Enjoying My Final Ride
365 days, nearly 100,000 miles traveled, 31 different rodeos across 12 different states and Canada, with appearances at nearly 70 different rodeo performances , riding 30 different horses, and it still feels like only yesterday since that unforgettable moment in my life when I was crowned the 2018 Miss Rodeo USA.
During my reign as Miss Rodeo USA, I have made countless friends and memories along the way. I want to say a special Thank you to the committees that hired me at each rodeo and took care of me during my stay. Never once did I feel homesick due to their thoughtfulness and hospitality. Many cordially extended their homes to me as well. If it wasn’t for the dedication and hard work of these committees, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to so many wonderful places.
To the stock contractors, I can’t thank you enough for always providing me a reliable mount and letting me be a part of your shows. Thank you for letting me stay with you between rodeos, and letting me experience a whole other side of rodeo life that not everyone gets to experience. I was able to brand, sort, and haul livestock during my year. While it may seem like everyday work to you, it has left me with wonderful memories.
Thank you to the amazing sponsors that allowed me to represent them throughout the year. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know and work with each and every one of you. From hats, to clothing, chaps, boots, and jewelry, my wonderful sponsors have always kept me looking “on point” at all times.
To my wonderful committee, thank you for keeping me sane all year long. Jamie, thank you for always guiding me and helping my year run smoothly. Kirbi, thank you for always being one call away and letting me stay at your house to break up long drives. Trisha, thank you for helping me with sponsors and preparing for the Miss Rodeo USA 2019 pageant. Janet, Katie, and Eli, thank you for being such amazing help at the clinic. Also a special thanks to the IPRA office, and especially Carissa, who made sure that I was booked and rodeo ready at all times.
And thank you to the greatest supporters of all: my family. Mom and Dad, thank you for always supporting my dreams, no matter how far the chase may lead me. If it wasn’t for you two, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today. And my big brother, Chance: thank you for always being my go to person.
And last and foremost, a special thanks to all of the IPRA contestants that have supported me during my year. I hope that each and everyone one of you enjoyed the ride. I know I have. To the new queen, always remember to enjoy the ride . . . no matter where it takes you!
Viva Las Vegas and Merry Christmas!
December has been a busy time in the life of Miss Rodeo USA. I spent a few days in Las Vegas to visit with many of my great sponsors at Cowboy Christmas. Las Vegas in December wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Thomas and Mack to watch the NFR and a visit to the Tropicana to watch my friend and sash sister Taylor McNair as she was crowned 2019 Miss Rodeo America. It was great to visit with my sash sisters from all across the United States while I was in Vegas.
After arriving home, I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Newbern Saddle Club for their year end award ceremony. I have spent many nights at the saddle club over the years riding with family and friends when I was not at rodeos. It was great to see everyone and catch up.
I am excited to be home with my family for Christmas. These next few weeks will be filled with lots of pageant preparation for the Miss Rodeo USA 2019 pageant and IFR 49. This Friday I can be found in Memphis, Tennessee at the Liberty Bowl Rodeo. I am really excited to make one last appearance in my home state at an IPRA rodeo as Miss Rodeo USA.
Stay tuned to see what I am up to as my days as Miss Rodeo USA wind down. I hope each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas, and remember to always ENJOY THE RIDE!
These last few weeks have flown by with tons of travel and fun. My first stop was a visit to Lincoln, Arkansas for a fun-filled couple of days with Sherry Smith for my last official photo shoot. It was cold and windy, and we even saw a little snow. Sherry got some fantastic photos, and I cannot wait to see the cover of the Miss Rodeo USA/IFR 49 Program.
Next stop…Lexington Kentucky for the IPRA All Region Finals. It was great to see all of the top cowboys and cowgirls of the IPRA vie for the All Region gold buckle. It was also great to work with Hedrick Rodeo Company, Mark Northall, and Braden Tate one last time. I have to admit that I got a little emotional as I said my goodbyes, realizing that my time as Miss Rodeo USA is quickly drawing to an end.
Sponsor visits came next. I started the long journey to Amarillo, Texas with my mom to spend a little quality family time on the road. I quickly realized that traveling with Mom has it perks due to the points that she accumulates with car rental companies and airlines traveling for work. We rented a car in Memphis and got an executive elite upgrade to a Camaro. It was great fun zipping down the highway in that car! We took a little side journey in Beebe, Arkansas for my mom to try a horse that Kirbi Allen, Miss Rodeo USA 2015 had found for her. We fell in love, and he’s now in our barn. Next stop…Paul’s Valley, OK for a quick sponsor visit and to pick up some Ariat clothes from Miss Rodeo USA 2012 Trisha Shields. After overnighting in Paul’s Valley, we hopped back in that Camaro and zipped on over to Amarillo, TX for a visit to Bustamante Boots. I can’t wait to get my new custom boots that they are making for me and show them off. They are really cool!
Our journey home was completed by a bump to First Class on American Airlines. (Thanks Mom). I could get used to traveling in style;)
Next stop: Las Vegas for the NFR, Miss Rodeo America Coronation, and lots of great sponsor visits at Cowboy Christmas. You can find me signing autographs at various sponsors December 6-10.
Although my time is Miss Rodeo USA is drawing to an end, there is still a lot of great fun to be had. Stay tuned, and until next time, ENJOY THE RIDE!
Beginning of the End
IPRA Regular Rodeo Season may be over, but there are still a lot of great things left for this Miss Rodeo USA to do. After my last regular season rodeo, I traveled to Dallas, Texas to go to the Dallas Market Place. While at market, I got to visit with many of the great sponsors of the Miss Rodeo USA Association and pageant including Miss Macie Boots and Double T Sales. I also had the opportunity to meet some potential new sponsors for the 2019 Miss Rodeo USA. Spending time with 2018 Miss Rodeo USA Pageant Judge Amber Frahm was just icing on the cake for a great trip to market.
Last weekend, I attended the IPRA Central Region Finals in Gifford, Illinois. This was my first opportunity to work with Latting Rodeo Company. Working the rodeo and watching the Central Regional Champions being crowned made for a busy and fun-filled rodeo. Latting Rodeo Company put on a great show, and I enjoyed working with announcer Tyler Brown and funny man Mike Wentworth again.
There is still so much left to do to finish out my year and prepare for the 2019 Miss Rodeo USA Pageant and IFR 49. Next stop, a photo shoot for the IFR and MRUSA Program with the fabulous Sherry Smith, and then off to All Region Finals in Lexington, Kentucky.
Stay tuned for my final adventures as Miss Rodeo USA, and until then, remember to always ENJOY THE RIDE….
Supporting the Future of Rodeo
The last few weeks have been very busy, but I have gotten to spend some much needed time at home as well.
The rodeo in Lebanon, Tennessee was awesome. This was the first year for this rodeo put on by Mending Fences Cowboy Church. Everyone on this committee was great, and they made me feel like a “queen”. The committee welcomed me with a HUGE basket of goodies, including a Yankee Candle made specifically for Miss Rodeo USA, and it even had my picture on it. As always, it was great to work with the Hedrick Rodeo Company, and it was awesome to have friends and family from Tennessee at the rodeo.
The next stop was Shelbyville, Tennessee, where I was asked to judge the queen’s pageant for the STAR Rodeo Association. It was great to spend the weekend with the little cowboys and cowgirls-the future stars of rodeo. All of the queen contestants did great, and I was honored to judge.
Douglasville, Georgia was bittersweet for me. It was awesome to a part of the Southern Rodeo Company production was again, but it was sad as this is my last regular season rodeo before Regional Finals start. I can’t believe how quickly this rodeo season has flown by!
A quick stop by the West Tennessee Lil Wrangler Rodeo Finals on my way home brought a huge smile to my face. It was such an honor to be able to hand out awards to these tiny cowboys and cowgirls at their year -end finals.
Although the 2018 regular rodeo season is drawing to a close, I still have a lot of fun ahead of me, starting with a visit to Dallas Market later this week.
Regional Finals, photo shoots, and much more are still ahead in preparation for IFR 49. Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come.
Until then…Enjoy the Ride!
What a great 2 weeks it has been!!!! My trip to St-Tite, Quebec, was nothing short of amazing! The small town of St-Tite, population 3800, comes to life every September as over 600,000 people come through the charming little town during the 10 day Festival de Western. Every business and every citizen embraces the western heritage by decorating stores and lawns with western décor. There is truly a great western spirit alive everywhere that you go. My attendance at the three rodeo performances was unforgettable. Each performance was a sell-out crowd of over 8000. I have been to many, many rodeos, but never one that vibrated such excitement as the crowd at St-Tite. I will never forget the honor of presenting Old Glory during the Finale, nor will I forget the wonderful hospitality of this French speaking community. I have to admit it was interesting to hear the entire rodeo announced in French!
After a brief stop at home to catch up on some rest, I traveled to Gainesville, Georgia for a great IPRA rodeo. Robin Brooks and the crew at Southern Rodeo Company put on a great show and are amazing to work with. I was joined by Miss Ardmore Police Reserve Rodeo Mary Ashley Rohrscheib. Mary Ashley and I have been friends for a long time, and it was great to work with her as a fellow sash sister.
Next stop….my home state of Tennessee for another great rodeo by Hedrick Rodeo Company. It has been a while since I got to work with Danny and the awesome Hedrick family. I am looking forward to seeing many of my college and former high school rodeo teammates at this rodeo.
Stay tuned until next time and remember to always…..ENJOY THE RIDE…..
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 summer time
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!!!!
Viva Las Vegas
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!
Follow Miss Rodeo USA 2018, Summer Weldon on her adventures representing the IPRA and the MRUSA Association!