The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club

About This Episode


Born in 1901 into a wealthy Pasadena family, Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes was expected to be a debutante but chose to become a tomboy and a rebel. Her parents arranged a marriage to a minister and she responded by disguising herself as a man, and running off to war-torn Mexico. Months later, full of wild stories, she emerged with the nickname “Pancho.”

Narrated by Tom Skerritt, with Kathy Bates as the voice of Barnes, The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club is the story of a larger-than-life figure, a fully liberated woman in an era when few dared challenge convention — and the price one person paid for living outside of it. The film features newly discovered personal files, never-before-seen photos and rare movie footage as well as interviews with Pancho's biographers, and many of her friends, including General Charles 'Chuck' Yeager, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and famed test pilots R.A. 'Bob' Hoover and Bob Cardenas.