It’s been wonderful making local community appearances these last two weeks! Everyone I have interacted with has been so proud of my accomplishments, which is truly humbling. On February 10th, I attended the Boots and Spurs Gala, and fundraiser for the University of Tennessee at Martin Rodeo Team. Over 130 of my rodeo family attended the gala, allowing me to visit with many friends that I hadn’t seen since being crowned Miss Rodeo USA. Thousands of dollars were raised for scholarship money for the rodeo team members. It was a fun night filled with great people supporting a wonderful team.
On February 15th, I was able to speak about my experiences at the Miss Rodeo USA pageant and talk about the great organization with the Martin Rotary Club. This event was particularly special to me because I had visited them as the Morgan County Sheriff’s Rodeo Queen in November where they allowed me to practice giving my speeches in preparation for the competition. They were very proud of my accomplishment and were excited that I was able to share the memories I made.
This week I will be preparing to travel to Oklahoma City to the annual Royal Review Jackpot. This is a clinic for rodeo queens that I have attended in the past. I am so excited to see some of my sash sisters and watch them compete. I will also be attending RFD-TV’s The American as well. I am so excited for my first big trip as Miss Rodeo USA!
Hey everyone! It’s been so nice to be back home for a couple of weeks in Tennessee. Now, I am working on reaching out to sponsors to let them know how much the organization and myself appreciate their generosity. We couldn’t do it without them! I have already spoken with a few sponsors, and it’s wonderful to know that we have a team of amazing people willing to help in any way they can. Since I have been back home, I was able to go to the annual Girlfriends’ Gala in Decatur, Alabama with my Morgan County Sheriff’s Rodeo committee. It was nice to be able to spend time with the wonderful group of women who made my year as the MCSR Queen unforgettable!
The Girlfriends’ Gala is a fundraiser put on by the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. This fundraiser raised approximately $40,000 for The Circle Ranch, a camp for foster children. This is a wonderful organization that promotes equal opportunities, starting in their community. I was very interested to learn about this organization and the impacts they had made in Decatur, Alabama. This was a fun night spent with great people! As you can see in the pictures, it was a Masquerade themed party.
This Saturday, I will be attending a gala for the 50th anniversary of the University of Tennessee at Martin College Rodeo in my hometown. Even though I am no longer on the UTM Rodeo Team, I am honored to be a part of the promotion of the hometown college rodeo. Our college rodeo prides itself in filling the stands each night of the rodeo, drawing in thousands of spectators. I am looking forward to seeing some of my rodeo family come together to celebrate fifty years of successful college rodeos!
This month is a month of preparation before my travel as Miss Rodeo USA begins! While I appreciate the opportunity to get ready for the year, I can’t wait to get started! I have been dreaming about this year since I was little, and I can’t wait to share my adventures with all of you!
Hello everyone! I am Summer Weldon, the 2018 Miss Rodeo USA. I am from the small town of Martin, Tennessee, home of the University of Tennessee at Martin where I have been a member of the UTM Rodeo team and studied cell and molecular biology. However, I will be taking a year off from classes so that I may enjoy my year of travel to the fullest! I am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life as I represent the International Professional Rodeo Association. To represent this great organization has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl.
The week of competition was a whirlwind! I met eleven beautiful, talented, and driven ladies that were as passionate about this great sport as I am. The days were long, but the memories that were made will last a lifetime! The competition started Tuesday, January 16th, which happened to be my 20th birthday. This day was mostly a get-to-know-you day for the contestants and judges. We visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and also had a sponsor photo shoot. That night we had a fun- filled pajama party at the end of the day where we played games and had a show and tell with an item we brought that meant the most to us. I brought my stuffed animal “Simba” from the movie The Lion King and told everyone how I had taken Simba on every family vacation and rodeo that I had ever been to. He will definitely be traveling with me throughout my year!
Wednesday brought the horsemanship portion of the competition. We were honored to ride the fantastic equine athletes provided by Five Star Quarter Horses! That evening we gave our platform speeches at the Centennial Rodeo Opry. Rodeo announcer, Tyler Brown, and Miss Rodeo USA 2017, Brittany Howard, did a great job keeping the crowd entertained.
On Thursday, we had our media interviews at the Wyndham and the IPRA Gold Buckle Gala at Events at West Main in Yukon Oklahoma. This day was so much fun! It was such an honor to get to see the top fifteen cowboys and cowgirls in each event receive their back numbers and jackets. I was able to visit with a few college rodeo teammates that had qualified for IFR 48. I was proud that my home state of Tennessee had so many contestants that had qualified for the finals!
Friday was our busiest day by far! We attended a reception for MRUSA 2017 Brittany Howard followed by the IPRA Ladies’ Luncheon. At the luncheon, we showcases our state shirts, but the most special part of the luncheon was meeting Jacee Beth Thomas. She and her family were so inspirational and kind. After the auction to raise money for Jacee Beth and her family, the luncheon attendees voted for their favorite state outfit. I am proud to say that my shirt was voted as crowd favorite! Next up was the Miss Rodeo USA Fashion Show at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum where we modeled two of our own outfits and two generously sponsored outfits from Southern Sass and the National Cowboy and Heritage Museum. Friday night was round one of IFR 48! We visited the trade show, watched the rodeo, and attended the IFR round one buckle presentation. We were exhausted, but it was a fun day!
Saturday morning we had our State Speech and Royalty Brunch at Remington Park. We enjoyed attending both rodeo performances of the state fair arena, followed by another buckle presentation that evening.
Sunday held my favorite event, the OG&E Children’s Rodeo! The children were able to get a taste of the western way of life and meet several rodeo contestants. During the fourth rodeo performance the crowning of Miss Rodeo USA occurred after breakaway roping. I can’t tell how nervous and excited I was when I stepped onto the arena floor. As all of the contestants stood side by side in front of the huge crowd, I knew that if I didn’t win, I couldn’t wait to come back next year. As they called out the top five placings, I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest! When they announced me as the new Miss Rodeo USA, I couldn’t believe it. My dream had finally come true! Tears were streaming down my face as I made my first lap as queen. It was a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Congratulations to Jolye Durrett, Sara Weekes, Heather Morrison, and Heather Bundy on their top five finish! All of the contestants are truly wonderful ladies and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.
The first few days as Miss Rodeo USA have been so much fun! I have already had a sponsor photoshoot with the wonderful Sherry Smith and have received many calls and messages from several of the fantastic sponsors of the Miss Rodeo USA organization. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me and I hope you will follow along for the ride!
< Miss Rodeo USA 2018 >