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Florence La Due

Her real name was Gracie Maude Bensell but the world of the West knew her as Florence La Due.

Her early years were spent on an Indian reservation in Minnesota and by 1906 she had become and accomplished roper and trick rider. That’s when she met and married and entrepreneurial cowboy named Guy Weadick.

That charismatic duo barnstormed the continent thrilling audiences as far away as Madison Square Gardens.

Florence excelled at fancy horse catches, challenging stunts and is credited with being the first woman to perfect the Texas skip. She taught her craft to numerous others including King Edward and she told one reporter despite all the talk about his falling off horses, The king is a good rider and pretty good roper.

She retired from active trick riding competition in 1927 and with her husband she ran the Stampede Ranch, at that time located near High River. She was honoured for her support of the preservation of indigenous customs by several native bands and passed away in 1951 at the age of 68.

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