Hall of Fame Nominations

Nomination and Induction

Please read thoroughly, as our nomination and induction guidelines have changed.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives and relationships with and around horses, nationally and internationally, exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that also helped shape the West. The Museum proudly celebrates living and deceased honorees who represent diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures.

The Museum Board of Directors is proud that over the last five years significant progress has been made in identifying and honoring women of color in the Museum’s Hall of Fame. However, more progress is needed. Consequently, the Museum will remain diligent in its efforts to seek out and honor Black, Indigenous, and other women of color, past and present, whose stories have been underrepresented in the history of the West.


General Criteria

Nominees may be contemporary or historical. It is not necessary for them to be citizens of the United States, but the nomination must be written in English. Their contribution(s) should be of national or international importance and of enduring value. With international nominations, there must be the inclusion of proof that they have impacted/influenced U.S. culture.

Nomination Process and Timeline

Before attempting a nomination, please read the following to ensure that it is complete and correct:

· To nominate someone for induction into the Hall of Fame, please fill out and send in a nomination form, paying close attention to the instructions at the beginning.

· The nominator must receive permission from the nominee to apply.

· Incomplete nominations can also result in an exclusion from consideration.

· No self-nominations.

· Sitting board members cannot be nominated.

· Employees cannot nominate employers.

· Materials that may be included with the nomination form are photographs, newspaper clippings, multimedia items, URL addresses for online videos, or relevant passages from books that include biographical information on the nominee, to cite a few examples. If these are sent in, they will not be returned; they become property of the Museum.

· Materials that MUST be included with the nomination packet:

Three letters of recommendation from individuals or on behalf of organizations that operate in the same professional field as the nominee to provide credible evidence for the nomination.

· Sitting board members cannot write recommendation letters.

· These letters should directly address how the nominee’s influence on a national/international level.

· The letter writer MUST explain why he/she is qualified to speak to the nominee’s accomplishments in her field.

· If the nominee is deceased, possibly look to professionals who study her field and can authoritatively substantiate the facts of her life.

· Do not send any three-ring binders or over-sized items. Nomination forms and supporting materials must be submitted UNBOUND on traditional letter size paper (8.5” x 11”).

· The process considers women of significant achievement in the following fields: Artists & Writers, Champions & Competitive Performers, Entertainers, Ranchers (Stewards of Land & Livestock), Trailblazers & Pioneers, and Contributors to the Cowgirl Legacy.

· Contributors to the Cowgirl Legacy: This field of influence is defined by women who work to open equine culture to those who might not otherwise become exposed to its historical importance or its contemporary influence. Serving as role models within their communities, these honorees are ambassadors of the cowgirl way of life by utilizing it to positively impact the lives of those around them.

· A successful nomination has addressed the following criteria:

o Accomplishments in the field (lifetime achievements)

o Ranking in the field (national/international importance)

o Contributions made to the field

o Enduring value or historical significance of accomplishments

o Recommendations (form letters and petitions are not accepted)

· Upon receiving your nomination, we will send you an acknowledgment of receipt of materials. *This acknowledgement of materials does NOT indicate a successful nomination.

· Within eight months of this receipt, you will receive one of the following:

1. Notice that the nomination is formally accepted for consideration of induction, or

2. Notice that the nomination is rejected, and the materials are returned to you.

· If, for some reason, you have not heard from us within the above timeframe, please contact us.

· If the form is formally accepted, your person officially becomes a NOMINEE of the Hall of Fame.

· The nomination will be filed in the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame archives and reviewed for three years. If the person is not inducted in that time frame, the nomination will become void.

· If someone wants to nominate that same person, they must wait 2 years and re-nominate with a new form and set of supplementary information.

· All materials sent in the nomination packet are a permanent donation to the Museum but will no longer hold all successful nominations in perpetuity.

· Applications are accepted year-round, however, the postmark deadline for nominations is August 15 of each year if you would like the nomination to be considered for the following year’s induction.

· An accepted nomination does not imply an automatic induction into the Hall of Fame. It can take years to be inducted, and some nominees may never be inducted.

· In the event of a returned nomination, you may re-submit in two years. Re-assess how the nominee’s influence on her field affects it on a national/international level. Please indicate any new material added to the original nomination packet in a letter attached to it.

Induction Selection Process

· Once a woman receives nominee status, she has achieved the first step towards eligibility to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

· The induction selection process is rigorous and lengthy. Out of a competitive list, only four or five successful candidates per calendar year are honored with the prestigious distinction of becoming a National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee.

· There are several steps. Each accepted nominee is reviewed by committees comprised of men and women from varying backgrounds and from around the country.

Nomination Form

If you have questions regarding the form, please contact the Research Manager at the National Cowgirl Museum at bdodson@cowgirl.net. Please remember that Museum personnel are prohibited from discussing the status of any nominee beyond whether they have been nominated.

Download the nomination form HERE.