It’s time to celebrate your inner cowgirl! The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame located in Fort Worth, Texas (where else?) has just announced its five latest inductees: Olympic showjumper Kathryn Kusner, cowboy hat designer Lavonna “Shorty” Koger, champion roper Lari Dee Guy, artist Pop Chalee, and country music star Miranda Lambert.
Established in 1975, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honours and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience and independence that helped shape the West, and fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance they inspire. There is no question that these latest honourees embody all of those attributes.
Lari Dee Guy is an eight-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the winningest female roper in the world with over 33 championship titles and more than $1.5 million in career earnings. Remarkably, her career began with winning 11 consecutive AJRA world roping titles at age nine. In 2013, Guy launched the “Rope Like A Girl” campaign to help motivate young girls and women in roping and has traveled the globe teaching. She is also an expert horse trainer and renowned clinician.
Showjumping fans will know Kathryn Kusner as an Olympic medalist. She was one of the first women who rode for the United States Equestrian Team (USET) and the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in equestrian competition. What people might not know was Kusner became the first licensed female jockey in the United States in 1968. She was also the first woman to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup, the toughest timber race in the world, despite its board trying to keep her from riding in the race.
The late artist Pop Chalee (1906-1993) was known for her “traditional” style of Native American painting with stylized depictions of forest scenes and wildlife. Her work has been featured at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Gallery of Living Artists in New York City.
Lavonna “Shorty” Koger is an Oklahoma native with over 40 years of experience in restoration, fitting, sewing and design of cowboy hats. She opened Shorty’s Caboy Hattery in 1990, one of the few entirely woman-owned and operated custom hatteries in the United States and one of today’s leading industry hatters. Shorty also helped found Rein in Cancer, a nonprofit that raises money to fund cancer treatments and care for patients.
Miranda Lambert needs no introduction; the country star and songwriter launched her career in local Texas bars. She has won many awards, including an astounding 35 ACM awards, which makes her the most decorated artist in ACM history, nine of which were consecutive ACM Female Artist of the year awards. In addition, she received two Grammy Awards and 14 CMA Awards. Lambert and her mother, Bev Lambert founded the MuttNation Foundation in 2009 to shine a spotlight on rescue animals and shelters, raising in excess of $4.5 million since its inception.
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame inductees will be formally celebrated at the 45th Annual Induction Luncheon and Ceremony on April 27, 2021. For more information visit www.cowgirl.net.