Courtney Peterson: Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2012 January newsletter

Honored and humbled; appreciative and in awe. To list everyone that helped make my Miss Rodeo South Dakota Coronation above and beyond what I had anticipated would cover this entire page! However, the story starts much earlier than Jan. 7, 2012.

The Miss Rodeo South Dakota pageant is held during the Fourth of July at the Black Hills Roundup. When my name was called as Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2012 in the Belle Fourche arena, relief swept through me. The years of preparation and planning, countless hours of studying and practicing had finally paid off. At that moment, I realized that in 18 months I would be in Las Vegas competing for the title of Miss Rodeo America, a once far-fetched dream now within my reach.

Shortly after coming home from the contest, reality crept in. In the six months I’ve spent as Lady-in-Waiting, I traveled 6,000 miles, leaving the state only once for the Badland Circuit Finals in Minot, ND. With fuel, food and lodging, the expenses quickly piled up. Although my reign did not officially start until January, I was already seeing the large expense this year as Miss Rodeo South Dakota was going to take.

The main purpose of Miss Rodeo South Dakota is to promote the state, professional rodeo and the western lifestyle. It’s the chance to serve as an ambassador for a way of life so many of us in South Dakota take for granted. In layman’s terms, each girl that wears the crown has one year to share her state’s story.

I have always been impressed with the unity and support of my state. Never was it more evident than the night of my coronation, Jan. 7, at the American Legion in Sisseton, SD. Although I have always enjoyed writing, I am still unable to put into words everything that happened that evening.

Synergy is when the outcome is greater than the sum of its parts. That is exactly what happened in Sisseton. In one night a town came together to support a member of the community; not just a crown, not just a title, but because it’s simply what South Dakotans do – believe in and support each other. That is exactly what the western way of life is about!

Not only did I have an outstanding coronation, with a record amount of funds raised to finance my year, but now I can afford to share what South Dakota is all about. Thank you for giving me the chance to live an opportunity of a lifetime. I will never be able to say it enough – thank you to everyone for your support not only that night, but throughout the years. Like I began this column, I am truly honored and humbled, appreciative and in awe.

Yours truly,

Courtney Peterson

Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2012