Oklahoma's central location and ranching tradition gave it a unique connection to the rodeo industry as it grew from a local pastime to an internationally popular sport.
From the very beginning, Oklahoma cowgirls played a significant role in developing the institution and the businesses that grew up in its shadow.
Lucille Mulhall's pioneering roping carved out a place for women in the actual competition, while Mildred Chrisman's promotional efforts kept rodeo chutes open during the Great Depression.
Modern ranchers like Terry Stuart produced the quarter horses sought by professional athletes around the world. From Guymon to Pawhuska and from stock contractors to rodeo clowns, Tracey Hanshew follows the trail that Oklahoma women blazed across this rough-and-tumble sport.