Margie Roberts Hart is the 2016 Rodeo Cowgirl
Marjorie “Margie” Roberts was born to Emmett C. and Clara M. Roberts on July 3, 1916 near Council Grove, Kansas into the famous Roberts rodeo family which started the Flint Hills Rodeo in Strong City in 1937. She was first on horseback when she was only a few months old. She spent her formative years at Strong City where she helped her father and brothers, Ken and Gerald, train and break horses. In this endeavor, she and her brothers rode unbroken horses three miles to their country school. The sale of broken horses helped get the family through the Great Depression. She began her rodeo career at the age of 13 trouping as a bareback bronc rider. During the summers while she was in high school, she rode for the Clyde Miller Wild West Show. After graduating from high school she contracted to perform at many circuses and rodeos. On July 21, 1934, she married Edwin J. Boysen, bronc rider and steer rider with the Miller show. After the Boysen’s left the Wild West Show, they contracted for Marge to trick ride and Eddie to trick rope at numerous rodeos in the mid-west where they were huge attractions. At the age of 19 Margie originated the “dive” as a trick rider. In this trick the rider leans forward over the horses head. By most accounts, this started as a fortuitous accident when she lost her balance and fell forward. With the wind keeping her upright she recovered and there was thunderous applause. In 1939 at Springfield, Missouri, she rode saddle broncs, barebacks and bulls in a Clyde Miller all-girl rodeo section. Margie rode in Madison Square Garden in New York, and in Cheyenne, Wyoming where she won the Ladies Bronc Riding championship in 1940. After Edwin and Marge divorced, She married George “Kid” Roberts in 1940. After her and Kid’s divorce she renewed a relationship with Edwin Boysen. In 1957, Edwin Boysen was murdered in a dispute with a neighbor. She married Albert W. Hart in 1961. She spent her last years with him at a small ranch at Strong City. In addition to her career in the rodeo arena, Margie trained and owned race horses in Arizona and operated a dude ranch at Lake of the Ozarks State Park in Missouri. Her love and care for animals was deep-seated and ever apparent. Margie was a gifted painter as well as being a talented rodeo cowgirl. Marge was the admirable older sister to siblings Ken, Gerald, Howard, Clifford and Gloria. On April 23, 1982 Margie Roberts died at the age of 65 and is buried in Strong City. Margie Roberts is a 1987 inductee into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame connection: Margie was the sister of 2005 KCHF Rodeo Cowboy inductee, Gerald Roberts.