Women-Led Rodeo Competition Returns to the Valley

Madison RutherfordJanuary 15, 2020
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Art of the Cowgirl founder Tammy Pate grew up rodeoing on a ranch in Montana.

“Horsemanship was a very important part of [my] life, as was ranching” she says.

Her grandmother taught her how to cook, sew and paint and she apprenticed with a bootmaker. “I’ve always been an artist at heart,” she says.

Then, she started doing yoga and horsemanship retreats and was looking for a way to give back to the industry.

“I started dreaming up Art of the Cowgirl because I wanted to create something that would give people an opportunity to learn a trade like I did with making boots,” she says. “Then, having worked for so many years at horse expos, I loved the idea of a public event.”

Art of the Cowgirl is two-fold, Pate explains. It has a nonprofit side that funds fellowships for people who want to learn photography, fine art, silversmithing and how to build boots and saddles, and a public event that celebrates the women in the industry who are doing those things.

“Our fellowship program is to mentor and empower people who want to go into the business and have their own business,” she says.

At the event, which takes place from January 24 to January 26 at Corona Ranch in Laveen Village, attendees can watch horsemanship demonstrations, browse offerings from female fine artists and gear makers, listen to live music and participate in talks from influential women in the industry.

The second annual event will include the first World’s Greatest Horsewoman competition, which focuses on one horse and one rider showcasing their skills in four phases.

“They cut cattle, they go down the fence, they steer stop and they do a reining pattern,” Pate says.

The winner of the competition gets to go to Fort Worth, Texas in February to compete in the World’s Greatest Horseman event.

Pate expects 1,500 people to attend Art of the Cowgirl each day. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Art of the Cowgirl Fellowship Program.

“I’m so grateful for the support, not only from the western industry but people coming and just supporting the trades and the arts,” she says.

Art of the Cowgirl
Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds, 7611 S. 29th Ave, Laveen Village
Friday, January 24, 1-9 p.m., Saturday, January 25, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, January 26, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
$65 per day, $175 for a three-day pass

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