The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls have done it again. This time, the Three Rivers-based equestrian group was invited to Montevideo, Uruguay, to perform for not only hundreds of students, but diplomats, dignitaries, and Western enthusiasts alike at the country’s National Ag Expo.
To date, the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls have performed in 18 countries, including England, where they performed at the Queen’s Jubilee. During this recent trip to Uruguay’s capital city, which took place in September, the main focus was students, who are fortunate enough to be enrolled in a charter school funded by grants from the U.S. government intended to help augment education in Uruguay.
“It was really inspiring to perform for the students,” said Jennifer Nicholson, Riata Ranch’s owner and head trainer. “We were hired by the U.S. Embassy to perform for these charter schools that not only emphasize quality education in subjects like math, science, and English, but really get the kids interested in learning. These schools even work to get parents involved, often by going door-to-door and educating the parents in how to provide a good learning environment for their children. It’s a very personalized environment, the classes are 20 students max.”
Jennifer said that the students were overjoyed to see the presentation.
“I think we were able to really inspire the kids,” she said.
Jennifer emphasized that at Riata Ranch, it’s much more than an equestrian program, it is developing diplomats for the Western lifestyle. And to be invited to perform in Uruguay was not just to be providing a Western presence, but to help forge a strong partnership with the country.
Jennifer, along with one of her Cowboy Girls, Spencer Rose, performed horseless for the students and then at Uruguay’s Ag Expo.
“They hired us really last minute, but we were honored to have the opportunity to go,” Jennifer said.
Evidently, Uruguay had been wanting to bring down Western performers for quite some time. Jennifer and Spencer performed during the Expo’s closing ceremony to deafening applause and countless cameras. They performed a 12-minute trick roping presentation and then signed autographs.
No horses, you may wonder?
“Going horseless helped us concentrate more on interacting with the community,” Jennifer explained. “There was less to worry about in terms of which horses to use and how to get them there.”
The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls did have horses when they performed locally for two consecutive days as the opening act for the Three Rivers Western Film Festival earlier this month.
Riata Ranch’s next big event will be their Christmas program, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 20, at the ranch, which will include lunch and a performance by the world-famous Cowboy Girls. More information will be coming soon, but look forward to free training session certificates that will be a part of the raffle.