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Jaimie Stoltzfus



Mesa Pate



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World’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition Debuts at Art of the Cowgirl

By Art of the Cowgirl | September 30, 2019

Art of the Cowgirl, taking place January 24-26, 2020, at Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona, provides a venue for western female artists and makers in a variety of mediums to showcase their talents. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, which included the Clarke Butte Ranch All Women Ranch Rodeo, Art of the Cowgirl is hosting the first World’s Greatest Horsewoman competition presented by Western Horseman.

Structured similarly to the American Quarter Horse Association’s former event Battle in the Saddle, the World’s Greatest Horsewoman will focus on one horse and one rider testing their skills and versatility with the same bit in four exciting phases of competition–herd work, rein work, steer stopping and cow work. Entries open October 15. The event will be open to 25 female competitors, and the entry fee is $250. Each cowgirl will compete and be scored by judges in all four events. The top five horse and rider duos will vie for cash, prizes and the chance to compete at the prestigious National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World’s Greatest Horseman, being held February 13-22, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Art of the Cowgirl is driven by horsewomen and I wanted to produce an elite cow horse event for women like me who come from ranching backgrounds and dream of taking a cow down the fence in Fort Worth, yet still respect the working cowboy, cowgirl and ranch horse,” says Art of the Cowgirl Event Director Mesa Pate. 

Through the years, women have competed at the World’s Greatest Horseman, but usually there is only one entry per year. In 2018, however, five women–Naomi Bancroft, Alexis Blakey, Gusti Buerger, Abbie Phillips and Annie Reynolds–entered and rode against some of the greatest horsemen in the world. Art of the Cowgirl hopes to inspire horsewomen of all backgrounds and levels of riding to elevate their horsemanship to the highest level possible.

“For a lot of horsewomen, horsemanship is their art, and they’re interested in reined cow horse because it embraces ranching,” says Pate. “They may not have the opportunity to compete due to finances and the long distance to travel to shows. The World’s Greatest Horsewoman is a unique way to tip our hat and show respect to working ranch cowgirls and the horses they’ve trained. We look forward to developing a longstanding relationship with NRCHA, because there are a lot of ranching men and women trying to get to a high level in their horsemanship and compete at reined cow horse events.”

The preliminary round of the World’s Greatest Horsewoman and the all women ranch rodeo will both take place January 23-24, at the John Volken Academy Ranch arena in Gilbert, Arizona. The final round of both competitions will be January 25 at Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds. 

Tickets prices are $65 for a day pass and $175 for a three-day pass. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artofthecowgirl.com, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

About Art of the Cowgirl

Founded by Montana horsewoman Tammy Pate in 2018, Art of the Cowgirl is a three-day gathering that celebrates cowgirl artisans and their contributions to the western lifestyle and culture through discussions, demonstrations, rodeo and ranch horse competitions, an art auction and trade show, and an elite ranch horse sale. Proceeds from the event fund educational fellowships that unite emerging artists with masters in their respective fields. The gathering will be held January 24-26, 2020, at Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Art of the Cowgirl is sponsored by Western Horseman, COWGIRL Magazine, Wrangler, MT Silversmiths, Preifert, The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Clarke Butte Ranch.