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A mammoth crowd of Westerners gathered at the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, in early July 1927.  Among the spectators present at the prestigious rodeo were President Calvin Coolidge and South Dakota Senator Peter Norbeck.  The politicians, their wives, and staff members applauded the cowboys and cowgirls who rode into the arena to tackle rowdy steers and untamed broncos.  When Mattie Goff, the All-Around Cowgirl and World Champion Trick Rider, and her horse charged out of a chute and raced around the grounds, the president leapt to his feet cheering.  

Mattie waved to the congregation as she hurried by them, preparing to perform her signature trick known as the back drag.  In the back drag, Mattie would place a foot in a loop on either side of the saddle, bend backwards over the rear of the horse until her hands touched the ground, and then pull herself upright.  The daring stunt was perfectly executed, and the onlookers cheered and clapped.  Mattie went on to dazzle fans with additional entertaining and dangerous tricks.  The celebrated cowgirl was treated to a standing ovation as she rode out of the arena.  

Mattie Eugenia Goff was born on December 21, 1906, in Meade County, South Dakota.  She was one of seven children born to homesteaders George and Grace Goff.  She began riding at age three, and by the time she was fifteen, was performing at rodeos.  In addition to trick riding, Mattie participated in bronc riding and relay racing events.  Her talent for trick riding was noticed by Wild West showman Leonard Stroud who hired her to work in his show.  Stroud, recognized as the greatest trick rider and roper of all time, taught Mattie such stunts as the Roman stand, under the neck, and the slick saddle stand. 

In the summer of 1926, Mattie participated in the Bell Fourche Roundup and, using all she had learned from Leonard Stroud, won first place in the trick and fancy roping and riding competitions earning her the title of World Champion Trick Rider.  In August of that same year, Mattie gave a fine exhibition of Roman riding in a half mile race at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport, Iowa.  She finished the race in fifty-eight seconds and won the top prize.  From there she competed at the Gardner’s Elkhorn Ranch Rodeo in Lexington, Kentucky, winning the trick riding and roping contest.  By the time Mattie performed for the president at the Black Hills Roundup the title of Champion Women Relay Rider of the World had been added to her list of titles.

Mattie Goff married cowboy Maynard Newcombe on December 15, 1927.  She retired from the rodeo world shortly thereafter to help her husband work their ranch on the Cheyenne River in eastern Meade County in South Dakota.  

Mattie was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1961 and inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Texas in 1994.  The former All-Around Cowgirl was ninety-eight years old when she passed away on July 26, 2005.