I hate to break it to everyone in Fort Worth and Wichita, Kan.
But I think we're both wrong about our first rodeo.
Worse, I think we're overlooking a woman.
From what I can tell -- and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City agrees -- the first indoor rodeo was in Fort Worth after all.
Never miss a local story.
But it was in 1917, a year before the events that Fort Worth and Wichita now claim were first.
And it was organized by an Oklahoma cowgirl: Lucille Mulhall.
That year, Mulhall presented what the Star-Telegram described as a "week of frontier sports" in what is now Cowtown Coliseum during the Stock Show.
More than 50 cowboys and cowgirls signed contracts and competed for prizes in events such as roping and bronc busting, settling what our newspaper called "the championship riding contests of the Southwest."
No, it wasn't called rodeo. It was Lucille Mulhall's Round-Up.
"It was a competition, for prize money, under a roof -- as far as we're concerned, that was the first indoor rodeo," said Richard Rattenbury, curator of history at the cowboy museum and author of Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo.
That's what he told the Wichita Eagle, too.
Yet that newspaper published a jingoistic story claiming the honor for Wichita, simply because that city's January 1918 Frontier Days contest preceded the Fort Worth rodeo's March 1918 debut.
Author Mary Lou LeCompte of Cowgirls of the Rodeo also calls Mulhall's 1917 event the first.
Contestants included bulldogger Bill Pickett and bronc rider "Booger Red" Privett. Legendary rodeo announcer "Foghorn" Clancy called the action.
I can think of two reasons Mulhall, a trick roper, might not get local credit:
In Rattenbury's words, "Women were basically pushed out of both rodeos and rodeo history."
A later marriage to Stock Show pioneer and Texas rancher Tom Burnett didn't work out.
The 1917 Star-Telegram covered the Round-Up as a contest: "Best Cowboys and Cowgirls of Three Nations to Compete" and "Rider Sticks Without Saddle for 5 Minutes." (Oklahoman Red Sublett "took home the money.")
The next year, the Stock Show borrowed a Spanish name used in California.
But we'd already seen our first rodeo.
Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538