Get a glimpse of rodeo life from the days of tent camps and telegrams to the age of traveling in luxury horse trailers with built-in living quarters and cell phones. Read the true stories of eleven women who married prominent men of the rodeo. Some stayed at home to run ranches, work other jobs, and to raise children. Others went with their husbands on the rodeo circuit. A few were rodeo participants, themselves. Print editions include a Table of Contents, over eighty black and white photographs, an illustrated appendix, and a full index.

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"Readers will definitely enjoy this rodeo-ridin' book filled with the real stories of eleven women who married prominent men of the rodeo. History buffs will eat up the descriptions of the lives they lived growing up, but the details about life on the professional rodeo circuit open a door to a way of life one can only imagine. Full of touching stories of adventure, romance, tragedies and triumphs, COWBOY SWEETHEARTS was written by the daughter of one of the women featured in the book. The story of Decie Nowlin Goodspeed is itself worth an entire book. Fans of Reba McEntire know she came from a rodeo family, but the story of Jackie Smith McEntire fills in the back story. Each story is unique, but all share in common a life built around rodeo, and what a life it was! Definitely a 5-star book!"
~ reviewed by Pat Kelley [FIVE STARS]

COWBOY SWEETHEARTS by Judy Goodspeed is a unique and well-written biography of eleven very different women touched by the world of American rodeo from the early twentieth century to the early twenty-first century. The stories are personal accounts, gathered by the author who knew all of these women and who grew up in the rodeo world. All of the women profiled were married to rodeo men. Each life story is presented with the journalistic flare of an author adept in collecting oral histories. It takes a true historian to plumb the watery depths in order to learn about what lies below the surface, and this author does a great job of showing the hidden world of the rodeo. Anyone with an interest in American rodeo should find this compilation of biographies fascinating. COWBOY SWEETHEARTS presents a soulful and heartfelt glimpse of the world of women associated with the rodeo.
~ reviewed by Amber Sparks for Roserock Reviews [FIVE STARS]

"The National Cowboy Hall of Fame is where many of the family names Goodspeed writes about are memorable. COWBOY SWEETHEARTS commemorates real life stories about the women of rodeo cowboys that give the reader a fascinating glimpse of behind the scene lives of prominent rodeo cowboy relationships as their men traveled the rodeo circuit. What makes this story exceptional is the discovery that rodeo life becomes more than the historical ride of chutes, ropes and buzzer sounds. It is an insightful read about unconditional love and how some women elected to stand by their man, in spite of life circumstances. The word 'liberated woman' even takes on new meaning as personal stories unfold of how some cowboy sweethearts creatively maintained stable family homes, while having their own rodeo careers or getting politically involved to help children get a head start in life. Beginner rodeo fans will find educational information about the Professional Rodeo Cowboys' Association (PRCA) Event rules listed. I recommend this book for cowboy romance enthusiasts, rodeo fans, Cowboy Hall of Fame historians, and horse lovers."
~ Jewel Sample, author [FIVE STARS]

"COWBOY SWEETHEARTS is a page turner. The book is a collection of eleven biographies of women who are or once were involved with the rodeo scene. Some of the women participated in rodeos and the others were married to men who competed or worked in the rodeo business. Vicki Herrera Adams, for example, grew up on the Yakima Indian Reservation in Topenish, Washington. To take a bath, she had to heat water on the stove and pour it into the bath tub. As soon as the bus dropped her off from school, she ran to ride horse. It was the highlight of her day.  At the age of sixteen she met a couple of trick riders and became enamored. Vicki became a trick rider at rodeos, met an older man, married him against her father's wishes and led the life of traveling performer. Each story is a fascinating adventure because the women's lives are so different from what most people experience. Most of the women in Cowboy Sweethearts grew up in humble circumstances and the rodeo was a way to leave home and see the United States.  Sometimes, though, the women had to tough it out at home while their husbands earned a living in the rough and tumble sport of rodeo. As a library director, I highly recommend this book for high school students and adult readers. It is well written and very interesting. The photographs of each of the women add much to the text."
~ Desiree Webber of the City of Mustang Library in Mustang, Oklahoma [FIVE STARS]

"This book was such an enjoyable read and a real treat to get a glimpse into the lives of these COWBOY SWEETHEARTS. These women were more than sweet. They were each in their own way smart, courageous, tough and accomplished. Judy Goodspeed gives us a look at an unforgettable group of  women who were loyal to their cowboys and children and very strong individuals each carving their path in the world of rodeos. As I read about each sweetheart, I thought I could hear the Oklahoma drawls and smell the hay at the rodeo arenas and the fried chicken at the family picnics.  Even if you have never ridden a horse or been to a rodeo, you will love this book. The unique struggle of the men and women that ride the rodeo circuit is richly painted on the pages of this book.  It left me wanting to know more and if were not too late. I would consider running away from home and job and joining up with the nearest rodeo!"
~ Colleen Toy White [FIVE STARS]

"Get to know the world of the wives of rodeo cowboys--their ups and downs--their joys and pains. What a delightful journey through this slice of an unique American lifestyle!"
~ Sandy Shropshire of the Moore Public Library, Moore OK [FIVE STARS]

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Judy Goodspeed
Judy Goodspeed
Non-Fiction > Biography
> Rodeo History
(212 pages) 49,000 words
[2006] from
DFP Books

Includes over 80 black/white photos, an illustrated appendix, and a fully searchable index.
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