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Historic Katy Cowgirls Celebrate 80 Years of Rides and Community Service


January 31, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

The historic Katy Cowgirls are more than a mounted drill team Katy has grown to love, they raise leaders and servants dedicated to lifting up the team and the City of Katy. For 80 years this non-profit has supported local charities along with their performances.

2022-2023 Katy Cowgirls. Photo credit: Anita Mancini

More than Cowgirls

Since 1943 the Katy Cowgirls has brought together Katy ISD students and the love for their horses as they represent their hometown, state, and country in local events. The mounted drill team creates leaders and passionate servants as these young women do so much more than ride horses and wave flags.

In just a few weeks these talented equestrians will join the community in celebrating 80 years of tradition and legacy.

022-2023 Katy Cowgirls. Photo credit: Anita Mancini

“Cowgirls are brave, adventurous and ever embracing their love for horses and an audacious lifestyle that is fast becoming obsolete,” says Anita Mancini who has been a director for 22 years.

This year Mancini and fellow director Rick MacDonald will both retire after 22 years, handing over the reins to new directors Addy Meyer and Jordan Hoskins.

“I have grown as a person with these girls and made some of my dearest friendships that I still have to this day,” says new director Addy Meyer. “I did not always see myself becoming a Director of the Katy Cowgirls but now that I am, it is something I am so proud to tell others about. Being in the arena directing these talented young ladies gives me that "feel good" feeling since I was in their boots once and they look up to me as I looked up to my directors.”

The Katy Cowgirls makes up of 24-26 Katy ISD area students and currently have girls 6-18 years of age.

They do more than ride horses. These girls are committed to the Katy community.

“Their dedication through acts of service like Pony Parades at local assisted living facilities along with baking cookies to share money with organizations like “The Arc” and “The Ballard House” are a beautiful reflection of their hearts and desires to do good,” says Mancini.

“I love being a katy cowgirl because it allows us to share the joy horses bring us with our community,” says Abigail Dailey, 9th grade at Katy High School

Directors for 22 Years

Anita Mancini and Rick MacDonald have been the directors since 2002.

Jordan Hoskins, Anita Mancini, Rick MacDonald, and Addy Meyer

When they took over as the directors in 2002, the Katy Cowgirls were practicing once a year before their one performance at the Katy Rodeo. Now they have around 52 practices and 5-8 performances a year (including parades.) They also do 3-4 community events. Events include performing/competing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which they do every other year.

Katy Rodeo is what everyone looks forward to. “It’s in front of their peers and their time to shine,” says Mancini. It’s that show that Katy knows the Katy Cowgirls for their performance and they compete in junior barrel racing.

Tickets are currently on sale for this year’s Katy Rodeo for February 16-18 each night at 7:00 p.m. Learn more about the rodeo and get tickets in advance here.

The Katy Cowgirls kick the event off each night at 7:00 p.m. with their flag and riding displays.

The parade, which will honor the Katy Cowgirls and their 80th season, will be February 18, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.

“We will always be humbled at the amount of continuous love and support we receive from our alumni and we pray that future generations will continue to ask for a pony for Christmas, go outside and get a little bit dirty and share the love of a horse,” says Mancini. “I pray that our new directors, Addy Meyer and Jordan Hoskins will experience the joy Rick and I have.”

“As one of the new directors of the organization, I am thrilled to be a part of our 80th anniversary celebration,” says Jordan Lopez. “This milestone is a testament to the lasting impact that the Katy Cowgirls have had on the lives of so many young women and the community as a whole. I am proud to be able to continue this organization as a co-director and to be a part of its rich and lasting history.”

Team mom Leah Dailey has been with the Katy Cowgirls since 2011. “My three girls have made lifetime friends, learned leadership, teamwork and gained confidence in themselves as riders,” says Dailey. “They have been loved unconditionally by our directors. It truly is a family! We are blessed to have been a part of it.”

I love being a Katy cowgirl because it helps me learn important leadership and communication skills,” says Adison Baker, a 9th grader at Cinco Ranch High School.

“Katy Cowgirls is a place where I can just be myself and share my love of horses with others,” says Charlotte Hooks, a 7th grader at Woodcreek Junior High.

I love being a Katy cowgirl because I’m surrounded by people who make me feel welcome and supported all the time! Zoe Laico 12th grade Morton ranch high school.

Becoming a Non-Profit

Last year the Katy Cowgirls became a non-profit. “I know I’m leaving and by making the Cowgirls a non-profit it allows me to preserve the girls and protect what we’ve creating. They will have the ability to grow,” says Mancini, who will continue to serve the group from the board.

Working as a Team

The Katy Cowgirls accept girls in the Katy ISD area of all skill levels, which Mancini says distinguishes the group from other team sports. ““We are a learning and teaching team,” explains Mancini. “They can be an alternate as long as they can walk, trot, and almost lope.”

But Katy Cowgirls must be more than equestrian athletes.

“We require our members to be good stewards and servants in the Katy community in addition to being good teammates,” says Mancini. “When you add in the responsibility of an animal, a living and breathing creature, it creates a responsible human being.”

They are a team and a family. The Katy Cowgirls combines a passion for a shared interest with service. For 80 years they have served the Katy community.

To learn more about The Katy Cowgirls, follow them on their Facebook page.


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