What an incredible last few months I have had! I feel like a seasoned world traveler with all of the places I have been to and opportunities I have had in January and February. From one end of the state to the other and one end of the country to the other I have had a wonderful start to my year as Miss Rodeo Kansas.
My first official trip out as Miss Rodeo Kansas was in Denver, CO for the Western and English Sales Association’s Market with MRK board members and my sister, Lori. Thankfully I had some seasoned shoppers there with me! I met with many amazing businesses and people who make up the industry that I love. I was fortunate to visit with many continued sponsors of MRK and even made a few more! I am looking forward to showcasing these sponsors throughout my year. Thank you to American West, Cripple Creek, Dan Post Boots, EquiBrand, Jerry Beagley Braiding Co., K bar J Leather Co., Lane Boot Co., Montana Silversmiths, Old Gringo, Weaver Leather, West & Co., and many, many more.
After Market, I hurried back to Kansas to finish the final details for my official Boots & Bling Crowning Coronation and Fundraiser the following weekend. I am still completely blown away by the amount of support my family, friends, and community gave me that evening. With over 300 in attendance, great food, outstanding auction items, and a rockin’ DJ I could not have had a more perfect evening. Thank you to EVERYONE who many that evening possible including the MRK Board, my family, Holy Family Circle, American Legion, auction item donors, visiting royalty, and anyone who volunteered their time that day! I love you all!
Following my Coronation, I made a second trip to Denver; this time for the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo! I have always enjoyed watching this rodeo from the crowd and knew that it would be a must for my year as MRK. While in Denver, I enjoyed watching the selection of the grand and reserve market steer and watching the Champions Sale. Those kids work so hard for the honor of selling in that sale and it was pretty amazing to see the joy it brought them to succeed the way they did.
The National Western Rodeo was everything I hoped it to be and so much more. It was such a trill to have this as my first rodeo as Miss Rodeo Kansas. Riding the beautiful black Cervi horses was a great experience and I thank them for the opportunity they allowed for all of us queens. I enjoyed getting to know Miss Rodeo America, Paige Nicholson, and a few of the other state queens as well.
As January came to a close, I found myself looking at a very busy February. I started it off right with a weekend traveling across my beautiful state.
My first stop was an exciting one and one I have been looking forward to making. After driving over six hours I found myself in Humbolt, KS; home of B&W Trailer Hitches. While B&W graciously installed their signature Turnover Ball, I toured the factory and saw first-hand what “Made in America” means. B&W is native to our state and provides over 300 jobs in Southeast KS. I am so humbled to represent this company and everything they stand for as I travel this year.
As I left the B&W factory, I made a spur of the moment trip up to Manhattan, KS to watch the Miss Rodeo Kansas State horsemanship competition at Weber Hall. I enjoyed visiting with past Miss Rodeo K-State, Meagan Brockhoff and catching up with friends. Congratulations to Danielle Stuerman, your 2014 Miss Rodeo K-State!
Next up, Moundridge, KS! I spend the rest of the weekend helping setup for the Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas crowning celebration of my good friend and traveling partner for this year, Abby Harders. I adore this young lady and have gotten to know her and her family over the last few years. I am so excited to spend my year with Abby and hope that I can be a great role model for her as my queen was my Teen year. Hats off to you Abby!
My final trip in February was a two week journey starting with the Silver Spurs Rodeo in the Sunshine State, Florida! Here, 24 other state queens and myself gathered for a week full of school visits, beaches, airboat rides, gator spotting, hog hunting, obstacle courses, and of course.. RODEO! One opportunity that I enjoyed the most was participating in my first Special Needs Rodeo. Here I was paired with a little girl with brave heart and a huge love for rodeo! I am still wrapping my mind around all of the great opportunities we had in Florida and cannot thank Mark & Laura Kessler enough for making it such an amazing trip. Also, thank you to Susan Jowers for putting me up in her beautiful guest house and making me feel right at home.
From Florida I flew straight to Arizona for the Champions Challenge and historic Parada del Sol Rodeo. The first few days I spent in Marana, riding horses with Miss Rodeo Arizona, Brittany Truman, and Miss Turquoise Circuit, Kagan Massey. A beautiful mountain backdrop, great weather, and some neat little horses made for a great start to my trip in Arizona! From there, we made our way to Scottsdale for the rodeo! Thursday evening, I cheered on Team B&W as I watched my first Champions Challenge in person. What a neat way for fans to watch the top contestants and top stock battle it out on a made for TV series. Be sure to watch the next Champions Challenge after the May 17th rodeo in Redding, CA!
On Friday, we made our way to Salt River Fields to watch a spring training baseball game and also watched the Scottsdale Pro Bulls bull riding. My final few days in Scottsdale were spent representing Kansas at the Parade del Sol Rodeo. This rodeo put on a great show and I thank them and Miss Rodeo Arizona for their hospitality.
I am now spending a few weeks at home catching up on life before I hit the road again. It is hard to believe that two and a half months of this year are in the past; they weren’t kidding when they said it would fly by! Thank you to all of my sponsors and you all for following me as I begin this journey.
Until next time, be blessed and have a wonderful start to your Spring!