO”
~ Cheyenne 1924 ~
Ruby Roberts. What a wild-child! She survived a 19 year, 300 ride rodeo career that included numerous broken bones and a man she’d married twice. The “not as wild” Opal Woods, balanced haute couture rodeo fashion and bobbed hair with her trick and bronc riding, as well as being an accomplished trick roper. Diamond Lil, had two diamonds studs put in her front teeth. When times got rough….she’d hawk them in pawn shops and put them back in when flush. Bonnie McCarroll, Mabel Strickland….the list goes on. Throw in silky shirts & bloomers, colorful sashes, custom stitched boots, beaded gauntlets, jodhpur pants, ten gallon hats (all standard attire at the 1924 Frontier Day Cheyenne Rodeo) and you’ve got the makin’s of a true spectacle.
The woman depicted in this sculpture, “Belle of the Rodeo,” could be any of these afore mentioned legendary cowgirl performers, each being a profile in feminine courage. For those with a love of history, examining the lives of these “heroine of yesteryear” is more than rewarding.