“Cowboy Christmas” happens every year surrounding the abundant 4th of July rodeos. This year’s “Cowboy Christmas” included 32 rodeos with over $3.3 million in prize money throughout professional rodeo, undeniably a busy time in the rodeo season. I was grateful to be in Belle Fourche for the Black Hills Roundup during the 4th of July, one of the few places in western South Dakota allowed to have fireworks because of the abnormally dry summer.
After celebrating our nation’s independence in South Dakota, I headed to Colorado Springs for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame Inductions. We even had a chance to go to the top of Pikes Peak. The view from a mountain top over 14,000 feet high is impressive, especially for this prairie girl! The PRCA headquarters had to be evacuated during the ragging Waldo Canyon fire. Thankfully, by the time we arrived for the Hall of Fame Inductions, the fires where contained and business was getting back to usual. Although South Dakota did not have inductees this year, we were still well represented. Robert and Billy Etbauer, originally from Ree Heights, and the bucking horse Khadafy Skoal from Powder River Rodeo (who got his start bucking at the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche) were among the Induction Class of 2012.
Following the Hall of Fame Inductions was the Miss Rodeo America Seminar. We spent four days working on speeches, modeling, interviews, rodeo knowledge, and much more. The highlight of the entire seminar was the opportunity to work with Chris Cox for our horsemanship portion. I learned horsemanship skills I will be able to use long after the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
After the long days of note taking at the seminar, I was excited to finally get to the Daddy of ‘Em of All in Cheyenne, WY! During the pancake breakfast, I was able to help by flipping the cooked pancakes out of the wagon for the patiently waiting boy scouts to catch. A great rodeo, delicious food, shopping, and watching The Band Perry, Brad Paisely, and Merle Haggard in concert all helped the rodeo live up to its expectations. My only regret was that I missed the Reba McEntire concert, since I was en route to the award winning Days of ‘76 Rodeo in Deadwood, SD. Not a bad problem to have.
The Days of ‘76 Rodeo has always been a favorite of mine. The committee is always welcoming and the rodeo is always entertaining. Sadie Warder, Miss Rodeo North Dakota, Sabrina Behr, Miss Rodeo Minnesota, Laura Tayson, Miss Rodeo Wisconsin, and Allison Bell, Miss Rodeo Louisiana, where all on hand to help with the festivities. There is a great group of state queens this year, who continually make all the traveling well worth it, and I appreciate these ladies taking the time to help us celebrate in beautiful Deadwood.
A few people have asked if I am getting tired from all of this traveling. The quote I found earlier this month by James Michener accurately describes this year.
“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and play, his labor and leisure, his mind and body, his education and recreation, his love and religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.”
Yes, this year as Miss Rodeo South Dakota has been hard work, but it also has been the time of my life! I’m looking forward to the adventures that August will bring.
Until next time,
Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2012