I have made so many trips from Kansas to Texas this year that I think I could do it with my eyes closed! While it is quite easy to make the seven and a half hour drive straight south I will never, get used to the traffic in Dallas. It catches me off guard every time! Besides the monotonous drive on the same road for what seems like forever, I sure have enjoyed each time I have made my way down south. I visited the Fort Worth/Dallas area for the WESA apparel market twice, the Cowgirl Gathering, numerous sponsor visits during Cowboy Christmas, and finally a weekend for the Stockyard Championship Rodeo!
I have been excited for the Stockyard Championship Rodeo all year, as I was originally supposed to go back in March! With many reschedules, I finally got my chance to attend in December. The neat part about this rodeo is that it is a small indoor coliseum much like the arena used by my college rodeo team back home. My mind was flooded with good memories from putting on the K-State rodeo in Weber Arena when getting my first glance inside Cowtown Coliseum.
There is so much history in that building as I was talking to those in charge when first arriving! The venue was built in 1908 and was refurbished in 1986. The structure was the first ever indoor arena for rodeos in the United States. Elvis Presley even performed there once! Now I know I’m no Elvis but I felt as if I got to put a small mark in history there as I helped with rodeo productions that weekend.
One of the coolest openings I have ever performed definitely was at Cowtown Coliseum! They turned all the lights down and spotlighted the flag as I carried it around the arena to “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood. This was one of the moments that is most difficult to truly explain unless you experience them. Sitting in that saddle as I circled around the arena, I felt joy and happiness getting to do what I love. Most people think the queen’s job isn’t important but we definitely take pride in what we do!
After the opening ceremonies I walked around the concourse handing out autograph sheets to all the spectators. This rodeo is unique because it happens every single weekend throughout the year! Crazy isn’t it? Most of the spectators are seeing their first rodeo because the Fort Worth Stockyards are a popular place to come for first timers. I too, was impressed with the show that was put on. The announcer was very informative to the crowd in hopes that everyone would better understand each event happening. I even met a family that specifically flew in from New York to watch the rodeo!
The grand finale of the weekend was that a movie was being filmed on Saturday night of the rodeo! So I might have finally made my movie debut! When the movie, Peace River, comes out in April I guess we will definitely know for sure. It was cool how the announcer interacted with the crowd to get them pumped up for video footage and to see the behind the scenes of the extra filming they had to do to get all the shots. There were certain things they needed to have all lined up to get the correct footage. A joke kept going around that they were going to have to spray paint a bull to match the movie description but luckily it just needed to be black and they were able to make that happen! The director was very serious about this detail and the stock contractor about gave him a heart attack in the production meeting until he realized everyone was just joking with him and that a black bull would definitely be available.
Miss Rodeo USA 2020
Brooke’s Bloopers: During the bronc riding Saturday night, I was surprised to see all the tie-down calves running loose in the arena! I still don’t know exactly what happened and how they got loose. In all my years of rodeo I have never seen this happen! Luckily no one’s ride was interrupted and no collisions happened! It was quite comical seeing them get all the calves rounded back up in the correct pen. No matter what, the show must go on and I think it just added to the entertainment value of the whole evening!
Queens Corner: Even though I have been to the same place time and time again I still always have Google maps pulled up on my phone for multiple reasons. One reason is that I tend to day dream and not pay attention to the road signage. Instead of missing an exit because of driving straight for hundreds of miles, having your maps up for a little reminder can never hurt! Secondly, when you find yourself in traffic, maps can reroute you to a faster route which can be very helpful when you are running on rodeo queen time and don’t have a 15 minute hold up to spare!
Follow Miss Rodeo USA 2020, Brooke Wallace as she travels 100,000+ miles across the U.S. and Canada promoting professional rodeo!