Lady Rode Bucking Horses: The Story of Fanny Sperry Steele, Woman of the West

Lady Rode Bucking Horses: The Story of Fanny Sperry Steele, Woman of the West

by Dee Marvine
     
 

Long before rodeo, when bucking-horse contests were held at stampedes and roundups, Fannie Sperry Steele stepped into the bronco-riding arena-and won. The Lady Rode Bucking Horses tells the remarkable story of the girl who became Lady Bucking Horse Champion of the World-twice-and went on to become a western performer and legendary rancher.
Born on a Montana

Overview


Long before rodeo, when bucking-horse contests were held at stampedes and roundups, Fannie Sperry Steele stepped into the bronco-riding arena-and won. The Lady Rode Bucking Horses tells the remarkable story of the girl who became Lady Bucking Horse Champion of the World-twice-and went on to become a western performer and legendary rancher.
Born on a Montana homestead in 1887, Fannie knew what she wanted from the age of two, when she declared, "I gonna catch me a white-face horsie." During her long and colorful life, Fannie competed on bucking broncos; raced Thoroughbreds with the Montana Girls relay team; organized a Wild West Show with cowboy husband Bill Steele; performed with the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody; became the first Montana woman to be licensed as a wilderness outfitter; and was named a charter member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame and, later, the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
The Lady Rode Bucking Horses is a creative retelling of Fannie's life based on family archives, newspaper articles, and personal interviews. This dramatic narrative presents a fascinating look at the pre-rodeo era and the extraordinary woman who became a world champion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762731336
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2005
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.86(d)

Read an Excerpt


"Ladies and Gentlemen. The Lady Bucking Horse Champion of Montana! Fannieeee....Sperry!"

The roar of Helena's Fourth of July crowd accompanied Fannie to the platform in front of Central Park grandstand at the Lewis and Clark Anniversary Celebration. Clasping both arms above her head in a victory salute, she looked out over the faces of her fellow Montanans. Those who had cheered her for years now applauded their new state champion. A judge pinned a small gold medal to the knot of her neckerchief and shook her hand earnestly. "I've known a lot of fine bronc riders, Fannie, but you're the best." The other judges, too, stepped forward and clasped her hand. "Congratulations, Fannie."

Fannie felt a lump rising in her throat. No use pretending this was just another exhibition. These were her people, Montanans, declaring her their state champion. Walter and Christine broke through the crowd around the platform, followed by Rachel and Datus. When she saw her mother's misty eyes, she had to blink back her own tears. "Ma, I want you to have this." She took the medal from her scarf and pinned it on Rachel's dress collar. "You're the real champion of Montana." Rachel held her head high with pride, happy tears streaming.

Meet the Author


Dee Marvine spent fifteen years in Chicago as a corporate and magazine writer/editor before she moved to Montana to devote her time to writing. Her first book Last Chance (hardcover from Doubleday; paperback, Leisure Books) was nominated by Western Writers of America for their 1994 Best First Novel award. Her second novel, Sweet Grass (Five Star), takes place in 1886 Sweet Grass County and Butte, Montana. She has also written short stories, articles, and poetry. She also works as a freelance editor and conducts editing workshops for writers. A member of Western Writers of America and a founding member of Women Writing the West, she lives in Big Timber, Montana, with her artist husband, Don Marvine.

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