Blue lights and burn marks!
Bubba Oubre with Oubre Rodeo Company has always stood in my corner! When I called Bubba and asked to make an appearance at his rodeo in Marietta, Georgia for one night he said, “come on sis you know you can always come to one of my rodeo’s.” Bubba has become like a rodeo dad to me and I love that man to pieces! I pulled into Marietta that Friday night to be greeted by the crew and Bubba himself. Bubba introduced me to the man who puts on the rodeo there in Marietta and we found to have many things in common. The one thing you will learn about the people who rodeo is that they become a family to you the minute you shake their hand or the time you wrap your arms around them for a big hug. My rodeo family has grown this year better and stronger than I had ever imagined it would!
We started off the rodeo with prayer and anthem as I rode Kevin’s old trusty horse, John! I always enjoy riding the big grey horse and not to mention he sure does make a great photo as well! After presenting the colors and praying for our family I was able to help out in the arena and work cattle and clear the arena for the competitors! The rodeo ran so smooth and everyone had a great time! After the rodeo I had to make a decent drive to the next rodeo and help out there, but before I did I was sure to eat! The crew and I had decided to make an Applebee's run and get some food before I had to hit the road, plus I knew I was not going to get to see them for a little while and I wanted to spend some time with them! We ate good food and cut up about the rodeo and the different places and stores that we had encountered since we last saw each other!
After dinner I made the four to five hour drive over to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Of course a drive like that could not go smooth and without a hitch of some sort! I was only about an hour away or less actually from the stock contractors house where I was going to be staying and I see the red and blue lights in the rear view mirror. Dang it, I feel like I have meet more police officers this year than ever in my life! Haha! He pulled me over as my headlight had gone out. I did not know it was out so I was surprised to hear that it was. Thankfully the nice police officer let me go without a ticket, but not before he questioned the mass amount of stuff in my car! Therefore I had to explain my situation, “No officer I am not homeless, I just live in my car, please meet Black Betty the mobile home who carries Miss Rodeo USA across the country!” The officer got a good laugh out of me for sure!
Once I made it to Tony and Jamie’s house they got me all set up for a few hours of sleep and when I say a few I mean about three. I got up after some sleep and we made our way to the ball fields in town! This was just not any ball field though this field was built specifically for kids with special needs! The ground was built out of a special rubber that was perfect for wheelchairs, walkers, and anyone who may be a little unsure on their feet! The entire crew came out that morning and we all played softball with the kids! Talk about a blast! Never in my life had I seen so many kids light up and play with such enthusiasm! My heart was so full with all of the love!
When the ball games came to an end it was time for the rodeo to start! This rodeo was a little different though! Bulls, Barrels, and Broncs was what the show consisted of! Fast horses, and the bucking livestock was what brought in a crowd like I had never seen before! All of the proceeds for that rodeo went right into the ball fields that we played on that morning! I was beside myself when I saw the stands packed out that night! The entire community came together to see the show kick off with a bang. Now when I say kick off with a bang I mean it! Jim loves to shoot off fireworks, so of course he did! The entire crew and myself walked out into the arena at the beginning of the performance, as we stood in front of the bucking chutes Jim shoots off fireworks and lights up the arena. My black cowboy hat suffered a little bit as there are now burn marks on my hat, but I guess it made for a cool show! Ha ha! Thank you Jim I will never forget that as every time I look at my hat I think of the fireworks shooting and falling down around me that night!
As I'm back on the road now I will have to let you go! Please keep up with me though! I know things are starting to come to an end but I'm not thinking about that! There are so many journeys I still have left to make! I wanted to leave you all with something that I was thinking about the other day! Keep moving forward and continue to make every step of the path better than the next one. Although this will have to come to an end one day I will be able to remember how blessed I have been throughout this year and throughout my entire life!
Pawnee, Oklahoma not Prue, Oklahoma apparently my GPS was confused on my way to the rodeo in Pawnee, because I was as lost as lost can get! I punched the address into the GPS and headed down the road on my way to make the first portion of the Pawnee Bill Memorial Rodeo Queen Pageant, well little did I know that I was not going to make it in time. For those of you who know me know how much I can’t stand to be late! As I was lost in this town called Prue I stopped a local to ask where the rodeo was. The gentleman that I spoke to knew nothing about a rodeo, he had suggested that I call the police department as they know all the roads in the area and would be able to help me get to where I needed to go. I pulled over, whipped out my phone and dialed the local police department number that I had found on Google. A very nice man named Dennis helped me, he asked where I was and I explained. He quickly informed me that I needed to get out of there as it was not a good part of town, he gave me directions that I wrote down on the back of one of my autograph sheets. I soon learned that I still have a good 70 miles to go before I would be at the rodeo. Of course when I showed up I was late and had missed part of the pageant. Everyone there was so nice and understanding. We went on to continue with the pageant and I was able to meet all of the girls and even got to see one of my fellow Miss Rodeo USA contestants, miss Morgan Riggs! PS a huge congrats to her as she was crowned Miss Pawnee Bill Memorial Rodeo Queen! It came time to go to the rodeo and we started off the first night with queen runs. I was missed because Monty had forgot I was there or something but that’s ok because he announced me when I came in while carrying the American flag. I was very honored to ride alongside the drill team and carry the flag! I worked the arena all night long and would help Rod the pick up man chase back and clear the pen! It was a blast getting to ride several different horses that weekend. Not only did I get to ride a few of the Hampton Rodeo Companies horses but I also rode a few of Rod’s horses as well! During both nights of the rodeo I was able to work the arena along with Rod, I always enjoy working with him and getting to ride some new horses!
As things had come to a close for the Pawnee rodeo the excitement had just started! As I was riding through the arena that first night a strange man had hollered at me from outside of the arena, “Hey Heather, how’s it going?” I had no idea who he was and just replied with a quick and short answer. I had asked everyone there who he was and how he knew my name. My first thought was someone had put him up to it and was giving me a hard time. When the rodeo was over I was on my way out of the arena when this same man walked up to me and the horse and said, “You don’t recognize me do you?” Of course I did not recognize him, turns out he went to school with me all the way back in Iowa and was in the same grade as my sister. We used to show cattle together! What a small world as soon as I realized it was Kale I knew who he was! I just had to mention it because at the time it was a really funny story!
Blue Ridge, oh Blue Ridge, Georgia! What an experience that was! The first day there Justin Hedrick and I spent the entire day going to schools and visiting kids as well as going to sponsor visits! Justin made the perfect clown for his first time ever being a step in rodeo clown! He even let me help with his rodeo clown makeup. I made sure to tell him to powder it that it would be a long day and it would not last all day. He didn’t believe me at first but he soon made his way over to the stock trailer and pulled some baby powder out of the flank bag and threw some on his face. I had never laughed so hard in my life because he hit himself in the face while he did it! Once we got to the schools we had a blast with the kids and interacting with them about the rodeo! Justin had what he called a “woo ball” every time the ball was in the air the kids could scream and make as much noise as they wanted to but once it was back in his hand they had to be silent. The kids loved it!
The following morning, Friday morning Kevin the president of the rodeo committee and I got up bright and early and did a radio interview, once that was over we drove across town and did a TV interview. We then headed out to the rodeo grounds where we would put on a morning rodeo for the special needs kids! That was an absolute blast! I opened up the performance carrying the American flag! Once I was done with that I would get to run barrels on the pick up horse and then I was somehow talked into doing a cartwheel. When Heath the Dancing Cajun rodeo clown had talked all of the kids into asking me to do one I could just not turn them down. So I did it and I did not lose my hat!! Both nights of the rodeo went off with a bang! It was a blast and we had some great contestants and the crowds both nights were amazing! I had an absolute blast at the rodeo and meeting everyone there!
As I close out this blog please know that there are so many exciting things coming in the future! I am heading to some rodeos that have never had a Miss Rodeo USA before and traveling to some states that I never expected to go to all year! Of course Canada is coming up as well! Stay tuned and follow my year as Black Betty the mobile home and I are still seeing lots of miles!
Miss Rodeo USA 2019