Bronze statue of Bonnie McCarroll, by Ann Ayres.
Bonnie McCarroll, the greatest rider the world has ever forgotten.
Bonnie McCarroll, born Mary Ellen "Dot" Treadwell (1897-September 29, 1929), was a champion rodeo performer and bronc rider most remembered for her tragic death at the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon. She also excelled in steer riding, bulldogging, and automobile jumping. In her riding career, McCarroll competed with such other female performers as Tad Lucas, Mabel Strickland, Fox Hastings, and Florence Hughes.
McCarroll was born on a cattle ranch at High Valley, near Boise, Idaho. In 1922, she won two cowgirl bronc riding championships at both Cheyenne Frontier Days, and the first rodeo hosted at Madison Square Garden. In 1915, her first year of rodeo competition, McCarroll attracted national attention from a photograph taken of her being thrown from the horse named "Silver" at the Pendleton Round-Up. In her career, she performed before kings, queens, such dignitaries as President Calvin Coolidge, while he was vacationing in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1927, and countless rodeo fans worldwide.
The Pendleton Round-Up of September 1929 was to have been McCarroll's final competition, for she had planned to retire with her husband, Frank McCarroll to their home in Boise. She drew a bronc consequently named, "Black Cat." The bronc fell and somersaulted, dragging her, with foot hung in what was previously a hobbled stirrup. She was rushed to a hospital but died la few days later of her spinal injury and pneumonia.
In 2002, Bonnie McCarroll was posthumously inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma CIty, Oklahoma. Many have mistaken her 1915 fall with the fatal accident fourteen years later because both occurred at Pendleton.
In 2006, McCarroll was named to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.