A pioneer spirit with a can do attitude is how Shelly Burmeister Mowery is described by her closest family and friends, and just a few of the reasons she has seen success in paving the way for women in the world of rodeo as she fought for equal pay for barrel racers in professional rodeos.
However, her advocation for cowgirls across the country during her time as the first “Miss Coors Rodeo” is just one of a very long list of accomplishments.
Mowery was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on Halloween night 1957, the youngest of three girls to high school sweethearts Earl Burmeister and Helen Collins.
Earl Burmeister’s work as a construction contractor, building the Astrodome in Houston, would be what brought Shelly Burmeister Mowery to Texas when she was 11 years old. Horse crazy at a young age, she knew that moving to the Lone Star State meant getting a horse. At age 12, she got her wish, purchasing her first horse for $150, a sorrel mare named Jewel. A novice rider, training a horse for the first time in her life was a challenge.
“My saddle cost more than my horse. I fell off every day, but I got back up”, said Mowery.
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