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Louisiana Cowgirls Making Equestrian Dreams Come True

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Southwest Louisiana cowgirls, Josie Ogea and Caitlyn Dionne are making their equestrian dreams come true in big ways. National organizations have selected the girls to further their educational pursuits in the equine industry. Both girls are from the surrounding Lake Charles community and attend McNeese State University.


Ogea, a junior majoring in agribusiness, received an internship for a breeding attendant at the famed Lazy E Ranch in Gutherie, Oklahoma. Recognized as one the nation’s premier equine breeding centers for the western horse industry, the Lazy E sits on 925 acres and is a full-service breeding and sales consignment facility. The ranch breeds more than 2,000 mares per year and foals out an average of four hundred mares per season. Currently, the Lazy E stands twenty-two of the nation’s top Quarter Horse stallions in the racing and performance horse industries.


According to the Lazy E, “Internships are a steppingstone into the equine industry, providing both experience and networking opportunities. The Lazy E has a year-round student internship program in place to help interns learn the fundamentals of a successful equine business and benefit from training and hands-on learning opportunities.” To learn more on the Lazy E, go to www.lazyeranch.net.


Caitlyn Dionne is a senior majoring in computer engineering at McNeese and in digital arts and communication at Sowela Technical College. Dionne was selected by Art Of The Cowgirl for its photography fellowship in April. Created in 2019, Art Of The Cowgirl is annual gathering of female artists and clinicians celebrating cowgirls and their contributions to the Western lifestyle. The weeklong gathering includes competitions, clinics, workshops, and a trade show. One of its main purposes is to fund emerging artists in expanding their knowledge and skills via fellowships with master artists in their field. Under the tutelage of the master artists, fellowship recipients will create or build an item that will be auctioned off at the following gathering to help support the following year’s recipients. To learn more, go to www.artofthecowgirl.com.


Caitlyn spent a week in Montana with Barbara Van Cleve, a fifth-generation ranch woman whose pictures may be seen in public and private collections around the world as well as numerous national publications. For more than sixty years, Barbara has photographed our nation’s ranching heritage. As a result of her talent and dedication, Barbara was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall Of Fame in 1995 in Fort Worth. This coming January, Caitlyn will join Barbara and other fellowship recipients and masters at the 2024 Art Of The Cowgirl in Queen Creek, Arizona. To learn more about these cowgirl photographers, go to www.barbaravancleve.com and www.caitlyndionne.smugmug.com.



Post Author: Ginger Schouest, LEC Board Member, Marketing Chair

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