You will not find her name in the books of rodeo history – because she was one of the writers of it. Ms. Ann is what her extended rodeo family called her. She was a rodeo secretary and some might say she was born for it. She carried a special love for rodeo as a young girl and her passion for the sport grew stronger as she became a veteran rodeo secretary and a seasoned spectator.
Ms. Ann took care of the cowboy, no matter if you knew her for years, or it was your first rodeo. She paid more fees than a speeding driver. No cowboy crossed her path that she did not know. She understood the “one riggin’ to five cowboys” concept. Nowadays, that would get you fined. She never bent the rules on calling in, she just knew you would show up for the draw. That’s the way Ms. Ann was. She passed from this earth April 2012 after a lengthy fight with cancer – that she did not lose – she walked away from it into Heaven.
Ms. Ann was a constant figure at Sloan Williams’s rodeos. If Sloan was there, so was Ms. Ann. It takes a giant of a person to stand behind a stopwatch in constant heat, dusty indoor pens, cold and windy weather and still give you a smile that would welcome you on every stop on the rodeo trail. As good as she was to the contestant; she was good to the stock contractor. A cowboy may have not have known he was riding a bronc at a rodeo when he got there, but if the rodeo was short on bronc riders, and Ms. Ann said you were riding one, you did what you were told.
Ms. Ann was a true treasure at the iconic Round-Up Rodeo in Simonton, Texas. Many champions graced the arena of the Round-Up, all got to know Ms. Ann. She was a force to be reckoned with in the announcer box, from yelling to “shut the back door” to keep the cold out; to blowing a whistle for 8. She enjoyed every moment of rodeo life.
Some may remember her in a yellow tank top with an old stopwatch wrapped around her wrist; others may remember how she always had a dollar if you were short on fees. Today, let’s remember her as a Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee.