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Inaugural Iron Cowgirl competition to debut this fall

Calling all cowgirls! Your chance to shine is just a few months away.

As part of a series of family-friendly events at the Somerset Amphitheater, the inaugural Iron Cowgirl Competition will be held Friday, Sept. 5, through Sunday, Sept. 7, at SomerStar Ranch on the amphitheater grounds.

According to a press release, the event is “a high-energy competition that will test the strength, athleticism, courage and skills as a horsewoman.”

Competitors will have the opportunity to choose from a series of 16 timed and point-driven events that are found on a ranch or farm.

According to Matt Mithun, owner of the Somerset Amphitheater, $15,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the top competitors in the event, and the overall winner for the weekend will be crowned the Iron Cowgirl.

“We’re giving the competitors a chance to demonstrate certain abilities that may not typically receive as much attention, in a setting full of entertainment for all ages,” Mithun said.

Iron Cowgirl competitors and spectators will have the chance to participate in a barbecue meat and chili cook-off contest, which will be judged by local chefs.

A barrel race will take place on Sunday, Sept. 7. This event requires separate registration from the Iron Cowgirl competition. Participants do not have to compete in Iron Cowgirl to enter the barrel race. A $5,000 cash purse will be awarded to the top barrel racers.

To compete in either event, competitors must be 14 years of age or older. Other attractions available throughout the weekend include live music, a barn dance, petting zoo, artists, a mechanical bronco, games, food, drink, camping and more. The country music lineup will be announced in the coming weeks, Mithun said.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, and 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6 and 7. Parking is free. Tickets are $9 for adults in advance, and $12 at the door; Kids’ tickets ages 5-12 are $5. Admission and camping for kids 4 and under is free. A weekend pass (advance purchase only) is $20. Camping prices range from $25-$50.

Cowgirl events

Horseback events featured at Iron Cowgirl include bareback arena racing, barrel racing, breakaway roping, goat tying, horseback tug-of-war, mounted shooting, pennant race, pole weaving, rescue racing, scudda ho, speed scavenger hunt and trailer racing.

On-foot events for cowgirl enthusiasts will feature a Get Yer Gear Dash, goat dressing, grain bag toss and a talent contest.

For a full schedule of events, descriptions of Cowgirl contests and more information on entering the competition or purchasing tickets, visit or follow the event on Twitter at and Facebook at

Mithun said that part of the proceeds from the Iron Cowgirl event will benefit We Can Ride Inc., a therapeutic horseback riding nonprofit group based in Minnetonka, Minn., that serves children and adults living with physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral disabilities.

Mithun also said Iron Cowgirl is just one in a lineup of family-friendly events the amphitheater plans to host in its new arena area called SomerStar Ranch. Plans are in the works for a Halloween-themed camping event called Terror at Camp Somerset, and an auto show.

According to the Somerset Amphitheater Facebook page, construction is in progress for the arena where Iron Cowgirl will take place.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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