When I think of who represents the word cowgirl with pure integrity, Duke Largo Wimberly is one of the first women that comes to mind. Duke, one of the stars of RIDE TV‘s hit show Cowgirls, is a bronc riding, bull riding, ranching, Yellowstone stunt performing cowgirl who embraces life to its fullest, always putting her best foot forward no matter what new venture she has taken on. In the fourth installment of Cowboy Lifestyle Network‘s Women of the Western Industry series, we will learn more about Duke, her life as a rough stock rider, tv star, and stunt performer, and her advice on what it takes to make it in the rodeo world and beyond.
Q: How has your life changed since starring in RIDE TV’s hit show Cowgirls?
A: My life has changed quite a lot since Cowgirls came along. I definitely have contact with more people, and I also have been blessed with so many awesome opportunities that I don’t believe I would’ve had if it weren’t for RIDE TV and Cowgirls. The opportunities I have been given range from meeting celebrities to fulfilling a lifelong dream of doing Hollywood stunt work. It’s been a heck of a change, but a good one.
Q: When you’re not busy filming Cowgirls, you do stunts! Tell me what it’s like to work as a stunt performer on shows such as Yellowstone.
A: Doing stunt work is incredible. I’ve definitely found another passion to pursue; I’ve found my niche! Yellowstone is such a different set than what I’m used to on Cowgirls. However, you find a groove and see familiar faces each time you are on set and look forward to working with and catching up with everyone. I’ve been blessed to work with some veterans of the trade and I have learned a lot along the way. They have all been gracious and happy to show a newbie the ropes, and it has sure made it easier for me to do my job. Anywhere from taking hits from bulls to getting shot as militia, it’s a fun change of pace with the same adrenaline rush of riding rough stock.
Q: While many people are accustomed to seeing you ride broncs, you also ride bulls. What makes you passionate about bull riding?
A: I absolutely love the bulls! The smell, the power, the feel, it’s just so different from broncs. I’m actually more at home on a bull. It’s just you, a rope, and him. It’s definitely easier to put a rope on than a saddle! I’ve been on way more bulls than I have bucking horses, but I just ride broncs better for some reason. It doesn’t keep me from trying though as it’s a passion and one I’m not ready to give up for a long time.
Q: What is your greatest achievement to date?
A: I would have to say, next to having my son, being the first woman in over 90 years to win a bronc riding event at Cheyenne Frontier Days is probably my biggest achievement thus far. I’m excited to see what the future brings!
Q: For girls interested in bronc riding or bull riding, what is the best advice you can give them?
A: Do some research! Please don’t just watch an episode of Cowgirls and decide to go jump on a bronc or bull. Riding roughstock is dangerous and needs to be approached with knowledge and the right tools. Research the sport, watch videos, and if you decide to give it a go, find a REPUTABLE rodeo school or seek out someone who is proficient and sincerely wants to help you. If you do that, starting out on appropriate stock shouldn’t be an issue. Always seek professional help and the right level of stock for you. Also, have fun! That’s what it’s all about! If you aren’t having fun or if fear and anxiety run away with you, this may not be your sport, and that is okay too!
Q: What is a quote you have lived by in 2019?
A: This year has been a tough one. I would have to say the quote I’ve lived by this year would be “It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get back up and try again.” I’m not sure where I saw it or heard it, it’s just stuck with me this year. God is always good about helping me dust myself off and keep going!
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