German cowgirls arrive for TV show filming

2004-09-06T00:00:00Z German cowgirls arrive for TV show filmingKELLY MILNER Wyoming Tribune-Eagle Casper Star-Tribune Online
September 06, 2004 12:00 am  • 

CHEYENNE (AP) - Wide-eyed and a bit weary, five German women bought cowboy boots and hats Saturday morning in downtown Cheyenne.

The group attracted more attention than most customers as they were surrounded by a Tangram Film camera crew. The five women were selected from 1,000 who applied to be in a five-part documentary series called "Cowgirls." The show will air on a French-German cultural channel.

For the next three weeks, the women, ages 22 to 61, will learn to be cowgirls at the Colorado Cattle Company in New Raymer, Colo., about 100 miles southeast of Cheyenne.

"It's always been a dream to go work on a ranch," said Nikola Mai, a 22-year-old police officer. "I think the next three weeks will be amazing."

They have limited riding experience, but in 21 days they are expected to compete in roping against other cowgirls at a nearby ranch.

"This is a big, huge dream for them," producer Dagmar Biller said. "Now, we're going to see if it's what they thought it would be."

But before they can learn to be cowgirls, they have to dress the part. Clutching her soft brown leather boots to her chest, Petra Rathfelder said, "I'm really proud of this."

Up to now, the only Western thing she's owned has been a Calgary rodeo T-shirt, which was a gift from a friend. While Germans are intrigued by the Western lifestyle, Rathfelder said there's no place to try it out.

She said she knows of no working ranches, and horseback riding is limited to trail rides. Rathfelder, 32, found information about the show on the Internet, and, being an adventurous person, had to apply.

"I told them, 'I can cook really strong coffee over a campfire so you have to take me,"' she said, laughing.

The group needed that strong coffee Saturday morning, after arriving at the ranch at 3 a.m. There were repeated delays and difficulties on the flight from Germany.

Cattle Company owner Penny Persson welcomed them and then informed them that cowgirls don't get to sleep in. "We're trying to get them cowboyed up," Persson said.

Each woman had a pair of leather gloves and a rope waiting for them. Rathfelder, who said she is most excited "to get a rope around a cow," tried the rope out right away.

"I tried to rope my roommates," she said.

As the women selected boots and hats at The Wrangler, a Western store, Persson offered hard advice. "Promise me if you get blisters and your feet are bleeding, you won't whine," Persson said to one when she saw her choice of boots.

"They are your feet, just tell me you'll walk through the pain."

Persson said she was contacted by director Ziri Rideaux, who had been looking all over the West for a place to shoot the documentary.

Rideaux loved the ranch, part of the Pawnee National Grasslands, Persson said. Biller said the women chosen have limited horse experience, so that viewers could see them improve. They also had to be able to express themselves.

"They had to be willing to open up," Biller said. "Otherwise, it could get a little boring watching five women who didn't want to talk."

Mai said the team already seemed to have "good vibrations."

"I was worried someone would be really worried about their nails or their makeup," Rathfelder said. "But no one is like that so far."

While reality shows are popular in Germany, Biller said the women weren't chosen in hopes of having personality clashes.

"It's not about humiliating people or making fun of people," she said. "We want to see them succeed, not fail."

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Untitled Document

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps...

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

  5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at, or call Editor Jason Adrians at 266-0545 or Content Director David Mayberry at 266-0633. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

  6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

  7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

  8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Businesses