News-Antique.com - Oct 04,2009 - Santa Fe, Oct. 4, 2009 -- A cowboy rode into the show arena just ahead of the sharpshooter tossing small glass balls into the air. A short, slender woman rode in after him. She aimed her rifle and shattered all three balls from a horse that never slowed down.
Every seat in the house was filled and the crowd exploded. The star of Buffalo Bill’s 1885 Wild West Show was in rare form and that was only the beginning of her act.
“Ladies and gentleman, Miss Annie Oakley, the little girl of the Western Plains,” the ringmaster yelled.
Born to entertain, the room shifted when Annie rode into it. Her personality filled the arena like electricity and she was only five feet tall and about 110 pounds.
Audiences watched in amazement as the Wild West star shot the cork off a bottle, the flame off a candle and the ash off a lit cigarette. One her most famous stunts included aiming at a target in the mirror and nailing it without ever turning around.
“I would like to see every woman know how to handle (firearms) as naturally as they know how to handle babies,” she said. Annie encouraged women to learn how to defend themselves. She also believed women should have the right to fight for their country if they chose to.
For 17 years she traveled off and on with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
On June 27, Cody Old West Auction featured a selection of Oakley items from the Don Blakeley collection in its Denver, Co., auction.
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