Howdy y’all! We’ve made it to another Friday and I am so happy to bring you this Friday’s feature! We got to interview The Fancy Lady Cowgirl, Courtenay DeHoff! Getting to know a little more about her background and different things she has done in the industry has been mind blowing. Let’s go ahead and jump right in!
Courtenay is originally from Tonganoxie, KS but now resides in Dallas. She had an amazing childhood growing up around agriculture. Her parents ran a cow/calf operation and her grandparents run a larger cow/calf operation. She competed in rodeo and high school rodeo in Kansas and eventually went on to college rodeo at Oklahoma State. While in Oklahoma she got her pro card to compete in barrel racing. Courtenay thought that this was her calling and what she was born to do but then landed an internship for a television station. After touring the station she fell in love with story telling and the rest is history.
If you didn’t know Courtenay is a bucking bull mother. That’s right, not a stock contractor but a bucking bull mother. I love the way that sounds, ha ha! In 2020 she was doing sideline hosting for the PBR and she thought that this was her finale. Courtenay says “Don’t always confuse the intermission for the finale.” Ain’t that the truth! Unfortunately, this didn’t last long due to the pandemic hitting. So, in July in 2020 she received a DM from a gal named Katie who raises bucking bulls. Katie asked if she would be interested in owning a bucking bull. “I don’t remember this part of the story. Katie says I ghosted her. I did eventually message her back. Because I became part owner of this tiny white yearling bull named Top Dollar,” Courtenay says. That year her bull Top Dollar went on to become the APPI World Champion. “I became the mother of a World Champion!” In January Top Dollar made his debut at Madison Square Garden at the Unleash the Beast Tour for the PBR.
Fancy Lady Cowgirl has been such an incredible movement for women in the western industry. Following Courtenay’s journey on what it means to be a Fancy Lady Cowgirl is an incredible story. It started in 2020 during the pandemic and it blew up! She had people telling her that it blew up over night but Courtenay thought “No, it has been a 10 year journey. It took a decade to get to the point that I decided that I would be both a fancy lady and a cowgirl.” She wasn’t going to settle being a stereo type that the industry was giving us women. “You are not a real rancher” She was done with trying to be a TV host and not being able to wear a cowboy hat because of what they would think. Fancy Lady Cowgirl is all the things that make you YOU! Today it is a community that empowers women to absolutely embrace their uniqueness through the cowgirl spirit. “You don’t need to own a cowboy hat. I don’t care if you have never been on a ranch in your life. We all have a little cowgirl inside of us.” Where did the inspiration come from to start Fancy Lady Cowgirl? It came from her being tired of fitting into the mold that the television industry wanted her to fit in. They told her not to wear her hat because people would think she was uneducated. She finally started embracing her cowgirl but then the western community told her she wasn’t a “real” cowgirl because she didn’t own a horse anymore. “What inspired me to start Fancy Lady Cowgirl? I was pissed off, to be frank. I am a cowgirl. I’m a Fancy Lady Cowgirl!” Her inspiration to keep going and putting out the content is so another girl doesn’t feel the way she did. She doesn’t want another woman to feel like she has to choose between who she is and the career she dreams of! “I am doing everything I do to keep my family’s legacy alive.” By traveling the country she is welcoming people into the community and keeping the legacy alive, the ranching way of life.
In 2021 Courtenay got to deliver the keynote address at the National FFA Convention. This has been on of her major career highlights. Over 65,000 listened to her address!
What has the whole experience taught you from being a bucking bull owner to a keynote speaker. “I think the biggest thing is you gotta look at the long game. Don’t let tunnel vision prevent you from seeing what could be coming. Don’t confuse that intermission for that finale. Everything is happening for some reason and it’s always leading to something. And it may be something that you never saw coming.”
“I’m just a cowgirl from Kansas who loves telling stories.”
I hope you have enjoyed this feature on Courtenay and getting to know her better! You can find her on instagram @courtdehoff or click here to head over to her website.
Photo Credit: Kristie Marie Photography