The Most Famous Cowgirl, Ranked

Choose the cowgirl you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 25, 2024 07:40
The allure of the American West has long been embodied by the figure of the cowgirl, a symbol of both adventure and the defiance of conventional roles. As stories and legends of these rugged individuals vary greatly, identifying the most iconic cowgirls can spark interesting discussions and provide insights into diverse cultural narratives. By participating in this dynamic ranking, users contribute to a broader understanding of the impact and legacy of these figures. Each vote helps shape a clearer picture of who stands out in the collective memory and why, offering a unique way to engage with history and popular culture.

Who Is the Most Famous Cowgirl?

  1. 1

    Annie Oakley

    An American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter, Oakley's amazing talent and timely rise to fame led her to become a star in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, becoming one of the first American female superstars.
    • Nickname: Little Sure Shot
    • Skill: Sharpshooting
  2. 2

    Dale Evans

    Dale Evans was an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She was also the wife of Roy Rogers and is remembered for her roles in Western films and for co-writing the song 'Happy Trails.'
    • Marriage: Roy Rogers
    • Song: 'Happy Trails'
  3. 3

    Calamity Jane

    Martha Jane Cannary, known as Calamity Jane, was an American frontierswoman and professional scout known for being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok and fighting against Native Americans.
    • Profession: Scout
    • Famous association: Wild Bill Hickok
  4. 4

    Lucille Mulhall

    Lucille Mulhall is often called America's first cowgirl. Known for her skills in roping and riding, she performed in Wild West shows and was famous for her ability to rope and control wild steers.
    • Title: America's First Cowgirl
    • Skill: Roping and riding
  5. 5

    Fannie Sperry Steele

    Born on a ranch in Montana, Fannie Sperry Steele was a champion bronc rider and a rodeo performer. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame for her contributions to the sport.
    • Profession: Bronc rider
    • Hall of Fame: National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
  6. 6

    Tad Lucas

    Tad Lucas was known as the 'First Lady of Rodeo.' Over her 40-year career, she excelled in bronc riding, trick riding, and relay races, becoming one of the most famous female rodeo stars of her time.
    • Title: First Lady of Rodeo
    • Career span: 40 years
  7. 7

    Fox Hastings

    Fox Hastings was a rodeo performer known for her skills in bronc riding and steer wrestling. She became a prominent figure in the rodeo world during the 1920s and 1930s.
    • Specialties: Bronc riding, steer wrestling
    • Era: 1920s and 1930s
  8. 8

    Belle Starr

    Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr, better known as Belle Starr, was a notorious American outlaw. Starr gained national fame as a horse thief, bootlegger, and mastermind of criminal enterprises.
    • Nickname: The Bandit Queen
    • Criminal activities: Horse theft, bootlegging
  9. 9

    Prairie Rose Henderson

    Prairie Rose Henderson, one of the first female rodeo stars, competed in bronc riding, steer roping, and bull riding. Her daring performances and western attire made her a pioneer in women's rodeo.
    • Events: Bronc riding, steer roping, bull riding
    • Contribution: Pioneer in women's rodeo
  10. 10

    Pearl Hart

    Pearl Hart was a Canadian-born outlaw of the American Old West. She committed one of the last stagecoach robberies in the United States; her crime and subsequent imprisonment earned her national fame.
    • Notable crime: Stagecoach robbery
    • Legacy: One of the last stagecoach robbers

Missing your favorite cowgirl?

Error: Failed to render graph
No discussion started, be the first!

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous cowgirl. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Cowgirl is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 133 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Cowgirl once every 24 hours. The rank of each Cowgirl is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Cowgirl

Annie Oakley
Rank #1 for the most famous cowgirl: Annie Oakley (Source)
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the American West was a land of opportunity and adventure. Men and women alike sought new lives on the frontier. Among these pioneers were the cowgirls, who broke barriers and defied norms. They rode horses, roped cattle, and performed daring feats. These women became legends in their own right.

Cowgirls often grew up on ranches. From a young age, they learned to ride and handle livestock. Their skills matched those of their male counterparts. They worked hard and proved their worth in a male-dominated world. Many became skilled horsewomen and expert ropers. They earned respect through their abilities and determination.

In the early 1900s, Wild West shows gained popularity. These shows featured rodeo events, trick riding, and reenactments of frontier life. Cowgirls saw an opportunity to showcase their talents. They joined these shows and performed for large audiences. Their daring acts captivated crowds and earned them fame.

Cowgirls also played a role in the development of rodeo. Rodeo began as a way for cowboys to show off their skills. Over time, it became a competitive sport. Women competed in events such as bronc riding, barrel racing, and roping. They faced challenges and discrimination but persisted. Their participation helped shape the sport into what it is today.

The image of the cowgirl became iconic. She was strong, independent, and skilled. She wore practical clothing, including wide-brimmed hats, boots, and split skirts. This attire allowed her to ride and work comfortably. The cowgirl's image challenged traditional gender roles. She showed that women could be tough and capable.

In addition to their physical skills, cowgirls often had a strong sense of community. They supported each other and shared knowledge. Many formed close bonds and friendships. They also contributed to their communities in other ways. Some became writers, sharing their stories and experiences. Others worked as teachers or nurses, helping those in need.

The legacy of the cowgirl endures today. Modern rodeo still features women competing in various events. They continue to break records and set new standards. The spirit of the cowgirl lives on in these athletes. They embody the same qualities of courage, determination, and skill.

Cowgirls also inspire people beyond the rodeo arena. Their stories remind us of the importance of perseverance. They show that with hard work, we can overcome obstacles. Their legacy encourages us to challenge stereotypes and pursue our dreams.

The cowgirl remains a symbol of the American West. She represents a time of adventure and possibility. Her story is one of resilience and strength. She stands as a testament to the power of determination and skill. The cowgirl's legacy will continue to inspire future generations.

Share this article