Donna Alward: Wild Cow Milking

Years ago, when I attended my first rodeo, I had a great laugh at the Wild Cow Milking event. These days when I write rodeo scenes, it’s usually the bull riders or saddle broncs that get my attention. But when I was writing LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP, I was faced with a unique challenge.

My hero is a dairy farmer.

In the middle of ranch country.

Callum Shepard bought the place from a retiring farmer. Dairy is what he knows. He spent lots of time working on his uncle’s farm on lower mainland BC.  When he’s looking for his own little slice of heaven, this small dairy operation is just the thing. But Callum’s also a bit of a loner, and doesn’t make friends easily.  The only people he seems to trust when Avery comes on the scene are the Diamond brothers who run a local ranch.

Throughout the book Callum mellows out and comes out of his shell bit by bit. And since it’s summer, there’s the annual rodeo to think about. Is he going to go? Sam and Ty Diamond seem to think it’s time he become a part of the community, so they drag him into a fun event: Wild Cow Milking. Right up Callum’s alley. Sort of. Because Wild Cow Milking isn’t like putting a Holstein in a milking parlor. It looks more like this (only more often a 4 man team and not 2):

Well, you’ll have to read  to find out if they win or not, but I will tell you that Callum is a great sport, and even receives a proper

cowboy hat at the end from rodeo royalty.

What’s your favorite rodeo event? Answer in the comments and we’ll draw for a copy of LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP!

And please visit me at my website at! You can find out more about my new releases…and the Cadence Creek series. Next up at the creek is A COWBOY TO COME HOME TO… coming in July.

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20 thoughts on “Donna Alward: Wild Cow Milking”

  1. I don’t really have a favorite rodeo event, I enjoy all of the rodeo events. If I have to choose one, then I will go with the barrel racing.

  2. I have been to lots of redos and have never seen that! that sounds so fun. I use to help my step dad warm up his horse before his event. He was a team roper. I loved doing that. every time i would take our horse out in the arena i felt like i had the most important job in the world!

  3. Nice to have you back for a visit, Donna. We miss you.
    Haven’t seen a live rodeo since I was a kid, but I can get hooked on TV bull riding. Don’t like what they do to the bulls to get them bucking, but those cowboys are such men!
    I’ve seen mutton busting on TV, too, where they put little kids on bucking sheep. Now that looks like fun.

    Your book sounds like a heartwarming story.

  4. Good post, Donna. My favorite is bull riding. Love PBR and plan on doing a blog on the history of PBR in the near future. I can relate to wild cow milking event, and bet it was fun to write. In our anthology (Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, DeWanna Pace and me) “Give Me a Cowboy” the theme was a four day rodeo in the Texas Panhandle in the late 1800’s. As a group we had to make sure everything was coordinated in each story, since it took place concurrently. I loved bull riding so much that I did a ton of research on it and of course the first thing I learned was that it wasn’t a regular rodeo event in the 1800’s, but was a renegade event, but I was going with it anyway. When we sat down at Jodi’s dinner table to work everything out, DeWanna Pace was the first to say she’d selected bull riding since her brother had been a champion bull rider. There went my event but I was thrilled for Dee to do it. Jodi and Linda went with their events which left wild cow milking as mine! Yikes! I researched it and the first thing I found out was that they had to cart the mamas for the calves for their events; thus the creation of wild cow milking. My heroine thinks she’s another Annie Oakley, while my hero is a Pinkerton Agent who gets roped into participating in the rodeo. It was so much fun to write. I have it raining and them rolling around in the mud, so you can imagine how much sexual tension there was there! So, although bull riding is my favorite modern day event, wild cow milking ended up my favorite in 1890! Thanks for a fun post that brought back great memories of this story for me. Hugs, Phyliss

  5. How fun!!! Having milked a dairy cow by hand, I know how stubborn and cranky they can be. I cannot imagaine how bruised you would be milking a wild one.

    I love a rodeo and hope to go to the Chyenne Frontier Days again. I love watching the bull riding!!

  6. I have seen only seen a few events at a rodeo… I guess my fav event would be barrel racing…. Wild Cow Milking would be interesting to see… thanks for sharing Donna!

  7. My favorite event is Saddle Bronc—very traditional. Here, wild cow milking is usually one of the events locals do before the professional rodeo begins with Bareback riding. It’s always fun to watch and root for the team you know.

  8. I don’t really have a favorite rodeo event. I can only remember going to a rodeo at the fair when I was a child. I don’t remember much about it. I think I could really get into it now though.

  9. I never been to a rodeo. Maybe someday I will have the opportunity. I’ve seen some events on TV and what I seen looks exciting.

  10. I love team roping. My family team ropes. Bull riding makes my stomach turn over because I’m so afraid for the riders. In my neck of the woods we are mule packers. Our local Mule Days over Memorial Day weekend has the usual rodeo events with an extra ‘mule packing event’. Who can pack a string of mules (5), the quickest. Usually they are the rankest mules in the group. It can become a wreck with about 10 strings of mules in the arena at one time. The wild cow milking race is truly too funny. You have to be half crazy to try to milk some of those cows. (Or drunk).
    But, I do love Rodeo!

  11. Lots of bull riders in the house, I see! Who said Mutton Busting? I love that. Those kids are so darn cute!

    I like bareback too. Really the whole day is just a lot of fun.

  12. I have never heard of wild cow milking. Not for the faint of heart..

    We went to our first rodeo in Colorado Springs when we lived there. We took our children to the Little Britches Rodeo and later to the Pike’s Peak or Bust Rodeo. It has been a long time (our son who was born there is now 30), so I don’t remember the name of the event or exactly how it went. They put a strip of tape on a sheep or two, let it loose with a bunch of kids trying to catch it and get the piece of tape, something along those lines anyway. The kids loved watching it and it was fun. A rodeo came through here in TN several times quite a few years ago. We went, but it was all adult events.
    We are taking our 15 year old grandson out West with us this summer and hope to catch the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo with him.

    I look forward to reading LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP.

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