As I flew into Charleston, I was back in South Carolina for the Moncks Corner Pro Rodeo! This trip marked the first time I have taken to the skies as Miss Rodeo USA. My travels so far have been many highway miles, but this journey was way more realistic via airline! The best part of this adventure was that my aunt decided she needed to take a little vacation and came along with me. We both have mutual friends in the area and so naturally it was very easy to make plans to see them all. This was especially fun because I typically travel by myself everywhere I go. I was incredibly excited to have someone along for the trip, especially a family member!
The main event was the Moncks Corner Pro Rodeo with Ken Treadway Rodeo Company. I have had the honor of working with Ken and Pam at other rodeos throughout this year so naturally we all fell into a normal rodeo routine. Well mostly that is. Yet again, we were met with a very muddy arena and no sun in the forecast. As we were discussing my duties for the rodeo I requested a little bit of a different job from Ken. In a slightly joking matter I asked if I could untie calves and he said, “Girl it is way too muddy out there, you’ll get stuck in the mud!” I countered his rebuttal with the fact that I already duct taped my boots on my feet. We then came to the conclusion that he would let me help the next night. I sure didn’t forget my request and the next night you better believe I was ready to go when the action went down to the timed event end for tie-down roping. I unfortunately was wearing a white long sleeved shirt that night and wondered if I would be able to get through the event without getting mud anywhere on me. Sure enough, I managed to not get one spec of brown on that white shirt.
Along with my normal duties of leading the grand entry and signing autographs I had a special job at the Moncks Corner Pro Rodeo. I had the honor of escorting a well-known community military leader. He served in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. He was also awarded a silver star and two purple hearts during his years of service. In all of my time as a rodeo ambassador, this is the first opportunity I have had the honor to do anything of this manor. It is hard to put into words the feeling of standing out in the arena with a gentleman who did so much for our country. Clarence “Mac” McGee was a very humble and grateful for being honored both performances. It is people like that we need more of. He never asked for recognition or to be thanked but he definitely deserved every bit of it.
While in The Palmetto State, I got to meet up with some neighbors from the north. Miss Rodeo North Carolina-Taylor King, Teen Miss Rodeo North Carolina-Madison Smith, Jr. Miss Rodeo North Carolina-Lila Trogdon, and former Jr. Miss Rodeo North Carolina-Presley Gibbs, all traveled to South Carolina for a chance to meet in person with my aunt and I! We all went to a local attraction, Cyprus Gardens, where we were able to go out and explore the swamps in our own personal paddle boats in hopes to see a gator or two. Between all the North Carolina queens and the Jr. Moncks Corner Pro Rodeo Queen-Ashley Housand, we had a full paddle boat! We were quite the sight to see if you can imagine a boat full of rodeo queens with little paddling skills. I won’t say how many trees we ran into but it was more than one. From my experience it is much easier to ride a horse than steer one of those boats. We did end up seeing a gator and we managed to take a handful of awesome swamp pictures in full rodeo queen attire. It was an exciting day of adventure and making friendships that will last a lifetime!
To top off a very exciting few days close to the coast I was surprised with a birds-eye view of the rodeo arena! Right before the final performance in Moncks Corner we zipped over to the nearest open field and climbed into a helicopter! We then went straight up into the air faster than I could even get my phone camera open. Flying back and forth over the arena was quite the adrenaline rush and I couldn’t believe how long the line was for spectators to get in! Keep in mind this was hours before the rodeo even started. I have been in many planes over the years but it was my first time in a helicopter.
Between helicopter rides, swamp tours, and playing with pet raccoons I would say my time in South Carolina was well spent. I am so thankful for the wonderful opportunities this year has brought. I continue to be blessed by meeting new people and reuniting with others I have met along the way. For years to come, I will remember this weekend in full detail. I mean really, who gets the chance to feed raccoons mini donuts on a regular occasion. I’ll check that off the bucket list!
Miss Rodeo USA 2020
Brooke’s Bloopers: If you are a Toy Story fan you might recall Woody’s pull sting sound effect saying, “There’s a snake in my boot!” Well I have one better than that! While in South Carolina, I can literally say there was a snake on my hat, a 10 pound python to be exact. This was no accident because in the name of getting cool photos I jumped at the chance to have a snake wrap around my hat and crown. I willingly asked the snake guy to put this snake on my cowboy hat. I will say the look on his face was priceless when I told him I wasn’t kidding. A pinky promise might have been exchanged to endure I wasn’t going to freak out if in fact he did let the snake slither its way around my head.
Queens Corner: With fewer opportunities to attend schools this year I urge rodeo queens to still take the time to see if you can prerecord a video that can be played at schools and sign autograph sheets to send to your local elementary schools. My goal is to send 2,000 autographs to schools in my area before the end of the year! I have struggled with not having the opportunity to teach about rodeo and the western industry in local schools and this is how I plan to bridge the gap that we have experienced with the pandemic this year.