Wanda Harper Bush

The Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) lost an icon today, Dec. 29, with the passing of Wanda Harper Bush. Bush, 84, passed away at the hospital in Brady, Texas, after having been admitted on Sunday night, Dec. 27, after suffering a heart attack at home.

Bush is the most decorated cowgirl in the history of the Women's Pro Rodeo Association (formerly the Girls Rodeo Association). When the GRA first formed in 1948, Bush was one of the first to sign-up. In fact, she carried card number 14. All total she won 32 world titles - 9 all-around (1952, 1957-58, 1962-65, 1968 and 1969), 2 barrel racing titles (1952-53), 2 cutting world titles (1966, 1969), 1 flag race world title (1969), 11 calf roping titles (1951-56, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966-67) and 7 ribbon roping titles (1951, 1953-54, 1956-59). She finished as reserve world champion in the barrel racing three different times.

Though she quit competing full time by the mid-sixties, Bush continued to train tremendous barrel horses. She won most of her titles in the pre-NFR years of the WPRA but Bush couldn't keep her name out of the history books on that score either. She qualified for the big event in 1974.

A full story on Wanda will appear in the February issue of the Women's Pro Rodeo News.

photoWanda Harper Bush

photoWanda Harper Bush