Farewell to a Champion - Ruth McDougall

                     Courtesy CPRA

                     Courtesy CPRA

The world of professional rodeo sadly bids farewell to a Hall of Fame cowgirl, Ruth (McDougall) Garrison who recently lost her battle with cancer.

Raised in a ranching/chuckwagon racing family from west of High River (the Nelson family), Ruth rode from an early age. 

“My brothers and sisters (two of each) and I all rode but there wasn’t any thought of barrel racing or riding competitively. We were too busy with the work on the ranch for anything like that,” McDougall recalled for A Canadian Rodeo News retrospective in 2013.

From that inauspicious start, Ruth was to be the dominant force in barrel racing in the mid and late 1980’s. In an eight year span 1983 to 1990, she won five Canadian titles including three in a row (1987-89), finished second in Canada the other three times and competed at the 1986 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Virtually all of her amazing success came on the back of Doc, a one-of-a-kind gelding that came from Oklahoma cowboy (and NFR Tie Down Roper) Junior Garrison.

Ruth married and raised four children - settling west of Nanton on a picturesque property with an indoor arena.

In 1994, Ruth re-located to Oklahoma, married Junior Garrison and the twosome trained and made barrel and roping horses. 

In 2009, Ruth McDougall was inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, an honour she treasured.

She is survived by four children: Twylla, Denise, Dallas and Justin as well as a number of grandchildren.

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association extends sincere condolences to Ruth’s family and many friends.