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Louise Serpa

New York


Year Inducted: 2002

Louise Serpa

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Born Louise Larocque in New York City n 1925, this unlikely westerner grew up amidst the Manhattan social scene and attended Vasser College, receiving a degree in music. At age nine, however, she witnessed her first rodeo in Reno, Nevada, and knew “right then that the West was where I was going to be.” After working on a Nevada dude ranch for a time, Louise married wrangler Gordon Serpa and raised two children on a ranch near Ashland, Oregon.

Relocated near Tucson, Arizone, Louise Serpa began shooting high school and intercollegiate rodeos in the early 1960s, gradually establishing her deft ability to capture the action of the sport. Her first magazine cover, for Hoofs and Hors, appeared in 1962. Louise was the first woman granted a press card by Rodeo Sports New, and the first woman sanctioned by the Rodeo Cowboys Association to photograph inside the arena. I n1982 she received a trophy buckle from the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association for the Best Photo of the year. IN 1994 she was the subject of an award winning documentary, “When the Dust Settles,” which aired nationally on PBS television.


Some of the best Louise Serpa’s arena images were published, along with her descriptive text, in Rodeo in 1994. For her many contribution to the sport and its photographic documentation, Louise received the Tad Lucas Memorial Award in 2002.

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