The Winchester Widows were founded in 1987, as a small group of parade riders who portrayed characters from the Wild West. Not necessarily widows themselves, but displaying a common theme of the 1800's as most women survived their husbands, the popularity of the group grew. It now consists of women from all walks of life, both on horseback and ground support.
Currently the group rides in approximately ten parades a year mostly in San Diego County but have had four appearances in the Rose Parade. In an effort to represent the West as it really was, these women ride in authentic outfits with no “modern amenities”. They carry Winchester rifles, "the gun that won the west" because the characters they represent would have learned to fend for themselves in a tough region where there were more grave-markers than occupants.
These ladies ride out of history with costumes reminiscent of the late 1800’s. They represent strong characters of American history who have loved and lost and learned to get along without. The black they wear is a badge of courage and the rifles they carry are a symbol of strength. They band together to support on another. It is with pride they celebrate today the independence of women and the nostalgia of the Wild West.
The Winchester Widows are from San Diego County and have been riding in parades in Southern California. The Widows ride horses of many breeds and colors. You will see them mounted on Palominos, Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers, Friesians and even a Mustang.
In 1991, the Widows decided to adopt a philanthropy and to become active in supporting a cause.
The Widows help support the Heart and Hooves Therapy – a non profit enhancing the lives of children and adults through a different kind of therapy! You can find them @ www.heartsandhoovestherapy.org.
Our fund raisers include Casino Night with the El Cajon Lions, bake sales at Eastbound Bar and Grill in downtown Lakeside and lending “atmosphere” to various functions have been added to help fiscally support this important charity.
The Winchester Widows remind us today of the strength, courageous independence and sheer grit of women who contributed to the settling of the West and the growth of our nation.
and all photos and graphics are the property of The Winchester Widows.
This site was revised June 24, 2013.