Frontier Days

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Table of Contents,
About This Site

Left to Right: Reine Hadley, Fox Hastings, Rose Smith, Ruth Roach, Mabel Strickland,
Prairie Rose Henderson, Dorothy Merrell Robbins, approx. 1920. Photo by Ralph Doubleday, approx. 1920.

Reine Hafley (1902-1979), the step-daughter an exhibition rider, Frank Hafley, first performed with the Pawnee Bill's at age 4 12. She first entered Frontier Days. She partipated in the Cowgirl's stake race and as a trick rider. In the trick riding contest she placed second. She also appeared in the Miller Brothers 101. In 1925, she eloped with bulldogger, Dick Shelton (1901-1970). In the 1935 Madison Garden event he threw a steer in 10 seconds.

In 1914, Dorothy Merrell

Other cowgirls suffered injuries. Tad Lucas, winner of the 1930 and 1931 Ladies' Relay, had her right forearm crushed in the 1933 Chicago Show when her horse stepped on her arm and kicked her. By 1935, she was again on the circuit. The following year in 1936, her horse stepped on her back, but by the end of the year she was again riding.

Ruth Roach, Photo by Ralph Doubleday.

Ruth Roach, winner of the 1919 Women's Saddle Bronc contest, had her left leg crushed at Madison Square Garden in 1933. A year later she was again thrown from her horse and broke her wrist. Alice Greenough crushed her ankle at El Paso and was on crutches for two years. At Madrid, Spain, whe was thrown and was in a coma for four days. Later in Australia, she received injuries to both knees when a horse fell on her. Bonnie McCarrol, winner of the 1922 Frontier Days Ladies' Saddle Bronc contest, was killed at Pendleton in 1929. She was riding "hobbled." When thrown, she became caught up in her gear and was trampled to death. Riding "hobbled" is with the stirrups tied under the horse. Riding "slick" is with the stirrups hanging loose. Women riders customarily rode hobbled. Men rode slick.

Brian Roach in Bareback Contest, 1919

Brian Roach of Chickasha, Oklahoma, was the winner of the 1919 Calgary stampede Bronc riding contest and the 1919 Fort Worth Steer Riding Contest, and also was a performer with the Miller Bros. 101. There he met and married Ruth Scantlin. Ruth Roach became one of the leading cowgirl rodeo stars and won the 1920 Frontier Days Ladies' Bronco Contest.

Frontier Days Cowgirl entrants, approx. 1926. Left to Right: Bea Kirman, Fort Worth; Rose Smith, El Paso; Mabel Strickland, Walla Walla; Fox Hastings, Pendleton; Ruth Roach; Fort Worth; Florence Hughes, San Antonio. Photo by Ralph Doubleday

The original caption for the photo indicates that all were expected to compete for "King Kalakauna's spurs -- the prize of all broncdom at the Frontier Days celebration to open at Cheyenne, Wyo. on July 22nd."

Although Ruth Roach and Brian Roach divorced, she continued for the remainder of her career under the name of Ruth Roach. Mrs. Roach was also noted for her sense of humor and for being somewhat bosomy. In one contest she caught her blouse and bra on the saddlehorn, ripping both wide open. As the rodeo officials rushed forward to protect her modesty, she commented: "I sure do thank you boys. I thought before I got off that bronc I was gonna black both my eyes." Mrs. Roach died on her ranch in Texas in 1986.

Rose Smith was the wife of Oklahoma Curly Roberts. Florence Hughes was a trick rider weighing only 90 pounds. Two other cowgirls in the photo, Mabel Strickland and Fox Hastings, were a part of husband and wife teams closely associated with Frontier Days. Mabel DeLong Strickland (1897-1976) was married to 1916 and 1920 Saddle Bronc Champion, Hugh Strickland. Mabel started entering rodeos while still in high school at age 16 in Walla Walla. There she won the 1913, 1914, and 1915 Trick Riding Contest. She married Hugh in 1918. In Cheyenne she won the 1922 and 1923 Ladies' Relay Championship and the 1923 Ladies' Saddle Bronc contest. in 1925 she roped and tied a steer in 24 seconds. The following year she appeared on the Frontier Days Program cover riding Mike Hastings' horse "Stranger."

Mabel Strickland on Stranger, 1924. Photo by Ralph Doubleday.

In 1941, Hugh Strickland died. Mabel subsequently remarried to Sam Woodward. The Mabel Strickland Woodward Museum in Cheyenne is named in her honor.

Lulu Bell Parr on Kangaroo, 1913.

The dates shown on the photo are not in error. Although Frontier Days is now conducted in the last full week of July, in its early years the Rodeo was held in August. Lulu Bell Parr (1876-1955) was an alumna of many of the early wild west shows. In 1903 she joined Pawnee Bill's. In 1908 she joined Col. Frederick T. Cummins' Famous Indian Congress and Wild West performing at Brighton and appeared before Edward VII. She later rejoined Pawnee Bill. By 1911, she had joined the Miller Bros. 101 and was included within their Argentinian tour in 1913. Even in the dying days of wild west shows she continued to perform with the King Brothers as late as 1929 at age 53. In 1937, facing poverty, Parr moved in with her brother and sister-in-law in their tarpaper shack in Dayton, Ohio. There she remained surrounded by momentos of better years until her death of a stroke in 1955.

Next page, Frontier Days continued.