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Ruth ran away from home to join the 101 Ranch Wild West Show as a trick rider. Her contest debut came at the 1917 Fort Worth Roundup, America's first indoor rodeo, as a bronc rider. Dubbed the "soft-spoken, rough-riding golden girl of the West," she wore trademark giant hair bows and boots hand-tooled with hearts. She is remembered for trick riding up the steps, across the lobby and through the dining room of Fort Worth's Texas Hotel.