A Recap of Art of the Cowgirl
- June 17, 2019
- Jenn Zeller
Ever since the first Art of the Cowgirl teaser video was aired, I had been intrigued and wanted to attend. Imagine my excitement when those plans met up with good fortune, and Tammy Pate offered me the chance to assist her with the event. Even though it meant a very busy weekend, the Inaugural “Art of the Cowgirl” Event, held in Phoenix Arizona, February 8-10, 2019 – far exceeded my expectations, and has me looking forward to next year.
I’ll admit that my initial excitement was about seeing the all girl ranch rodeo, and the ranch horse sale. As I dug in deeper to the 4 day event it was about so much more than those events.
From founder, Tammy Pate: “Art of the Cowgirl provides a showcase through an annual gathering that celebrates cowgirls and their artistic contributions to western lifestyle.” Folks traveled from near and far-I even ran into “neighbors” from South Dakota there. The showcase, trade-show, ranch horse show/sale, each would have been worth attending on their own merits. Then you layer on the added benefit of being able to engage the Master Artists on hand in frank, open, discussions about their journey, in an environment surrounded by others interested in personal growth. Now, you really have an event! Master Artists included: silversmiths, hat makers, boot makers, saddle makers, and other gear purveyors; in addition to a slew of Master Artists whose life’s passion is to share the western culture in song, verse, sculpture, photo, and print. Nearly all who participated as Master Artists, and many trade show exhibitors contributed their work to an auction aimed at raising money in order to propagate this way of life through mentorships.
One of the reasons that many handmade arts are dying is that it’s expensive to go to boot-making school, to learn to take a better photo, to build a better saddle, to start a colt more effectively, to braid a better pair of reins, or hone the craft of silversmithing (to mention a few). This event is working to bridge that gap through the scholarships provided by funds raised, and offering aspiring young cowgirls the opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade at the side of a master.
Of course you couldn’t tell a story about the event without devoting special time to the exceptionally handy cowgirls there; and the horses they create doing things the way they do them. On Sunday, the three day event culminated in a ranch horse sale — many of the horses had been in the women’s ranch rodeo earlier in the week. Not one to miss a good ranch horse sale – I was as close as I could get. The AQHA brand was well-represented here. A diverse set of performance bloodlines performing the “Cowgirl Art” of ranch work proved that there are many different routes to a broke horse. When those routes are built upon the foundation of a girl’s connection to her horse, the possibilities are endless.
It was one of the best horse sales I’ve ever witnessed and I can’t wait to see what next year brings. Mesa Pate did a phenomenal job choosing horses for the event. The sale average on 11 head was over $16,000, and the high selling horse brought $30,000.
If you love western culture, colt starting, great fellowship and watching handy people in their element, you will not want to miss this event next year!
About Jenn Zeller
Jenn Zeller is the creative mind and boss lady behind The South Dakota Cowgirl. She is an aspiring horsewoman, photographer, brilliant social media strategist and lover of all things western. After a brief career in the investment world to support her horse habit (and satisfy her...