History of Generation West
Generation West Rodeo Drill team is made up of cowgirls from the Snowflake and Taylor area. These cowgirls are students, mothers and even grandmothers! They all love and respect the western way of life. They ranch, rope, run barrels, break and train horses, work and stay home to raise babies. They proudly carry our nation’s flag honoring all those who have laid down their lives and fight for our precious freedoms. They perform across our great state of Arizona hoping to touch the heart of every red blooded American in attendance with their patriotic flag performances.
The team was originally put together by Pat Wood and Jeanette Hancock by request for a special People of the West Rodeo in May of 1998 in Taylor. The team didn’t stay together at that time but the seed was planted for bigger and better things. Later, in 2003, the Taylor rodeo committee invited them to do a special performance for their 50th rodeo celebration. Christa Kirkman headed up the small group at the time with only 6 riders. The girls loved being horseback, having fun together and were offered a permanent spot at the annual Taylor 4th of July Rodeo.
The team quickly grew from there in skill and team members, doubling in size by 2005 and became a community favorite. Word spread quickly among other local rodeo committees looking to add something special to their show and the team began performing in Springerville, Show Low, Snowflake Pioneer Days, The Navajo County Fair, The Verl Gillespie Memorial Ropings, the Cody Hancock Invitational Bull Riding events, the NPC College Rodeo hosted in Taylor in 2010 and 2011 and made their way to Las Vegas in 2014 for the Senior National Finals Rodeo. They received national recognition there and were invited to perform in places as far as Canada! They never made the trek that far away due to life and family responsibilities but it was a huge honor for the team just to be considered and invited.
The girls have work hard to perfect their performances with speed and precision and to improve each season. They have become like family to one another and work hard to support, teach and improve their horsemanship skills for the sake of the team. They put in countless hours of practice each week starting in April and riding through September finishing the season at the Navajo County Fair. They take the time during the off season to meet, plan and create new drills to perform for the upcoming rodeo season. It is truly an honor to be part of this team and elite group of women and hope it continues for many years to come. They are strong, beautiful women, inside and out and love to live the “Cowgirl Way”!
To Sum it all up…
Cowgirls are special and work hard every day
They feed their own horses, and stack their own hay
They know who they are, and where they are from
Their family comes first, but when the chores are all done
We get in the saddle in rain or in shine
It’s not the destination, but the thrill of the ride!
On horseback all our problems just slip away
Just workin’ and playin’ the cowgirl way