They called themselves girls!
They were daughters of the West, lovers of challenge, and mothers of women's competitive role in the modern sport of rodeo.
Powder Puff and Spurs tells the story of the all-girl rodeos and the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It is a story of women who wanted to be rodeo contestants when almost no opportunities existed for them, and it is the story of how they established their own professional rodeo association.
It tells how they produced and managed their series of all-girl rodeos, and brought women back into the professional rodeo arena, from where they had almost disappeared during the years of the Great Depression and the Second World War.
This is also the story of one man, James Cathey, a photojournalist who championed the cause of the rodeo women and helped them firmly establish and grow their young GRA into a strong, international sports organization with members throughout the United States and Canada.
Today's GRA, now bearing the modern name of Women's Professional Rodeo Association, is America's oldest women's professional sports organization, for any sport.
Powder Puff and Spurs tells us about the individual people who made it happen for all women who love rodeo. Nancy Binford, Thena Mae Farr, Margaret Owens Monrgomery, Tad Lucas, Jackie Worthington, Fern Sawyer, Dude Barton, Wanda Harper Bush, Ruby Gobble, Blanche Altizer Smith, Rae Beach, and Betty Dusek, whose stories are told here. are just a few of the founding and charter members of the GRA. They are the legendary giants of women's rodeo. Some have long passed, but some are still here to help tell their story.
Many of these women are now honorees in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. For his lifetime contribution to the sport, James Cathey was posthumously inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2018.
The book is written and designed by Cathey's sons, Craig W. Cathey and Gordon Cathey, and it is illustrated throughout by Cathey's amazing historic photographs of the great rodeo cowgirls in action.