It was great to be back in Oklahoma the past couple of weeks. The Miss Rodeo USA clinic was a blast. Thanks to Eli Swenson, Miss Rodeo USA 2014, for putting together such an awesome clinic. We had 10 lovely ladies from across the United States and Canada, and an additional 10 Committee participants. During our 3 days at Oklahoma City, the participants heard from a great panel of presenters on all aspects of competition, all the way from completing the application through how to choose that perfect pageant wardrobe. A special thanks to Faith and Patrick Pinkerton of 5 Star Quarter Horses for once again supplying a great group of horses for the horsemanship portion of our pageant.
My next stop was Henryetta, Oklahoma for another great rodeo by Hampton Rodeo Company. Although Henryetta is a small town, we had a huge turnout. The entire town is very supportive of the rodeo. I was honored to meet Tammi Hiatt who has put on the rodeo for several years. She and her husband do an awesome job. It was great to spend my Labor Day weekend in the host home of Amy Duvall and her wonderful family. Amy was 1995 Miss Rodeo USA and currently serves as the treasurer of the Miss Rodeo Association. It is great to see so many “formers” still so supportive of our great organization.
I have spent a much needed week at home to recharge, and now I am off to St-Tite Canada for Festival Western de St-Tite. I have heard so many great things about this great rodeo in Canada. I can’t wait for my next blog to fill you in on the fun times there!
Until then…Enjoy the Ride!
Sweet, sweet summer time means rodeo, rodeo, rodeo!!!! What a great summer this has been! I had the honor of spending a few more weeks with the fabulous crew at Hampton Rodeo Company.
After leaving Missouri, I traveled to Springdale Arkansas with the Hamptons to get ready for the IPRA rodeo in Huntsville, Arkansas, which is very near their home. The Hamptons have a beautiful ranch, right on the river. The Huntsville rodeo was great. I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Tisha Ross, one of the judges from the 2018 Miss Rodeo USA pageant. It was great to see her and catch up. I also got to work with funny man Trent McFarlan. It had been a while since we worked together, and he always keeps the crowd entertained.
The next stop was Sallisaw, Oklahoma. Sallisaw started out great with visits to lots of great sponsors. Unfortunately, I got food poisoning while I was there, and became very ill. Sallisaw was a great rodeo, but I did not get to enjoy it to the maximum potential due to being ill while I was there. I did get to visit with Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen Maci Brown during the parade and first performance.
All year, I have been excited about attending the great Pawnee Bill Memorial Rodeo. I have always heard what a fun time and great rodeo that it is. Sadly, it was not in the cards for me. After a trip to the emergency room, the doctor sent me home for a little rest and relaxation to recuperate from my food poisoning incident. I am SO sad that I had to miss this great rodeo, and apologize to the wonderful committee for being unable to attend.
After a few days of rest and relaxation and a little TLC from my family, I finally felt better and had a great time at the annual rodeo in Lexington, Tennessee to benefit the kids at St. Jude. This rodeo is the closest IPRA rodeo to my hometown. I was able to visit with a lot of friends, family, and some of my college rodeo team mates. Just one short year ago, I was there as Miss Morgan County Sheriff’s Rodeo. Sometimes it is still hard for me to believe that I am Miss Rodeo USA. After the rodeo at Lexington, I got to spend a fun day pushing cattle at the Annual McPeake Jackpot Steer Wrestling and American Qualifier event. The weather was beautiful and we had a great day.
Tomorrow I am headed to Oklahoma City for the annual Miss Rodeo USA Clinic. I am very excited to meet some of the ladies that will be vying for the title of Miss Rodeo USA 2019, share some of my experiences from this year, and spend a little time with the fantastic Miss Rodeo USA Committee. Make sure to follow me on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram to catch a glimpse of some of the clinic action.
Until next time, remember to always Enjoy the Ride!
Cowboy Christmas…..that run of great rodeos historically beginning around the 4th of July not only gives rodeo competitors the opportunity to enter multiple rodeos in a short period of time, but also can be instrumental in their money earnings which ultimately determines the top fifteen who compete in January for a shot at a national championship at the International Finals Rodeo.
Cowboy Christmas has been just that: Christmas in July for this Miss Rodeo USA. What a great ride these past few weeks has been! I spent my 4th of July in Ada, Oklahoma, judging the Ken Lance Memorial Rodeo Queen Pageant with my good friend and sash sister Taylor Spears, Miss Rodeo Oklahoma 2018.
After my time in Ada, I took a short trip down the road to Shawnee, Oklahoma to spend a few great days helping out the International Professional Rodeo Association at the world’s richest youth rodeo, the International Youth Finals Rodeo. It was fun to spend a few days with some of my peers from the IPRA office, some of my sponsors, and to catch up with some of my rodeo family.
I left the IFYR on Wednesday night and headed to Oklahoma City to jump on a plane for Lakeside, California. Bulls Only Rodeo in Lakeside is the only IPRA rodeo currently held in California. The Optimist Club of Lakeside host a spectacular event. My time there ended with a surprise just for me from the Optimist Club….a horseback ride and photo shoot on the beach at the border of Tijuana Mexico and California. It was a great day and a perfect end to the fabulous time I spent in California.
After a quick flight back to OKC, I had the opportunity to stop by the IPRA office for a bit and catch up with the fabulous crew there. Then off to Ozark, Missouri I went.
This past weekend was spent with the crew from Hampton Rodeo Company and the Ozark Booster club for the 63rd annual Pro Rodeo at Finley River Park. Entertainment was provided by the legendary Lecile Harris, who is not only a pro rodeo hall of fame member, but also is from my home state of Tennessee.
My next few weeks will be spent at rodeos in Arkansas and Oklahoma with the crew of Hampton Rodeo Company, reigning and multiple time recipient of the Stock Contractor of the Year Award.
Remember to follow my adventures on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and until next time……ENJOY THE RIDE!!!!
What a whirlwind the month of June has been! Since my last blog, I have traveled over 6700 miles. So far, June holds the record for the most miles traveled in a month.
When I left off last, I was departing for Ozark, Arkansas. What a great rodeo Hampton Rodeo Company put together there. When I arrived, the area had been in a drought for some time. I jokingly told them that I bring the rain with me, as it had rained at the past 3 rodeos that I had attended. There was no rain in the forecast, but guess what …..it rained! The rain hurt the attendance a little on Friday night, but Saturday night, the crowd was great. I even got to spend some quality time with Miss Rodeo USA 2015 Kirbi Allen Carter on this trip for some quality girl time.
I left Arkansas and headed straight to Las Vegas for a sponsored photo shoot at the world famous Las Vegas Image Studio with Judy and Terry Wright. I can’t wait to share the beautiful photos from this shoot! We did an outdoor shoot in a ghost town just outside Las Vegas, and even though the temperature hit 110 degrees that day, it was an amazing experience. It was almost a year ago exactly when I visited Terry and Judy for the first time to have my head shots done for the Miss Rodeo USA competition.
I flew back into Nashville from the photo shoot and headed straight to Blairsville Georgia for the 7th Annual Blairsville Pro Rodeo where we had record breaking crowds both nights. After Blairsville, it was off to Gray, Tennessee for the 4th Annual Jericho Shrine Pro Rodeo. This committee has been working extremely hard to make the rodeo bigger and better each year. I had an action packed weekend between television and radio promotions, sponsor visits, and the rodeo.
This past weekend, I was close to home in Smithland, Kentucky. Despite the rain and the extreme heat, I had a great time at the rodeo. It was wonderful to be within an hour and a half of my home and have so many of my friends and family be able to come to the rodeo. This was the first time for the Smithland rodeo to be an IPRA sanctioned event, and we had a great turnout of IPRA cowboys and cowgirls.
As I write this, I am gearing up for Cowboy Christmas….and I can’t wait to travel all across the country for this next run of rodeos. The next time I blog, my year as Miss Rodeo USA will be half over. It really is true that time flies when you are having fun!
Until next time….Enjoy the Ride!
Having traveled over 3000 miles since my last Blog, I truly feel like a “gypsy” rodeo queen, and I am loving every minute of it.
Newnan, Georgia was a great rodeo! The rodeo had hundreds of spectators each night, so I met a lot of people. Both nights of the rodeo, I was able to introduce the Coweta County Drill Team. This made me reminisce back to all of the great times that I spent as a member of my own local 4H Mounted Drill Team. I enjoyed talking to the girls about the different events and rodeos that they would open all over the state of Georgia. They were a talented group of ladies! I also enjoyed staying with Elise Farnham, who graciously opened up her home to me for the weekend. Elise is the president of the Coweta County Cattlemen’s association, and has put on a fantastic rodeo for a couple of years now. I enjoyed working with her!
Next, off to Toganoxie, Kansas I went for another great rodeo put on by the local Shriners. This committee was huge, and everyone was willing to help out! I was nervous about this rodeo, because I was afraid I wouldn’t know any of the contestants or personnel due to it being so far west. However, I was pleased to see many names that I recognized entered in the rodeo, and knew both of the bullfighters well. Also, I became good friends with the announcer, Brandon McLagan, and his girlfriend, Katie Rudder. It was a nice reminder that no matter how far from home I am, I will always have my old rodeo family, and make new friends along the way! Although we had a little rain for the rodeo, we still had a great turn out and a wonderful rodeo.
Last weekend, I was back in Georgia at Shady Dale. (I’m beginning to like this state!) I was super excited about this rodeo – people come from miles around to watch the rodeo. Robin Brooks with Southern Rodeo put on an awesome performance both nights, despite the rain and mud! I ended up doing a lot of promotional work with the bullfighters, who I later found out worked the Tennessee High School Rodeo my mom puts on each year in our home town. One of my greatest memories from this trip was meeting the fifth grade girl that sang the national anthem both nights of the rodeo. She had a beautiful voice and was so sweet!
Now, as I type, I am preparing to leave for Ozark, Arkansas. I can’t wait to get back on the road, although I REALLY am hoping that I don’t take the rain with me this time. I am looking forward to another great rodeo this weekend, and also can’t wait to spend a little time with Miss Rodeo USA 2015 Kirbi Allen.
I can’t wait to fill you in on my next Blog…. I have a really special trip planned next week. Until then, always remember to Enjoy the Ride!
These two weeks have been all about my home state of Tennessee! I started out in East Tennessee at the Sequoah High School Rodeo in Madisonville. This event is an IPRA rodeo put on by the high school to raise money for the FFA program. Both nights we had a great crowd, despite a little rain on Saturday. My month long trip of being on the road ended, and Sunday I drove back west to spend a week at home.
Tennessee has three stars on its flag which represent the three different landscapes of Tennessee. East Tennessee holds the Smokey Mountains and Middle Tennessee has gentle rolling hills. Where I am from in West Tennessee, we have flat farm lands. In one drive, I was able to see all three regions of Tennessee. It was a neat experience to watch the landscape change as I drove closer to home. I was home all week long and was able to catch up on some much needed sleep! This past weekend, I visited the Tennessee Youth Rodeo Association’s State Finals in my hometown of Martin. Visiting this association was very special to me because it was the first rodeo association I ever joined! Formerly known as the Tennessee Junior Rodeo Association (TJRA), I competed four years and won the rodeo queen title twice. If it hadn’t been for that association, I am certain I would not be where I am today! I was very active in TJRA, competing in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, break away roping, and ribbon roping during my four years. I qualified for Junior High National Finals Rodeo twice during that time, and won several buckles, including state barrel racing champion, state pole bending champion, and reserve all -around champion.
I spent Mother’s Day on the road with my mom, traveling to a photo shoot sponsored by Southern Exposure Photography in Oneonta Alabama. Pictures coming soon from this session, shot by the great Jack Bains! Now it is time to get back on the rodeo road! I’m off to Newnan, Georgia for another great IPRA rodeo!!! Always remember to enjoy the ride!
“From humble beginnings come great things.”
Georgia…what a great state for IPRA Rodeo! I had absolutely the most awesome time in Statesboro, Georgia! They kept me busy ALL week doing promotional work, but at the same time kept me entertained. While my week consisted of school visits, sponsor visits, and nursing home visits, my favorite part of the trip was meeting Georgia Southern University’s bald eagle, Freedom. Freedom is a captive eagle that is flown into all the football games at GSU. Meeting him and a few other animals at the Wildlife Center was an experience I will never forget. Throughout the week, I met so many interesting people and visited many beautiful places. The rodeo was phenomenal. The stands were full both nights!
After Statesboro, I helped Danny Hedrick haul bulls to the next rodeo in Evans, Georgia. David and Wendy Speight were so kind to open their home up to me and take care of me all week! The week of the American Hero Pro Rodeo, I visited many schools and went bowling with the committee. One of my favorite things about school visits is when I have kids come up to me at the rodeo and tell me that they saw me at their school. Everyone was concerned that it was going to rain during the rodeo, but thankfully the rain moved out and made for two beautiful nights of rodeo. Saturday night was standing room only, and the Hedricks put on another great show, with fabulous entertainment provided by Colt 45. If you have never seen him at a rodeo, you have to make it a point to attend a rodeo where he is the funny man!
I left Evans and headed to Madisonville, Tennessee. I’m so glad to be back in my home state! I’m staying with the Hedrick family this week and helping them around the house. I’ve had so much fun traveling, but it is always nice to be able to relax and help out around the house. Tomorrow I’ll start promotional work by visiting a few schools. After this week I’ll be able to head home for a few days before my next rodeo.
Always remember to enjoy the ride! I know that I am!
Finally….my rodeo season has kicked into full gear. I spent much of the week before last promoting my hometown college rodeo at the University of Tennessee at Martin with school visits and a visit to a day care. I was even able to take my horse “Baby” to the daycare to give a little lesson on horse care 101. That really pumped up the kids and got them excited about attending the rodeo!!!
Following the UT Martin rodeo promotions, I travelled to Priceville, Alabama for a PCA rodeo. This rodeo is especially near and dear to my heart, because at this rodeo last year, I was crowned the 2017 Morgan County Sheriff’s Rodeo Queen. Going back to promote and represent this rodeo meant a lot to me as this was the title that sent me to the Miss Rodeo USA competition. It was so fun hanging out with my Morgan County committee – they are the most dedicated and hardworking women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. All week I went to promotional events and sponsor visits, but Thursday was my favorite day by far. That morning, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Posse hosted a special needs rodeo. About 170 individuals with special needs were able to experience the western way of life and watch a rodeo that was produced especially for them.
After the special needs rodeo, I drove all the way back to Tennessee for the Thursday night performance of the 50th annual college rodeo in my hometown of Martin. It was wonderful to be recognized at my hometown rodeo as Miss Rodeo USA. I also was able to see many of my rodeo friends I haven’t seen since being crowned Miss Rodeo USA. Bright and early the next morning, I got up and hauled back to Alabama for more sponsor visits and for the rodeo performances Friday and Saturday night.
Sunday I got to spend a little time with my mom and dad before heading to Statesboro, Georgia for the Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo. I hit the ground running bright and early Monday morning! We went to plenty of sponsor visits and school visits, and I was able to meet most of the committee. Today, I had more sponsor visits and school visits as well as a county commissioner meeting and Kiwanis Club meeting. Tomorrow, I get to meet Freedom – a captive bald eagle that all the past Miss Rodeo USAs have taken a picture with!
I can’t wait to see what else the week holds, and I’m even more excited about the rodeo! Stay tuned for more adventures, and always remember to enjoy the ride!
What a whirlwind! My travel has officially started, and it’s already been so much fun! Right after I got back home from RFD-TV’s The American, I spoke at our county mayor’s meeting and was recognized as an outstanding citizen of Weakley County. After being acknowledged by the county mayor and county commission, I was able to speak to the citizens of Weakley County about the hard work and dedication that goes into becoming Miss Rodeo USA. It’s wonderful knowing that my community is so proud of me!
Next, Kirbi Allen-Carter, Miss Rodeo USA 2015 and I drove to Dallas, Texas to the Dallas Western Market. I’ve never been to Market, so this experience was incredible. I was able to meet and thank old sponsors as well as meet new ones! Every new sponsor we met was so excited to begin working with the Miss Rodeo USA organization. I am so excited to continue these new relationships and help these sponsors grow.
This past week, I went to my first rodeo as Miss Rodeo USA. The rodeo was held in Brunswick, Georgia by the Brunswick Exchange Club. The proceeds from the rodeo go to local charities that help kids in the community. This committee was so welcoming and hospitable that I felt right at home! During the week I went to several promotional events in the community and met many of the locals who live in Brunswick. It was interesting to hear their stories of living on the east coast and learn about the history of the beautiful town. During the rodeo, I had so much fun carrying the American flag and signing autographs for the kids. The Hedrick Rodeo Company put on a great show and I look forward to working with them throughout my reign.
One of the fundraisers the rodeo has is a raffle for a horseback ride on the beach with Miss Rodeo USA. On Easter Sunday, a few lucky winners and myself took a beautiful ride on Sea Island. I rode a nineteen hand draft horse named Gunther, who turned out to be a gentle giant! It was such a fun experience, and an amazing way to celebrate Easter. After all, it combined two things that I love the most: horseback riding and the beach!
Without a doubt, my travels have begun, and I’m having so much fun representing the association and sport that I dearly love. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
My travels have begun, and I’ve had so much fun! I drove to Oklahoma City and attended the Royal Review Rodeo Queen Jackpot. This clinic is put on by the wonderful Candice Carper, Miss Rodeo USA 2007. I was able to see sash sisters from all across the United States and make new friends. I loved watching the girls grow and improve their skills; after all, practice makes perfect! One of the highlights of my trip was getting to hang out with Miss Rodeo America 2017 Lisa Lageshaar and Miss Rodeo America 2018 Keri Sheffield. These women were so much fun to work with, and I’m so honored to call them friends! Even though we represent different associations, we are bound by our passion for the great sport of rodeo. While I was in Oklahoma City, I stopped by the IPRA office to say hello to the people who work so hard for our great association.
On Sunday, I left Oklahoma City and headed to Arlington, Texas to watch RFD-TV’s The American. This was one of the most exciting rodeos I have ever seen! The unique setup of two side-by-side arenas keeps the show moving smoothly and the action leaves you on the edge of your seat. I love how this rodeo has well-known rodeo competitors and “underdogs” competing against each other for the chance to win a million dollars. At the rodeo, I ran into one of our great sponsors, JT Wynn with Wynn Leather. I was able to hang out with him for a bit and thank him for all that he does for the Miss Rodeo USA organization. I also got to spend some time with Lauren Terry, Miss Rodeo USA 2013. I remember when Lauren was a judge when I competed for Junior Miss Morgan County Sheriff’s Rodeo. My, how time flies!
Although I’m thankful for the opportunities I have already had, I’m excited to start my travels and looking forward to my first IPRA rodeo at the end of this month. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride!