National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Announces the 2024 Inductees

Four new Inductees will be recognized at the Induction Luncheon in November

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (June 27, 2024) – The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame will welcome four new Inductees at the 48th Annual Induction Luncheon and Ceremony on Tuesday, November 12, 2024 at Dickies Arena.

The 2024 class of honorees is an extraordinary group of cowgirls with exemplary achievements in rodeo, business, and public service. The induction 2024 class includes Beth Cross, JJ Hampton, Kaila Mussell, and the Pack Horse Library Project.

“Every year, we are in awe of the talent and tenacity that our honorees possess, and the 2024 Inductees are no exception,” said Museum Executive Director, Patricia Riley. “Each of them has made impactful contributions to their respective fields, and we are honored for them to join the Cowgirl family.”

Beth Cross revolutionized equestrian and western sports by introducing performance technology into riding boots when she co-founded Ariat International. After earning her BA from the University of Colorado and her MBA from Stanford University, she saw an opportunity to improve upon the traditional riding boots she wore growing up on her family’s farm in Pennsylvania. Today, Ariat is internationally known as the largest western and English footwear and apparel brand in the world with 1,200 employees across California, Fort Worth, UK, Mexico, and China. Under Cross’ leadership as CEO, Ariat leads the market in designing and manufacturing the most innovative footwear,
apparel, and denim for the world’s top equestrian athletes.

JJ Hampton was born and raised in Stephenville, Texas and competed in her first rodeo at four-years old. She went on to rope at Tarleton State University and build a career as a 17-time Women’s Pro Rodeo Association world champion and 25-time national champion. In 2016, Hampton opened her own real estate business, JJ Hampton Realty in Erath County, Texas. Between roping, real estate, and raising her family, Hampton also prioritizes giving back to her community. She produces the annual Johnny Wayne Hampton Memorial Roping in honor of her late father, benefitting a scholarship fund for Tarleton State University students.

Kaila Mussell was born in Canada and grew up competing in barrel racing and steer riding, and she trick rode professionally at the Calgary Stampede before beginning her career as a saddle bronc rider. In 2002, Mussell entered what was considered a male domain and competed in her first saddle bronc riding event placing among the top performers. Later that year, she pushed the boundaries even further, becoming the first woman to win a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned saddle bronc riding event in Oregon. She went on to fill her PRCA and Canadian Professional Rodeo Association permits, becoming the first woman to hold professional status as a saddle bronc rider.

The Pack Horse Library Project, an initiative of the Works Progress Association (WPA) during the Great
Depression, hired women as librarians and sent them out on horseback into the rugged 10,000-square-mile portion of eastern Kentucky. They provided some of the hardest hit people of the Depression who lived there with books and other reading materials. From 1936 to 1943, these “book women” rode out at least twice a month, in all kinds of weather, with each route covering 100 to 120 miles a week. At its height, the program helped serve almost 100,000 people.

These inductees will join 253 cowgirls in the Hall of Fame. The Museum proudly celebrates living and deceased Honorees who represent diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. Many of the Honorees are nationally and internationally recognized artists or writers, champions and competitive performers, entertainers, ranchers or trailblazers and pioneers.

Tables at the Induction Luncheon will go on sale July 1, 2024. Please contact Emmy Lou Prescott at 817-509-8965 or for sponsorship opportunities.

About the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the West. Established in 1975, the Museum is considered an invaluable national educational resource for its exhibits, research library, and rare photograph collection. The Museum is located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District at 1720 Gendy Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults (12+); $9 for seniors (65+) and military; $6 for children (ages 3-12) and children 3 and under free with paid admission.

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