What are the Catalena Cowgirls?

The Catalena Cowgirls – beautiful women, phenomenal paint horses, breathtaking and exhilarating show performances. You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s difficult to describe their unique attraction, but once you’ve seen their performances, you’ll know you’ve witnessed something spectacular.

The Catalena Cowgirls began as a part of the Sammy Catalena Rodeo Company. The rodeo company has been in existence since 1975. And in 1990, Sammy Catalena decided to add flash, color and pageantry to his rodeo performances, particularly for the National Anthem Salute.

Over the next two years, Sammy Catalena collected a number of paint horses and a team of women that would travel to all of his rodeo productions. They developed complex performances under the direction of Pete Catalena, and by 1995 the Cowgirls had become a well-known sensation in the state of Texas. Not only did other rodeo producers begin extending invitations for the Cowgirls to perform at their rodeos, but so did major event promoters who wanted the Cowgirls to make their events come alive.

The Catalena Cowgirls have appeared at the biggest rodeos across Texas, including the Texas Circuit Finals, the Southwestern Exposition and Fort Worth Livestock Show and the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo. From 1996 to 2004, they opened every single Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. That’s 20 consecutive performances each year. And when the Sammy Catalena Rodeo Company put on a Wild West Show on the islands of Aruba and Curacao, the Catalena Cowgirls were there.

Other events include performances for the World Championship bull riding series, the 2001 Olympic Torch Ceremony, and the World Energy Conference, for oil and gas leaders from all over the world. The state of Illinois has had the Cowgirls at three different events in the last two years, including the International Exposition. They were so impressed with the team that Sangamon County proclaimed April 18th as Catalena Cowgirls Day.

And it’s not just the Cowgirls who are requested for these events. The well-known paint horses the Cowgirls have trained are used around the state for special events on their own, such as the wild west acts at Six Flags Over Texas.

The Cowgirls consist of approximately 25 women, ranging in age from 21 to 40, each with different personal and professional backgrounds. Some of the Cowgirls are full-time students, while others are pursuing careers in legal, medical, sales, marketing and retail fields. With full-time schedules, the Cowgirls volunteer their time to practice and travel to events.

To be a Cowgirl requires a true commitment of time and energy, as well as a strong dedication to the sport and to her “sister” riders. A great deal of concentration and coordination by each Cowgirl is critical to making every presentation a successful and breathtaking experience.