Montana Cowgirl Marie Gibson

My grandmother was a contemporary of a well-known Montana cowgirl, Marie Gibson, and competed with her at various rodeos. I have one newspaper clipping that states Toots Bailey won the steer riding event, beating Marie.

Marie originally came from Canada, where her father raised race horses and was one of the few licensed women jockeys in the U.S. Marie started doing trick riding during fairs and small rodeos, eventually got into competition and met Tom Gibson whom she married.

In 1919, after a successful bronc ride in Canada, Marie was awarded the prize by the Prince of Wales. Winning hundreds of championships, Marie went to London with the Tex Austin Troupe in 1924, and was named champion cowgirl bronc rider at Madison Square Garden in 1927.

Her career came to an end in Idaho Falls, Idaho, September 23, 1933 at the age of 38. Following a successful ride on a bucking bronc, the pick-up man rode toward her to take her from the horse, which was still bucking. The two horses collided, Marie’s skull was badly fractured, and she died a few hours later.

“She died as she lived, hearing the applause of the people.”

Published in: on January 25, 2009 at 5:55 am  Leave a Comment  

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