Society / The Seen

Scenes from Cattle Baron Ball’s ‘Iconic’ 50th Anniversary, Headlined by Shania Twain

Inside a Starry Night at Southfork Ranch

BY // 10.18.23
photography Jonathan Zizzo

The Dallas social season is a frill-filled frenzy of black-tie galas, silent auctions, well-appointed luncheons, and the occasional designer fashion show. For those frequently spotted, things can feel a bit rinse and repeat — there are only so many ways to serve chicken paillard, after all. Cattle Baron’s Ball is different, though — much different. But, then again, you don’t score Shania Twain as your headliner or the title of the world’s largest single-night fundraiser for the American Cancer Society by sticking to the norm.

Though the western chic dress code for Cattle Baron’s is more casual (read: boots and jeans), the event has always felt grander than your typical gala. Such was the case on Saturday, October 14, 2023, when Dallas’ social set descended on Southfork Ranch sporting Lucchese, Wrangler, and Stetson. Even the auction items, which are sold live in exhilarating fashion (cowbell ringers and all), would be right at home alongside Neiman Marcus’ Fantasy Gifts. Guests shifted from the casino and the Ferris wheel to the Vestals Catering barbecue buffet during an autumnal evening under the stars that could only take place in Dallas.

Jada Mowles, Mackenzie Rodgers, Lara Francis, Emily Amacker, Erica Brown, Kate Boatright (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Jada Mowles, Mackenzie Rodgers, Lara Francis, Emily Amacker, Erica Brown, Kate Boatright (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

That said, this year’s ball was even more spectacular than most. Led by co-chairs Andrea Cheek and Isabell Novakov Higginbotham and given the simple but appropriate theme “Iconic,” the 2023 event marked the 50th anniversary of the Cattle Baron’s Ball, which has raised close to $100 million for life-saving cancer research to date. Scores of country music’s biggest names have headlined the famous fundraiser, including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, George Strait, Blake Shelton, and Brad Paisley, but there was a particular fervor surrounding this year’s main event. Shania Twain is one of the ball’s rare female headliners, following Loretta Lynn in 1987, Barbara Mandrell in 1983, and Tammy Wynette in 1976. Twain dazzled in platform boots and a silver-sequined mini as she belted her way through decades of her greatest hits. Fittingly, she closed out the night with the forever barn burner “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Cattle Barons shania twain
Shania Twain, the 2023 headliner of Cattle Baron’s Ball in Dallas. (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

Iconic, indeed. Scroll through our slideshow for the spotted.

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