Kaila Mussell is the first female on the continent to join Pro Rodeo Canada as a saddle bronc rider and was in Calgary Saturday and Sunday for the Roughstock Rumble.
Based in Chilliwack, B.C., 34-year-old Mussell says she hopes to return to Calgary this summer to compete as the lone bronc-riding female.
"It's definitely a tough sport," Mussell says. "I mean, it's tough on your body, there's a lot of timing and coordination in the sport, you've got to be prepared to get some injuries and stuff."
Despite wracking up injuries over the years, including several to her knees and shoulders that required surgery, Mussell says she's inspired by the cowgirls who ride bronc at the turn of the century.
Women began competing in rodeo events around 1903 and the term 'cowgirl' was first used in 1908.
Several women became famous during the early 20th century, such as bucking horse champion Bertha Blankett and bronc rider Mabel Strickland.
However, when the Rodeo Association of America was formed in 1929, director Gene Autry banned women's events and the last major women's bronc riding competition was held in 1941.
Today, organizations like the Professional Women's Rodeo Association are open to female rough stock riders and Pro Rodeo Canada allows female members.
If she's invited to the Stampede, Mussell would be the first female to compete at elite levels in the modern style.
"If you want it badly enough, you'll do it," Mussell says, "but you have to be ready to be committed to the sport if you want to do."
"It's not an easy thing to accomplish."Suggest a correction