Blanche Altizer Smith
Blanche was born into a South Texas ranching family on July 16, 1928. She was a very accomplished cowgirl and horsewoman with a strong devotion to the sport of rodeo. Blanche was a champion calf roper, barrel racer and competed in team roping. She also served as secretary and timer at many rodeos.
The GRA (Girls Rodeo Association) was formed in 1948 by a group of Texas women. Blanche was the Association’s founding secretary and director. One of the GRA’s goals was to lobby for money to be added to the Barrel Racing Event at the rodeos.
The West of the Pecos Rodeo agreed to these rules and added $100.00 in prize money to the cowgirl’s entry fees and four places were paid out. The clover leaf pattern was again used and is still used today with very little change in the rules.
Blanche Smith, Margaret Owns and Snookie Sherrill, all members of the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame, positioned the barrels and closely watched over the placement of the barrels every night.
Blanche married Bud Smith and they had two sons, Olie and Jimmy. With both Blanche and Bud deceased, Olie and Jimmy proudly carry the ranching and rodeoing tradition on to the next generation and live in the Sonora area.