Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another first for women in sport - rodeo-riding

Tammara Wrenn pic WA Today

Yup, that's a cowgirl right there. Bull - 900 kgs. Woman - 50kgs. You don't need to be a mathematical genius to work out the probability that this could end in tears.

Tammara Wrenn was the first woman to compete at the 53-years old Mt Isa show in Queensland, Australia. She stayed up for four seconds which I'm told is not bad but leaves room for improvement as the qualifying time for the next round was eight seconds. But it's definitely four seconds more than I'd give any bull that size. Speaking afterwards, she said: ""I didn't even hear the crowd. You have to stay focussed, squeeze your legs, watch the head and horns and keep up off the bull. I don't like the focus on me as I haven't ridden eight seconds (the requirement for a score) and there are so many riders who should be acknowledged.

"I don't want to be known as a female bull rider, just a bull rider."

And other reports say she's not only the first woman in the tournament, but by all medical rights shouldn't even be walking. Wrenn had a serious dirt-bike accident in 2003 which left her wheelchair-bound. She's quoted as saying she just couldn't accept it."Doctors said I was pretty much clinically dead with all the damage to my brain," Wrenn said. "I was sitting in my wheelchair feeling sorry for myself but I wasn't getting anywhere, so I just put all my energy into getting better, improving my strength and my speech."

So there you are, another bastion of all-male sport crumbling just a little around the edges. If you know of any other firsts or women competing in male-dominated sports, don't be shy - share the love in a comment.


Snowcatcher said...

Who in the world would have thought! Braver than me! But my, she's impressive!

niamh said...

@Snowcatcher - this takes bravery to a whole new level, I get nervous just being around animals that size, never mind on one.