Margaret Owens (March 28, 1922–October 9, 1955) is a two-time American World Barrel Racing Champion. In December 1948 and 1951, she won the world championship. She was the first world champion for the Girls Rodeo Association, now known as the Woman's Professional Rodeo Association.
Margaret Owens was born Margaret Bolt on March 28, 1922, in San Angelo, Texas. Owens was raised on the NH Ranch and worked it with her father Tom Owens. Owens roped, branded, and broke colts. She admired the lady performers of her time who roped in rodeos and hoped to compete herself. Owens lived on ranches her whole life.
In 1945, the West of the Pecos Rodeo sponsored a contest in Pecos, Texas. It invited nearby towns to send a girl representative. Owens was one of the 18 girls that showed up. She was 23 years old at the time, and this was her first rodeo. The rules required that the race be run in a cloverleaf pattern and girls wear "flashy" western attire. Owens was representing Sheffield and won that contest. She won the line reining and barrel racing. She also won the girls calf roping. In fact, she was a champion roper who won the girls roping contest 4 years consecutively, being one of several of the first women to compete in this event in Pecos, Texas. And, with her horse Joe Brown, Owens beat the men at calf roping. Owens spent 21 years competing in rodeo.
Owens was one of several women who founded the Girl's Rodeo Association in 1948. She was the association's first president. Owens was an exceptional horseman. She often rode in rodeos during a period of time when the rodeos would not hold any events for women. Sometimes she would compete after the rodeo was over in match roping events. Owens and other women promoted and assisted with all-girl rodeos.
Owens was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in 1976. She was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2014.
On October 9, 1955, when Owens was 33 years old, she was involved in a car accident which took her life. It happened near Sierra Blanca, Texas.