Cowgirl Fashion–Lucille Mulhall

lucille-mulhall-steer-roper_skirts

Lucille Mulhall ropes and ties a steer while wearing skirts.

While she was performing she wore what the other woman rodeo riders of her era wore…split riding skirt, blouse, silk scarf and large, felt cowboy hat. It apparently didn’t cramp her style.

At a Texas roping contest in 1904, Lucille Mulhall, an 18-year-old Oklahoma girl, lassoed and tied three steers in three minutes and 36 seconds — several seconds better than the best cowboys — and won a gold medal and a $10,000 prize for a world record.

When she went to New York the next year for an appearance at Madison Square Garden, newspaper reporters referred to her as “female conqueror of beef and horn,” “lassoer in lingerie,” “cowboy girl” and “ranch queen.”  She is often referred to as the first cowgirl (although William Cody had used the term for Annie Oakley in the late 1800s.)

The New York Times described her as “Slight of figure, refined and neat in appearance, attired in a becoming riding habit for hard riding, wearing a picturesque Mexican sombrero and holding in one hand a lariat of the finest cowhide, Lucille Mulhall comes forward to show what an 18-year-old girl can do in roping steers.”

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Published in: on January 13, 2009 at 4:28 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Heidi,

    I’m enjoying all your postings about cowgirls, in the family and out. One a day. Well done. I should be so active.

  2. Quite a picture. Is it a hat, a sombrero, she’s wearing? Great fun to look at and to read. Lucia/ bluestem writers.

  3. I have a riding skirt that is over 100 years old, made by some cowgirl of canvas. I wear it and a big” mexican sombrero” type hat, a glad rag of silk and a gunbelt for any appearances I do as President of Martinez Horsemen’s Association and other stuff. Now I have a vintage saddle to ride in too. I like to make appearances like that, it always is a cause for people to ask questions about cowgirls!

  4. Your posts are the coolest! You should write children’s books about some of these women!

  5. I can’t imagine roping in a skirt! They didn’t wear corsets too did they?

    Brooke from BBT

  6. She sounds like someone I would like to know in today’s time!

  7. You are writing about my grandfather’s cousins daughter. She is the very first cowgirl http://www.cowgirls.com/dream/cowgals/mulhall.htm

    She toured all over the US with her dad Zachary Mulhall. It is said the reason they created a separate women’s rodeo is men were tired of always losing to her.

    She was quite the woman.

    Tom Mulhall

  8. Tom,
    I am working on a book of Bonnie McCarroll. I am looking for information on the ship ride to and from England.
    thanks Ann


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