Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls:   They are coming back again this year for the 2016 RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo!! Jennifer Nicholson, Spencer Elizabeth Rose, Sarah Thompson, Anna Estill, along with Bec Circosta and Bailey Gabel!

Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls to perform at the 2016 RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo - Lancaster, CA

Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls to perform at the 2016 RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo – Lancaster, CA

Since the performance team’s founding in 1976, the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls have performed in 20 countries, on 5 different continents, building their reputation as world class performers.  Over the years, their unique brand of entertainment has taken them from the rodeo dirt to professional sporting arena turf.  From Windsor Castle in England where they performed for Queen Elizabeth for her Diamond Jubilee Pageant celebrating her 60 years of service, to Montevideo, Uruguay where the Riata Team appeared on behalf of our US Embassy to promote professional rodeo and ranching life.

(Photo of Sarah Thompson, Riata Ranch Cowboy Girl, performing at Ogden Pioneer Days 2016 - Photo by James Fain – used with permission)

(Photo of Sarah Thompson, Riata Ranch Cowboy Girl, performing at Ogden Pioneer Days 2016 – Photo by James Fain – used with permission – You will see Sarah Thompson, and the other talented members of The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, perform at the 2016 RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo)

The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls have performed all over the world and have thrilled audiences wherever they go!  They have been nominated five times, including this year, for the PRCA Specialty Dress Act of the Year.  We are very excited they will be performing once again at this year’s 2016 RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo.  We look forward to welcoming back Jennifer Nicholson, Spencer Elizabeth Rose, Sarah Thompson, Anna Estill, and welcoming Bec Cirosta and Bailey Gabel.  You will be amazed by their horsemanship, athleticism, artistry, skill, and their spectacular performance.  To learn more about the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls and their organization – see below.

Next year, the Riata Ranch International will celebrate their 60th Anniversary!

Please enjoy some photos from last year’s Finals.

 

We wrote about this story back in 2012, but it makes it even more exciting for our rodeo fans to know that the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls were part of a “once-in-a-lifetime” historic event.  We would like to share the story again with you.

“Everyone loves a great “feel-good” story, especially when that story just keeps getting better and better! This is proof positive that when you combine hard work, dedication to, and a passion for, your profession, when presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, not only are you prepared, but you embrace that opportunity and when all is said and done, you have been part of something magical and you have now become a part of history.

The year 2012 marked the 60 year anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. Three years of planning would produce a multi-national celebration of epic proportion, marking this historic event with royal opulence and grandeur – This was to be Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration.

Part of this celebration would be a Pageant for Her Majesty called “Around the World in 60 Years and 90 Minutes”. With the Royal Family in attendance each night, this event would be filled with horses, dancers, and music, from many cultures and it would also include cowboys and cowgirls portraying early 1900’s Western Ranching Life in the United States. It would also include 4 special ladies who are members of the distinguished PRCA Specialty Act, The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls from Exeter, CA. Specializing in trick roping and riding, these ladies were invited to perform at this, Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubile Pageant at Windsor Castle.

On May 2, 2012, after many hours of planning and preparation, the 4 members of the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls – Jennifer Nicholson (director), Brandi Phillips, Ashley Phillips (no relation), and Kansas Carradine arrived in England. They spent the next six days rehearsing their part of the show.

To represent North America and the United States, Nicholson, Phillips, Phillips, and Carradine trick roped to “Dueling Strings” – They had a full 3 1/2 minutes to perform for the Royal Family and the Queen herself. Brandi Phillips said of the performance, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to portray real American Cowboys”.

Jennifer Nicholson, Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, performing at Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee (photo by Geoff Caddick/EPA)

Jennifer Nicholson, Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, performing at Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee (photo by Geoff Caddick/EPA)

Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee (Photo by Geoff Caddick/EPA)

Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee (Photo by Geoff Caddick/EPA)

Jennifer said, “Everything was so big, you could not fathom it. But, the biggest thrill of all was the opportunity to meet the Queen for tea at Windsor Castle.” She, along with the other 120 participants, was invited to tea with the Queen. “I presented her with a gift from the United States – a “wild rag” (cowboy scarf). It was truly an honor to meet her and have a conversation with the Queen about our Western American Lifestyle – I will treasure that moment forever.”

This in itself is an incredible story, but last week, it got even better. Jennifer received a beautiful hard bound book titled “Diamond Jubilee Pageant – The World Came To Windsor”. She also received a note from the Queen thanking her for the gift of the “wild rag” scarf.

From the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls:

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF HIPPODROME STANDS, TAIL DRAGS, OCEAN WAVES AND TEXAS SKIPS- THE WORLD OF TRICK RIDING AND TRICK ROPING….. WELCOME TO RIATA RANCH INTERNATIONAL…….

Many young girls dream of the thrill and challenge of riding a horse in a world class performance.  Riata Ranch has facilitated that opportunity to literally thousands of young people since 1957 using the values and traditions of the American Western Heritage to build character through disciplined instruction.  The Riata program has been a standard bearer in the equestrian industry for the last 5 decades and the polished young women whose lives have been positively impacted are testimonials to the importance of the lessons taught both in and out of the arena.

Riata Ranch started as riding school dedicated to educating Tulare County Youth about horses, western culture and ranch living.  During the 1970’s Riata was home to state and national youth champions in horse shows and Jr. Rodeo competitions.  Riata Ranch also had over 25 horse show and rodeo queens including the title of Miss Rodeo America. Riata strives to teach proper etiquette along with good manners and citizenship skills which proved to be a boost when it came to Riata Ranch students in the arena of competition.

In 1976 founder, Tommy Maier, created and launched the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls.  They have cemented their reputation as an international trick riding, trick roping and Roman riding troupe appearing at rodeos and events around the world such as Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas, Reno Rodeo, Pendleton Round Up, Salinas, Dodge City and many more.  They have traveled to 19 countries on five continents building their reputation as world class performers.

Their unique brand of entertainment has led to performances in professional sporting venues.  Mostly for the NFL which includes several half time performances (including horses) for the San Francisco 49’ers, Barcelona Spain for the American Bowl, Monday Night Football and numerous Super Bowl appearances.  The Riata Girls were in Lexington Kentucky where they were part of the opening ceremonies for the 2010 World Equestrian Games in which they choreographed a 9 minute trick roping segment with the accompaniment of the University of Kentucky Philharmonic Orchestra which was broadcasted in 56 countries.

In May 2012, Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls participated in the Diamond Jubilee Celebration for Queen Elizabeth as she celebrated 60 years on the throne.  The Riata Girls were handpicked for this once in a life time event at Windsor Castle.  The made for TV show, “All the Queen’s Horses”, featured 500 hundred horses and 800 hundred performers from 19 countries.  The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls were part of the USA contingency performing a Wild West show.  A few of the members even had tea and personal meeting with Her Royal Majesty.  Just recently, the story of Riata’s journey is captured in the July 2014 issue of “Western Horseman”.  The story recounts how Riata Ranch came to be, the founding of the Riata Ranch Cowboy girls and the rebuilding of the brand after the passing of its founder, Tom Maier.  In September of 2014, Riata Ranch was invited to make an official state visit on behalf of our US Embassy in Montevideo Uruguay to promote professional rodeo and western ranching traditions.

“You earn your reputation in the arena, But, you earn your respect in the barn.”

Jennifer Welch Nicholson, Riata Ranch International
Executive Director, Player / Coach Riata Ranch International

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Entertainment                   Clinics                       Lessons

Riata was created in 1957 by late founder, Tommy Maier.  Today Riata Ranch International is under the direction of Jennifer Welch Nicholson who has been associated with Riata Ranch starting as a young student and then becoming one of the four original trick riding performers in the late 1970’s, an international team leader in the 1980’s through the 1990’s and administrative staff to the present.  Riata Ranch is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to:

Enriching and enlightening young people by building positive life skills in a safe environment that in turn changes lives by allowing good kids to become great citizens.

Riata Ranch International
Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls
P.O. Box 1165
Three Rivers, CA 93271

www.rrcowbgirls.com     [email protected]
559-303-0729 cell              559-561-3966 – home/office

Riata Ranch International Accolades

Over the decades Riata Ranch has been recognized by local, state and federal officials for the appearances made by the world renowned Riata Ranch Cowboy girls.

2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Nomination
Nominated top 5 Specialty Act of the Year

2012    US House of Representatives Resolution
Acknowledging our performance for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Windsor England

2012    California State LEGISLATURE RESOLUTION
Acknowledging our performance for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Windsor England

2012    Tulare County Board of Supervisors Resolution
Acknowledging our performance for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Windsor England

2010    American Cowboy culture Award
Recognizing the valuable contribution Riata Ranch has made to America’s Ranching traditions thru education & performance.

2007    California State Assembly Resolution
Recognition of Riata Ranch reaching 50 years as a business

2007    California State Fair
Recognition of Riata Ranch reaching 50 years as a business

1987    City of Visalia Proclamation
September 2, 1987 Riata Ranch Cowboy girls day, honoring our good will exchange trip to the People’s Republic of China

1986    Congressional Record, Washington D.C.
Recorded and recognized as America’s Goodwill Ambassadors on Horseback

Brandi Phillps of the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls. Photo by Jodie Baxendale, JodieB Photography ( website / Facebook )

Brandi Phillps of the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls. Photo by Jodie Baxendale, JodieB Photography ( website / Facebook )