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!
Follow Miss Rodeo USA 2018, Summer Weldon on her adventures representing the IPRA and the MRUSA Association!