Meet 40 of the Most Badass Women: Ladies-Only Ford Bronco Off-Roadeo 

Learning to off road is intimidating, especially for women. But female Ford Bronco owners can attend Ladies-Only Off-Roadeo and find their voice and confidence among friends.

We All Drove Up And Over That Rock Face
We all- every one of us- drove up and over that rock face. Photo: Scotty Reiss
A Girls Guide To Cars | Meet 40 Of The Most Badass Women: Ladies-Only Ford Bronco Off-Roadeo  - These Women Earned Their Bronco Badge
Meet the 40 badass women who learned off-roading, most for the first time, at Ford’s Bronco Off-Roadeo.

These women earned their Ford Bronco badges.

They came to Horseshoe Bay, just outside of Austin Texas, for a day of off-roading, fun, learning and camaraderie. Many drove their new Ford Broncos, even though they would drive a Bronco owned by the Off-Roadeo facility. Many brought a friend; others came alone without  knowing anyone else in the group. They were dressed for the elements: A cold rain and then later, bright sun and humidity. They were ready for everything the trails would throw at them: Mud, sheer cliffs, slippery gravel. They were ready to drive over large rocks and traverse ditches on two wheels.

And most had never off-roaded before. 

This was Ford’s Ladies-Only Bronco Off-Roadeo. While the Off-Roadeo holds sessions all year long, the women’s only event has proven popular: It’s been held 4 times since the inaugural event in August 2022. Our event was sold out. 

And it was the source of nervous butterflies, heart-palpitating moments and adrenaline-fueled smiles— as well as lots of learning, confidence and yes, friendship.

Wan to know what skills you’ll learn at Ford Bronco Off-Roadeo, and what the trails are like? This is what you’ll experience

Three Of Our Trail Guides Sunshine, Jordan And Ace
Three of our trail guides for Ford Bronco Off-Roadeo: Sunshine, Jordan and Ace. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Meeting Our Soon-to-be Bronco Sisters

The night before, Bronco Off-Roadeo attendees joined a pre-event cocktail party. There was a lot of nervous laugher as women introduced themselves. “Have you off-roaded before?” “No. Have you?” “No.” “Are you nervous?” Everyone laughed. They were. 

Each attendee was given a colored wrist band and instructed to keep it for the next day; the wrist bands designated our assigned groups. Soon, everyone was gathered with their group mates and trail guides. Our guide, Jordan, shared what to expect and told us about herself: she’s a guide at the New Hampshire Off-Roadeo as well as an auto mechanics student. She’s been off-roading since she was 14 … and she’s 20 years old. But she was passionate and knowledgeable and despite her young age, put us at ease. Even so, people didn’t know what to expect the next day.

Related: What Drives Her: Jolanta Coffey of Ford on Building the New Bronco Everglades

My Drive Partner Mara And Me
My drive partner Mara and me. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Why Ladies Only?

Girls-only has long been a precious space — in classrooms, gyms, clubs and other places — that allows women to let down their guard, find their voice and develop confidence. 

Women-only can be a great strategy for women to learn in male dominated fields. But often women find themselves to be the only girl, feeling intimidated, pressured, alone. 

Off-roading can be one of these places. Even though women buy a lot of off-road capable SUVs, many don’t know how to use the systems and capabilities. Luckily, there are places where women can learn, including the Ford Bronco Off-Roadeo, and now, on select days each year, the Ladies-Only Off-Roadeo.  

Related: Our Classic ’71 Bronco Inspired the Purchase of a New Ford Bronco. I Couldn’t Be More In Love

The Sun Came Out So Mara Put The Top Back On Our Bronco Badlands
The sun came out so Mara put the top back on our Bronco Badlands. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Bronco Was a Leap Of Faith For Many

Many Ford Bronco owners bought their Broncos sight unseen, or after a quick test drive. Many waited months (or longer) for delivery and paid top dollar. The women attending Off-Roadeo were no exception. 

But the look of the Bronco, the promise of fun and freedom swayed them. They wanted to follow new trails, to find adventure; some said they wanted to camp and hike again like they did when they were younger. Others wanted to travel to destinations only reachable in a 4×4. And Bronco struck a chord, so they bought in.

And Bronco Off-Roadeo completes the promise, teaching attendees not just how to off-road, but how to use the SUV they purchased for the adventure. 

Related: Ford Bronco Raptor Enables You to Get Over Anything

The First Demonstration Of The Day Driving Up A Huge Hill
The first demonstration of the day driving up a huge hill. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What is Bronco Off Roadeo?

Bronco owners and order-holders are invited to attend the Off-Roadeo at no cost other than a small registration fee (and travel, if that’s necessary). These full day events, which in the coming months will be open to non-Bronco owners for a fee, are designed to teach new owners how to best use their new 4x4s. Trail guides teach attendees what each button, dial and function does, the principles behind the mechanics and the circumstances under which to use each function. 

Our session started off with getting to know each other and our guides— Jordan and Melissa Clark, who teaches off-roading and has won the Rebelle Rally each of the last three years in Ford Bronco Sport. Then they guided us through the mechanics and principles of off-roading before taking us out to the demonstration course. There, at the first station, a large dirt hill, Jordan discussed some of the basics. 

So far, it seemed easy. 

Then, she asked for a volunteer from our group to hop in a Bronco for a demonstration. When the demo was done, she instructed the woman to drive over the hill. 

And so it went. Off-Roadeo attendees took turns at each station, fording through two feet of water, undulating across a patch of rocks, making a tight turn between two large rocks and driving across the articulation pit. 

This is the most heart-stopping spot on the course; observers see the rear corner of the Bronco fly up in the air, wheel spinning; driver feels the SUV suddenly tip toward the ground. Jordan, spotting the driver, kept her calm and moving despite all the mud and rocks under the wheels that still had contact with the ground. 

Broncos On The Off Roadeo Trail
Broncos on the Off Roadeo trail. Photo: Scotty Reiss

And then, we went out on the trail.

And this is where my respect and admiration for every woman on the course grew immensely. The trail provided one obstacle after another, each more challenging than the last. Often, Jordan hopped out of the lead Bronco and spotted us up the grade, through a turn, over a blind hill. Other times, Off-Roadeo team members were there to spot us and throughout, Jordan and the team were listening and talking to us via the walkie-talkies in the Broncos. 

Expert coaching that got perfect performance from the woman at the wheel of each Bronco — who was typically alone in the car for her first time driving off-road. 

We All Drove Up And Over That Rock Face
We all- every one of us- drove up and over that rock face. Photo: Scotty Reiss

You Might Want to Vomit, But You Won’t

I can tell you from experience, staring up at an impossible-seeming hill, feeling your wheels spin in the mud and not knowing what’s on the other side of the hill makes you want to vomit. 

You might think about backing down the hill and turning around. You definitely will think about asking your guide to change places with you and drive the SUV up that hill. Until you look out your window and see the steep, muddy drop off that you’d have to climb out on. 

So, you hope and pray you don’t pass out behind the wheel.

The Articulation Course Teaches Drivers What It Feels Like When The Bronco Is Doing Its Job
The articulation course teaches drivers what it feels like when the Bronco is doing its job. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Trust, and Listen. And Accomplish

As the day progressed the obstacles became more and more challenging, but our skills continued to grow, too. Our final challenge took us down a hill, across a wet creek and then up a steep, muddy hill, one of the toughest. 

We were second to last in the line—we had been last but the lineup was switched along the route—and could see that each Bronco that climbed the hill left an increasingly larger rut in the hillside. Some even backslid a bit before getting traction. We paused at the top of the hill and then started down toward the creek, careful to keep our momentum for the climb up the other side. 

We quickly made it down, across and up the hill, and as I did I could see Gina in the Bronco behind us, making her way down the hill. Once over the hill I couldn’t see her any longer, so I pulled up to the Bronco in front of us to wait for her—we all waited for the full group to assemble before leaving for the next obstacle.

After a few minutes the radio crackled. “I need some help,” Gina said. Jordan hopped from her Bronco and made her way to spot Gina up hill and in no time, she pulled up behind us. 

Gina, Who Just Earned Her Badass Bronco Badge
Gina, who just earned her badass Bronco badge. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Finding Your Voice — and Confidence 

What Gina did was what we love so much about being women learners, and learning from women, and is made easier by learning with other women: Ask for help. 

Many off-roaders get in trouble when they try to figure out how to get out of a situation rather than ask for help. Gina, realizing that Jordan was there to make sure she was successful, asked. And, she accomplished. She got up that steep, rutted, muddy hill. 

She did what is necessary to learning to off-road: Listen. Learn. And  trust — your guide, your spotter and yourself. That’s what allows you to climb up that impossibly steep rock face and feel the most incredible silent inner cheer ever. You DID IT.

That’s the point of off-roading: to take you where nothing else can, to those exquisite, pristine places that you might otherwise miss. And to feel amazing doing it.  

The End Of The Day Is Good
When you’ve learned and accomplished a lot, the end of the day feels so good. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss