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Montana Horse Story
A Local Legacy

You have probably heard of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. But do you know about the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum?

If you are from Montana, you probably do. Many Montanans are remembered in these two museums because the horse has played an important part in the state's history, economy, and romantic image. Most of the state is rangeland used in the livestock-ranching industry for the production of beef cattle and sheep. Horses are used to round up the cattle and sheep, so horse riding is a very important skill to have if you live there.

Cowboys and cowgirls show off their riding skills at the many rodeos held each year across the state. Several cowgirls from Montana have been inducted (admitted as members) into the National Cowgirl Museum, including cowgirl-photographer Barbara Van Cleve. She is a nationally recognized artist who splits her time between her family ranch, the Lazy K Bar, near Melville, Montana, and her photographic studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Another Montanan, Dan Mortensen, was inducted into the Cowboy Museum in 1997. Mortensen is 1997 World All-Around Champion and 1993-1995, 1997 and 1998 World Saddle Bronc Riding Champion in the "Rodeo" category.

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