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Catalena Cowgirls Final Showdown at the Cornyval & PRCA Rodeo

 Every year at the Cornyval and PRCA Rodeo in Helotes, Texas the Catalena Cowgirls put on a performance that is simply magical. You don’t want to miss this year’s Cornyval and PRCA Rodeo because this year is the final year of the exquisite Catalena Cowgirls and these cowgirls are going to spice things up.  

Helotes Cornyval and PRCA Rodeo 2021
Thursday, April 29th through Sunday, May 2nd
12210 Leslie Rd, Helotes, TX 78023

Catalena Cowgirls
Catalena Cowgirls

Full of beautiful women, graceful and extraordinary paint horses is what the Catalena Cowgirls are. It’s an exhilarating performance that’ll take your breath away and you’ll wish the show never ended. Once you’ve seen one of their performances, you’ll realize you’ve witnessed something quite spectacular.

Catalena Cowgirls
Catalena Cowgirls

The Catalena Cowgirls came into place all thanks to two brothers, Sammy Catalena and Pete Catelena. In 1975, Sammy’s business the Sammy Catalena Rodeo Company launched which he was a stock contractor. In 1990, Sammy wanted to add some patriotism, flash, and color to his rodeo performances especially when it came time for the National Anthem Salute.

Catalena Cowgirls in Austin, Texas
Catalena Cowgirls in Austin, Texas

Within the next two years, Sammy had formed a team of women and collected plenty of paint horses that traveled to all of Sammy’s rodeo productions. Elaborate performances had been developed all thanks to Pete Catalena, who directed the performances. Sammy and Pete weren’t just any ordinary brothers, they were best friends and inseparable. They didn’t do anything without each other, and they were very supportive of one another. Sammy and Pete were a team, they bounced ideas off of one another and created the Catalena Cowgirls into a brilliant, one-of-a-kind performance.

Sammy Catalena and Pete Catalena; Photo on right hand side, Sammy wearing Happy New Year sign and Pete to his right.
Sammy Catalena and Pete Catalena; Photo on right hand side, Sammy wearing Happy New Year sign and Pete to his right.

By 1995, Sammy, Pete, all the cowgirls, and the horse’s hard work paid off, the Catalena Cowgirls were a hit and had gone viral in the state of Texas. Many other rodeo producers and major event promoters extended out invitations to the Catalena Cowgirls to put on a performance and make their events come to life.

Left, Pete Catalena, right, Sammy Catalena with the Catalena Cowgirls
Left, Pete Catalena, right, Sammy Catalena with the Catalena Cowgirls

The Catalena Cowgirls have performed at the biggest rodeos throughout Texas including the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo, the Southwestern Exposition and Fort Worth Livestock Show, and the Texas Circuit Finals. From 1996 to 2004, the Catalena Cowgirls opened for every single Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which was 20 consecutive performances each year. The Catalena Cowgirls even got to perform at the Wild West Show on the islands of Aruba and Curacao. The Sammy Catalena Rodeo Company put on the rodeo and brought all of the stock including the paint horses over to Aruba and Curacao by plane and ships.

Catalena Cowgirls
Catalena Cowgirls

The Catalena Cowgirls have also performed at the 2001 Olympic Torch Ceremony, the World Championship bull riding series, and the World Energy Conference for oil and gas leaders from all over the world. The cowgirls performed in the state of Illinois several times and it left the Sangamon County in Illinois so impressed that they proclaimed April 18th as Catalena Cowgirls Day. Not only are the cowgirls requested for events but so are the beautiful paint horses that the cowgirls have trained. The paint horses are used all over the state for their own events without the cowgirls such as the wild west acts at Six Flags throughout Texas.

Pete Catalena and the Catalena Cowgirls
Pete Catalena and the Catalena Cowgirls

The Catalena Cowgirls consist of approximately 25 women of all ages, 21 years to 40 years old. All of these women have full-time schedules, but they volunteer their time to practice and travel to all these events. These women each have different personal and professional backgrounds, some are students, some are pursuing their careers in a variety of different areas. These women have formed a sisterhood among the Catalena Cowgirls. More importantly, Pete and Sammy were like father figures to all of the Catalena Cowgirls. Aside from their different backgrounds, they all have a passion for being a part of the Catalena Cowgirls and are more than a team, they have become family. Sammy, Pete, and all the incredible cowgirls have put in a great amount of time, concentration, and dedication to make the performance a breathtaking success.

The sisterhood of the Catalena Cowgirls
The sisterhood of the Catalena Cowgirls

Sammy and Pete Catalena sadly passed away in 2020. It is time that the Catalena Cowgirls retire, and this will be the last year of the Catalena Cowgirls performing but it was such an incredible journey they had. Sammy, Pete, and the Catalena Cowgirls had an incredible run, and they will never be forgotten.

Sammy and Pete Catalena and the Catalena Cowgirls
Sammy and Pete Catalena and the Catalena Cowgirls

Pete Catalena was born on November 12, 1944, in Bryan, Texas. Pete graduated from Texas A&M University in 1968, with a degree in Business Administration. Pete served in the national guard, married his wife, Linda, and had three children, Cody, Brent, and Brooke. His early professional life included sales, construction, and being a restaurateur. Pete was also in the payphone business, he was the president of the Texas Coin Phone Association. Pete was also a founding member of NetNearU and was a pioneer in the internet and Wi-Fi industry. Pete passed away on September 9th, 2020.

Pete Catalena
Pete Catalena

Sammy Catalena was born on July 6th, 1947 in Bryan, Texas. He served as a medic in the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Division where he was stationed at Bien Hoa during the Vietnam War. Sammy graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Agriculture Education. Not only did Sammy found the Sammy Catalena Rodeo and Livestock Company but he also founded Circle C Feed and Supply. He hosted The Round-Up TV show, started up a pawn shop, opened up the Catalena Hatters in downtown Bryan and established the Texas Rose Boutique. Sammy was elected the Brazos County Commissioner in 2011. He married Carolyn and had three sons, Samuel, Travis, and Scott. Sammy passed away on May 19th, 2020.

Sammy Catalena
Sammy Catalena

Pete and Sammy were hard-working entrepreneurs, they took on many things and both were very involved in their community. Aside from how busy they both were, the Catalena brothers put a great amount of time and love into building and the journey of the Catalena Cowgirls. Sammy and Pete’s family, have stepped in to finish this last year of the Catalena Cowgirls and have taken over the roles of Sammy and Pete. The Catalena family has been overseeing practices, routines, scheduling, making sure horses and equipment get to each function that the Catalena Cowgirls appear at. You can find out where the Catalena Cowgirls are performing during their final year here. We look forward to and hope you guys join us at the Cornyval and PRCA Rodeo 2021 Thursday, April 29th through Sunday, May 2nd.

Helotes Cornyval and PRCA Rodeo 2021
Thursday, April 29th through Sunday, May 2nd
12210 Leslie Rd, Helotes, TX 78023

Catalena Cowgirls
Catalena Cowgirls

Howdy, I'm Megan deFabry, I'm originally from South Lake Tahoe, California and I grew up in Reno, Nevada. I now live in Austin, Texas! I have a passion for all things country especially rodeos and country music!

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