Gail Hughbanks Woener was born in
northeastern Colorado and reared on a
ranch homesteaded by her
She was a constant companion to
her cowboy grandfather, who taught her
to break horses, compete in horse shows,
and work cattle.
An admitted “tomboy, she spent
as much time outside as possible.
Her favorite pastime, off the
ranch, was attending area rodeos,
occasionally as a participant, but mainly
as an avid fan. She
has spent the last twenty years researching and
interviewing rodeo people.
Traveling extensively, she has attended
historic rodeo places such as Calgary, Pendleton,
Cheyenne, Denver, Rowell, and Sidney, to name just a
few. She even attended a Cossack rodeo in the Ukraine in 1996. In
the late fall of 2006 she went to
Argentina where she rode hoses with the
first book on rodeo history, Fearless Funnymen: The
History of the Rodeo Clown, was published in 1993.
Belly Full of Bedsprings: The History of Bronc Riding
and Cowboy Up! The History of Bull Riding were her
next two books. She and illustrator Gail Gandolfi
published a children’s book, Charley & Amanda
Meet Rusty the Rodeo Clown, as the beginning of a
series introducing wee ones, ages four to ten, to
people in rodeo in a fun manner.
other year she holds a Rodeo Clown Reunion to honor
retired funnymen and bullfighters. National
Geographic, TNN, and OLN “Cowboy” have covered the
event for special television programs.
A member of Western Writers of America, she has contributed to other books and has penned
numerous articles for a select number of periodicals,
including The American Cowboy, Western Horseman,
Persimmon Hill, Cowboys and Country, ProRodeo Sports
News, and The Ketch Pen (magazine of the
Rodeo Historical Society).
She also writes an occasional article on rodeo history
for various magazines and periodicals in
is the resident rodeo historian for the Rodeo Attitude
Program. She writes a column entitled “Behind
the Chutes & Elsewhere” for their website, www.rodeoattitude.com,
which covers positive events happening to rodeo
people, as well as biographies and stories about rodeo
persona, past and present. From this column she
receives and responds to e-mails and request from
around the world regarding rodeo and its history.
is chairman of a Rodeo Historical Society program
gathering oral histories of cowboys and cowgirls,
which is housed at the National Cowboy and
Gail attended Colorado Women’s college in
Denver and has more than twenty years’ experience in
and husband Cliff ranched in Central. Texas, raising
Texas Longhorn cattle, Appaloosas and quarter horses,
and now reside in Austin, Texas, on Lake Travis.