Miss Rodeo South Dakota – December | TSLN.com

Miss Rodeo South Dakota – December

Miss Rodeo South Dakota Courtney Peterson

Never give up. Always ride for the brand. Talk less and say more. You reap what you sow. Start each day with a smile. Everything happens for a reason.

Growing up, we are offered unlimited advice. Often times by people who have our best interests in mind, sometimes by those just wanting to hear their own voices. While this month marks the conclusion of my year as Miss Rodeo South Dakota, I know that without the constant support and direction, especially from my family, I would not have the incredible life I am enjoying today.

I spent the first two weeks of December in Las Vegas, NV. With the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in town, it was a perfect setup for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. Rodeo is known for the camaraderie amongst the competitors. It is the only sport I know of where a person's toughest competition is also the same person that would do anything to help the other win. Thirty one states were represented this year, and because of my travels as Miss Rodeo South Dakota, it literally felt like I was spending the time with my closest friends.

After drawing two great horses during the horsemanship competition, strutting a pair of hot pink Wrangler shorts during the fashion show – not by choice – and evoking ample emotions from the audience during my speech, I was content that I had showed the judges everything South Dakota had to offer. Apparently, I was the only one who thought Wednesday's coronation flew by. Before I knew it, I was standing with nine other incredible women among the Top Ten. Then an unexplainable joy as I was called as one of the Top Five! A humbling experience to say the least, knowing the caliber of women standing next to me and the remarkable people I represented back home. Finally, standing center stage with Chenae Shiner, Miss Rodeo Utah, we waited to hear the final announcement. Chenae had won the photogenics and appearance categories; I had secured the horsemanship and personality categories; the final results were up in the air. When South Dakota was called as first runner-up, the surprise on Chenae's face is one I will never forget, and the peace I felt was such a calm I never had before.

I was not immune to tears, however. The culprit: Standing next to AQHA President Gene Graves, waiting to take a picture with the immaculate Tex Tan saddle they sponsor for the horsemanship award, a coveted category to win. The beautiful spurs for the personality award, Justin boots, and enough scholarship money to complete my master's degree in Agricultural Economics all reinforced the idea that I had completed my job.

We will crown the new Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2013, Kristina Maddocks, at the Eagle's Club in Aberdeen, on Sat., Jan. 5, 2013. I know that she will have an incredible year ahead of her. The best part of this entire experience is the ability to share what makes our state so great with the rest of the country! The unselfish people, always offering timely advice or a helping hand will always be why South Dakota is my favorite state of all.

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Thank you for allowing me to serve as your ambassador this past year. The experiences, friendships, and memories will last a lifetime. Looking back, I know the best advice I have been given came over ten years ago, when my mother said, "Remember, God is good." Especially after this past year, I am continually reminded, yes He is.

Merry Christmas,

Courtney Peterson

Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2012

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