Bobby the Bull: Bringing Dixie Reger to the Rodeo
Join me as we explore some of the people who have influenced the rodeo world. Today we focus on a family that lived for the rodeo scene and brought up a famous Cowgirl named Dixie Reger Mosley, who would change the rodeo for women forever. In order to talk about Dixie, we first need to talk about Bobby.
Meet Bobby the Bull. A Longhorn/Brahman cross with curvy horns and a 8'6" stature. Bobby was discovered by Monte Reger back in the 1930's and was known for his unique horns and his bullish attitude. Monte was a humble man living the farming life in Woodward, Oklahoma. Married to Opal Reger and with three kids, Buddy, Dixie, and Virginia, the ambitious farmer saw this cantankerous bull as his family's ticket to the Rodeo scene and quickly decided he would tame him. Soon, Bobby the Bull was living the life on wheels, travelling all around the US on Rodeo contracts with the talented Reger family. Monte would parade out into the arena on top of Bobby's back like he was a simple cowhorse sometimes with his young children right behind him. He taught Bobby to be the entertainer of the day by teaching him to have great "horsemanship" and iconic jumps. Watching a tame bull clear a corvette is what you call entertainment, people. All of these things were done with the simple urging of a lead rope and Monte's encouragement. Bobby the Bull created a name for the Reger Family and encouraged them to try out many other rodeo events.
The family participated in pretty much every event available. Buddy Reger, was the rodeo clown, and Dixie and her sister Virginia represented the Reger family through trick riding and roping. Dixie started her trick-riding "career" when she was 5 on a Shetland Pony named Tom Thumb. As she grew up, she only grew more and more fearless. Apparently this family had a thing for jumping over automobiles, because one of Dixie's most famous acts was jumping her Palomino over cars. During World War II, there was an upswing in All Girls Rodeos where Dixie would participate as Rodeo clown, Bronc Rider, Entertainment, and the beginning of barrel racing alongside many other female athletes. When Dixie was just 17, she was asked to became a valued charter member of the very first Girls Rodeo Association (GRA) in 1948.
Dixie would trick ride and rope for the association as well as serve as a rodeo clown, the only woman in Texas to do so. The event of timed Barrel Racing was created by the GRA in 1948 for the first time. Although Barrels had been a staple in the wild west shows for a number of years prior, contestants were judged most importantly on best horsemanship, costume and mount. The GRA changed Barrel Racing forever by judging strictly on time completed around the set clover-leaf pattern. The GRA is now called the WPRA (Women's Professional Rodeo Association) a switch called for in 1981 and is still very active today.
Dixie retired from her life in the rodeo at the young age of 23, but she had already served over 18 years in the spotlight. Her agility and fearlessness in the arena served as an inspiration to all girls throughout the 1930's-1950's and solidified the need for a Girls Rodeo. In that era, American women had increasing demands to see independence and that can-do attitude in women that Dixie seemed to embody. Dixie was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1982 and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2003. Dixie stood out as a versatile female athlete living the travelling life in the Rodeo all because one day her farming farther found this Bull he named Bobby.
Written by Kara Grimes
- Burge Linton