Art of the Cowgirl

The Alberta team that competed in the Art of the Cowgirl ranch rodeo, from left: Tanya Schmidt, Pam Didier, Katie Keates, and Janelle Cameron. The team was sponsored by Eagle Hill Equine & Ranching.

Clear Arizona sunshine beckoned a wealth of Canadian cowgirls to the Art of the Cowgirl, a celebration of women and the Western industry of horses, riding, training, music, art, traditional cowboy arts and ranch rodeo.

The Canadian prairies were well-represented in the arena with the Eagle Hill ranch rodeo team, sidesaddle clinician (and writer) Lee MacLean, painter Shannon Lawlor, multi-artisan Cait Bascom (aka Cattle Cait, the sidesaddle rider), and the band Genuine Cowgirls.

Add to that a bunch of Canadian fans who went down for the event (and those that winter there), and it was a great time.

One elegant highlight was Lee MacLean and her daughter, Cattle Cait, demonstrating the graceful art of riding sidesaddle.

“I learned that it’s really easy to say ‘no’ and it’s really easy to stay home,” said Cait, who lives deep in southern Saskatchewan with her pasture-managing cowboy husband, Lee Bascom. “But travelling is important; it opens our minds, and we meet so many like-minded people. There’s horsemanship everywhere in the world so no matter where we go, there are people that we can connect with.”

Cattle Cait is a leather craftsman, artist, clothing designer and Western style influencer. “So many of us live so remotely, and this was an event that we were representing all those Canadian women, we were honouring them, and honouring those that came before us. It had a really ‘feel good’ vibe about it. We sure saw a lot of Canadians, and we can be proud of what we can offer.”

Plans are underway for another Art of the Cowgirl in 2021.

Photo by Primo morales

Photo Courtesy Bonterra Productions