The Duncan Banner
Traditionally when people think of bull riding, the accompanying term is cowboy, however, there is a group of women who prove cowgirl fits just as well.
Rhinestone Renegades is a group who promote and encourage women to get into the stock contracting trade. The third Women’s Only Bull Futurity will be hosted by Rhinestone Renegades at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.
Based out of Stephenville, Texas, the group was founded by Joy Hawks. The 1997 Rookie Bull Rider of the Year has more than 20 years experience in the world of bucking stock.
“As a woman within the industry, I want to share my experiences with other women who want to learn about or become involved in the stock contracting business,” said Hawks on the Rhinestone Renegades website.
“This is not a game for men only. My goal is to give women the opportunity to be a part of something truly unique.”
Though some of the women in Renegades do actually ride bucking bulls, most focus on the skills and knowledge needed to be a stock contractor. Therefore, this weekend’s event will not see any women on bulls.
Part of a stock contractor’s job is to flank the bull before a rider tries to make it three seconds. There is a skill involved with the procedure because if the flank strap, a rope made of cotton tied around the bull’s flank, is too tight, the bull won’t perform well.
The flank strap encourages the bull to use its hind legs more to create the bucking motion. If not applied correctly, it could cause the rider to get a poor score.
“The bulls (at the Women’s Bull Futurity) are only two years old, so they’re not big enough to carry a rider yet,” said Jessica Ervin, event coordinator. “Usually men flank the bull but only women are allowed at our events.”
Rhinestone Renegades is the only known organization to host these women’s only events. The opportunity to become a part of the organization is open to all women, even those who do not have any previous experience with bucking stock.
“It is free admission (to the event) and we will have an information booth,” said Ervin. “There will also be a party Saturday night and there will be an information session during that.”
The party is open to anyone interested in learning more and it will begin following the American Bucking Bull, Inc. Wild Card event at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.
“We’ve been to visit Duncan and it’s a pretty community,” Ervin said. “This is the first time for us to go outside Stephenville and we’re excited to get the word out about us and meet new friends.”