Time has slowed down just long enough for me to catch up on some “homework” and then get back on the rodeo road! A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to represent the IPRA at the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo in Athens, Alabama! I ventured down south a day early to meet with the talented Jack at Southern Exposure Photography. Jack was the photographer that captured my headshots that I used entering the Miss Rodeo USA pageant this year. It was a privilege to meet up with him again to take current Miss Rodeo USA Photos! Kelsey, the makeup and hair artist, fixed me up and we had a really fun afternoon in the studio! Many sponsored items were displayed in the photo shoot, including Miss Macie Boots, Rhinestone Lipgloss, Stylish Designs, Norton’s Jewelry, Red Bluff Buckles, and Archer Banners. A big thank you goes to Jack for so kindly taking time out of his busy schedule to do a studio shoot with me!
Friday morning brought such an exciting event, the special needs rodeo held at the Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo arena! Over 600 kids and adults enjoyed a fun day of participating in rodeo activities! Everyone stayed busy with pony rides, wagon rides, mechanical bull rides, the petting zoo, roping, and karaoke entertainment! I had such a wonderful time talking to the kids all day! There are so many special friends in the world that really enjoy wonderful events like these just for them!
The rain held off for the rodeo on Friday night and the crowd sure didn’t want to miss it! The bleachers were packed and the rodeo kicked off! Thank you to Sheriff Mike Blakely for letting me ride Debbie’s horse, Pegasus! Saturday brought the annual pageant luncheon downtown and this is the event that no one wants to miss! With an Indian theme to follow for the decorations, the event was beautiful! Dream catchers, teepees, and other tribal themed décor filled the room and was stunning! But the pageant contestants were even more beautiful! I had the opportunity to help with program along with Mackenzie Harrold, Miss Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo Queen 2016. All of the contestants did a wonderful job! Saturday evening brought lots of rain and put a little damper on the last performance. But that didn’t stop us from an evening of rodeo! Contestants competed in mud and the new queens were crowned.
Another successful rodeo was in the books and homeward bound I went. Through my few days at home, I had the opportunity to speak at our local Lions Club meeting. It felt great to be home and spread my message of staying focused with members of my community. At the same time, it was odd when I say I am from Slaughters and people actually know where that is! It’s the little things in life that mean the most! Now, I want to back track a little bit to tell the story of the beautiful chaps that I wore for the first time in Alabama.
As soon as it was confirmed that Lazy P Creations was making my personal chaps, I couldn’t wait to figure out what I wanted to be displayed on them! Sara was so excited and of course, eagerly asked me what my ideas were. I had seriously no clue. I thought, “do I go the path of patriotic, or do something totally different?” I thought for at least a couple weeks and one day the idea just hit me! Being the first cowgirl from Kentucky in the pageants 51 year history, I had to bring Kentucky into my chaps. And what better way to do just that with the theme of Run for the Roses! Kentucky Derby is what most people think of when they hear that you are from the Bluegrass State. When I started talking roses on the chaps to Sara, she was instantly intrigued! Sara used to work at a flower shop and loved the idea! She is the reason that my chaps were brought to life! With her expertise, she helped me pick the colors that go with the roses and then designed the horseshoes on the side. I wanted to have yet another symbol of Kentucky on my chaps, so Sara put on the corner the logo for Kentucky. It looks like a horse head and mane flowing in the wind, but stands for “unbridled spirit.”
I can proudly say that Sara did a phenomenal job on my chaps and they turned out amazing! But we both couldn’t have done it without staying focused! I have found that my platform of “staying focused on the ride” has helped in all of my travels prior to Miss Rodeo USA, and during my year as well. If you don’t stay focus on the goals in your life, you can’t achieve them. Working as a team with Sara and staying connected allowed us both to stay focused and accomplish the goal: a pair of beautifully made “Run for the Roses” themed chaps!
When I received the box containing the chaps, I was like a little kid in a candy store! I was so excited to open the box and finally see them! But you know what was more important that was placed on the inside of the box? A little note with a picture of DJ, Sara’s daughter. The note told me that a piece of her daughter was in each pair of chaps that she creates and that a special angel would be riding with me each time I wore the chaps. It brought tears to my eyes, but now I am even more proud to be wearing my “run for the roses” chaps in memory of a special little girl! Follow along on my journey as DJ and I travel the country on the back of a horse representing the IPRA!