Along Came A Cowgirl: Daring and Iconic Women of the Rodeo & Wild West Shows softshell book.
Written by Chris Enss.
The origins of the rodeo can be traced to the early days of the American cattle industry when cowboys staged informal competitions designed to exhibit the skills of their trade. By the late 1880s, public rodeo events and grand Wild West shows staged by entertainers like Buffalo Bill Cody featured saddle bronc riding, bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, and calf roping, trick riding, shooting, and simple lassoing, as well as a number of humorous contests such as attempts to milk a wild cow or to saddle a bucking bronco.
Women began competing in rodeos as early as 1890. Many women, west of the Mississippi, had been roping cattle and riding broncos, along with their male counterparts, since settling in the wild frontier. It was their skill in the saddle that enabled them to find places in rodeos and perform in the Wild West shows - becoming some of the most legendary performers and capturing the hearts and imaginations of fans everywhere.