Gary Richardson Models with the Lester Meier Pro Rodeo Cowgirls
Dumkhum checks in with Mumbai’s Gary Richardson and a professional women’s rodeo photo shoot in Johnson City, Texas (near San Antonio).
Hemant: Well, Gary, we are used to seeing you with talented and pretty Indian women, but Texan cowgirls is something different. What’s up?
Gary: I just finished the first half of my new novel I’M NOT A TERRORIST! So to take a break, I agreed to fly to Texas do a modeling assignment with veteran Hollywood photographer Ernie Garza for the Lester Meier Women’s Pro Rodeo. Lester Meier is a legendary Texas bull riding champion who, after retiring, created one of America’s best rodeos. Lester is known for giving many female riders their first chance to compete professionally for prize money. The rodeo company tours 26 cities and towns and performs to sold out arenas and for private shows for international corporations like Marriott Hotels and General Electric.
Hemant: The cowgirls must be intrepid riders. Tell our readers something about them.
Gary: You’re right, Hemant. Besides being world-class equestrians, they are daredevils. These cowgirls are inspirational for women all over the world. When you see them saddle up, lasso in hand,to charge out the gate to chase a calf exploding out of the chutes, your heart is in your mouth. At breakneck speed, they chase down the burly calves and toss their rope, adroitly hitting target -the head of the animal- as the entire audience gets to their feet and bursts into applause. It’s really amazing for someone like me who is experiencing it for the first time.
Hemant: In what other events do the cowgirls compete?
Gary: The barrel race is the crowd favorite. Johnson City had the sport’s superstar Marissa Murphy competing, so the crowd -rural famlies and young couples- was really excited to see her ride. Rock music blasted over the speakers as Marissa, at full-speed, traversed a clover leave course of barrels scattered across the dirt surface almost the size of a professional cricket field. The pretty cowgirl fought against the clock, trying not to topple the barrels. It was great entertainment.
Hemant: Gary, what’s with your “Sheriff’s pose from a Clint Eastwood movie” and the cowgirls and their flags?
Gary: Ha, ha, Hemant. They told me to strike that pose. It’s what the cowboys do. The cowgirls are the drill team. They charge on horseback into the arena as country rock and roll music plays, making the grand entry, flags blowing in the wind.
Hemant: Was it located at a state fair?
Gary: Good guess, Hemant. It was the Blanco County Fair. So there were lots of sexy country girls dressed in “Daisy Duke” shorts and cowboy boots like Patty Klaerner who posed for us. The amusement park rides and games were set up along the grassy parking lot, the rodeo arena in the center.
Hemant: Is it a bit like our Indian race derby where people strut their fashion statements?
Gary: Yes. The beautiful women of Texas like to don fashion statements that reflect their Texas cultural roots. In this photo Katherine McClure, international historic racing car broker, put on a pair of Lucchese goat skin and calf suede cowboy boots, Wrangler jeans and a beaded and fringed buckskin jacket.
Hemant: Well, Gary, looks like you had a lot of fun modeling at the rodeo. Thanks for saddling up with Dumkhum and letting we Indians know about the cowboys…and pretty cowgirls. Happy trails to you.
Photos: Ernie Garza
Location: Blanco County Fair, Johnson City, Texas
Produced by: Lester Meier Rodeo Company