"Rodeo's Renegade Roses" by Catherine "Lilbit" Devine


"Cowgirls Wanted" poster.
Rodeo’s Renegade Roses

Catherine Lilbit Devine

Gather ‘round younguns, there is a story to be told
About some renegade cowgirls & their ride for the gold
They made it look so easy, feathers, flowers & a smile.
Guts & grace, they had plenty, quitting wasn’t their style
They snugged up their riggin’ & grabbed for air
Winning Champion titles with style & flair
If Lucas¹, Krieg² & Greenough³ hadn’t led the way
Would any of us be here in the arena today?
Henderson, Riley, Hastings & Creed
To the “Men Only” rule they all paid no heed
They broke records & bones, faced derision & fear
Riding Broncs, Raising families, they juggled home & career
Nasty wrecks were a given but they seemed to bounce back
In one unforgettable event, Tad’s girl picked up the slack
From Calgary & Cheyenne to OKC & San Antone
Though there are many others, these ladies stand alone
Hat's off to the Rodeo's Renegade Roses
At tradition they turned up their noses
Bronc busting, trick riding, a rough riding ballet
They showed us how to win & made it look like play
They were never reckless, just a bit wild & bold
Now its up to you & me to see their stories told
They left mighty big boots to fill, bless them one & all
We know that they ride with us, as we heed the siren’s call
Lift a glass high in honor for those who paved the way
Three cheers for the Renegade Roses still bucking out today.

                                                            Catherine Lilbit Devine© 2004 - All rights reserved.




Tad Lucas photo.
Tad Lucas  (1902-1990)


Gene Krieg Creed photo.
Gene Krieg Creed

Alice  Greenough Orr photo.
Alice Greenough Orr

   Marge Greenough Henson photo.
Marge Greenough Henson


Tad Lucas, for a decade, was known as the world's best female rodeo performer. In her career, she collected all of the major trophies and titles available to rodeo cowgirls, though she achieved her greatest fame as a fearless and innovative trick rider. Tad, the youngest of 24 children, made her professional debut in 1917. She moved to Fort Worth soon after and began touring with Wild West shows. She first competed in trick riding in England.

  ²  Gene Krieg became the youngest woman ever to win the bronc riding at Cheyenne, in1925, . She and her sister Vaughn learned to ride before they were five and were soon helping their brothers break wild horses and pursue stray cattle on the family's Colorado ranch. One of the best cowgirls around, Gene won trick riding, relay races and bronc riding championships in a career spanning three decades and three continents.

  ³ Alice Greenough was from  Red Lodge, Mt. Her  rodeo life began with Jack King's Wild West Show riding saddle broncs, though she also did trick riding and occasionally rode bulls. Alice became an international rodeo star, performing in 46 states, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, England, and Australia and winning four World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider titles. One of the "Riding Greenoughs," Alice formed her own rodeo business and featured the first women's barrel racing events.

                            And here's my personal favorite......
³  Marge Greenough grew up on the Greenough ranch outside of Red Lodge, Mt. All the Greenoughs worked on the ranch; and Marge and her seven siblings, learned to ride and rope as part of the daily chores. My mother knew her as a school girl and followed her career as a fan  when she became a champion bronc rider. Marge began her rodeo career in 1929 with Jack King's Wild West Rodeo. Known as one of the "Riding Greenoughs," Margie went on to rodeo and ride exhibitions in almost every state and for almost every big rodeo, usually being the only female bronc rider. A great local event in Billings, Mt. where I grew up was the Western Day Parade. Alice, Marge and Turk Greenough  always rode in it.  For more on Marge and Alice Greenough see "The Red Lodge Rodeo" on this web site. A click of the mouse will take you there.
                                                                Bette Wolf Duncan, Webmaster of this web site.



  About the author....Catherine "Lilbit" Devine


 Catherine "Lilbit" Devine photo.
Photo of Lilbit by Wendy Kunkle

     Catherine "Lilbit" Devine rode roughstock in high school, saddle bronc & bareback bronc. Whenever someone would say that a girl ought not be doing such a thing, she would answer if it was good enough for Tad Lucas & Fox Hastings then its good enough for her. This was one of her tributes to the women who dared to challenge the men back in the early 1900s. She said that they not only challenged them but they beat them!
     She grew up & still resides in the Desert southwest. A Tucson native, she grew up immersed in a rich meld of Scot/Irish, Hispanic, Sicilian & Native American culture & customs. Lucky enough to be raised around horses & cattle, she began writing poetry in the fifth grade. She writes about the land, its people & the only way of life she has ever known. Rodeo & ranching are in her blood, as is the Code of the West. She is just as at home horseback, on a dance floor or in the back chutes. She divides her time between her children, her close knit family, her menagerie of animals, her day job as a member of the Tucson Public Safety Academy, her jewelry designing & her writings.
    She is the founder of Whispers of the West, a Western Artists Co-op dedicated to promoting the talents of Western & Cowboy Poets, Musicians, Native Crafters, Southwestern Jewelry Artists, Story Tellers, & Leather Artists. Among her other many endeavors, Lilbit helped to establish a Youth Trick Roping Performance Troupe, The Cactus Cowboy Corral, which has performed throughout the United States & Canada. They are an outstanding group of young girls & boys who come from varied socioeconomic backgrounds throughout the Tucson Valley.
    In September of 2003,  Lilbit published her first book, Rodeo'n, Romanc'n & Remember'n, a compilation of poems written by Lilbit & Jacob MacCallister which reflects a life long relationship with Rodeo, both rocky & rich. This book was nominated for an Academy of Western Artists Medallion Award for 2004. Her second Poetry book, Mis Raices Estan Aqui ~ Life's Lessons Learned, will be out in early 2006. This second book will continue the journey down the Rodeo road, as well as provide insight into the issues a cowboy must face in these modern times.
     Lilbit is the author of Cactus Faeries, a children's book set in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. An entertaining and lighthearted poem about Faeries who come from distant places riding shooting stars educates children about the different types of cactus in the desert. Illustrated by Leila Megan Montiel, it is one in a series of four. Her children's book, Critter Sitter, which will be out in early 2005,  features the character Abigail Eliza Abernickey who fears the animals she is contracted to "critter sit". Children will learn about conquering fear and gaining self-confidence as they follow Abigail through her misadventures with goats, mud, dogs and divebombing budgies. Lilbit is often called upon to share her stories in schools and for civic groups.
Whispers of the West
Catherine Lilbit Devine
PO Box 837
Vail, AZ 85641


Under copyright protection. The poem on this web page may not be excerpted, copied, or reproduced, used or performed in any form (graphic, electronic or mechanical) without the express written permission of  the author.

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