Nicole Carson Bonilla: A Cowgirl’s Legacy


In this program, Nicole Carson Bonilla shares unforgettable photos and video and discusses growing up in a family of western show performers, dating back to her grandfather Buss Carson in the 1930s. Buss, whose peers included famed cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, toured the United States, Mexico and Canada with his show, which included all of his children. The Carson Stuntcapade showcased their trick riding and roping skills, as well as Buss’ stunning palomino trick horse, Gold, at rodeos and large fairs.


Nicole Carson Bonilla

Nicole’s father Merrill continued the family legacy with his own six children, renaming it the Carson Family Western Show. At the age of three, Nicole joined her talented siblings as a singer. She went on to manage a dog act, perform trick roping, and appear in the main horse act with her palomino stallion, Majestic, a great-grandson of Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger.

Nicole, who later attended college, married and had six children, also discusses how she has discovered new ways to connect her family to the cowgirl lifestyle and positively impact the lives of other westerners.

Included with museum admission; free to museum members.