The Rodeo's first female calf scrambler

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024
The Rodeo's first female scrambler
For 50 years, the calf scramble at Rodeo Houston was for boys only. It wasn't until 1982 that the ban on girls was lifted. Lori Vann Spangler from Allentown was determined to participate.

Lori Vann Spangler is etched in Rodeo history. In 1982, when she was 13-years-old, Lori was the first girl to participate in the calf scramble at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This was a dream of hers for years.

"I constantly asked my county agent every year when it would come around, can girls be in the calf scramble? Can girls be in the calf scramble? And he was so delighted to finally tell me that I could apply," Spangler said.

Lori had been showing cattle since she was nine years old. She knew her way around a rope halter, but when she got on that Astrodome dirt - it was a whole new game.

"I'm lined up with these two big old, tall boys on either side and when they said go, those boys stuck those arms out. And I was clotheslined at the start," Spangler said.

Lori did not catch calf that night, but it was still an unforgettable experience, "It's something that I will never forget. It's been over 40 years and I still remember it as one of just the best experiences that I ever had."

Lori continued to show cattle in high school and received a Rodeo scholarship. She still attends the Rodeo every year and is an active member of the Area Go Texan Committee in Angelina County.