Miss Rodeo South Dakota February Newsletter
January started off fast and furious. My coronation was Jan. 5, and then I hit the road five days later for a five-week-long road trip from rodeo to rodeo. As a matter of fact, I’m still on the road!
My coronation was more amazing than I could’ve imagined in my wildest dreams. The support from my community and the surrounding area was unbelievable! It was wonderful to see so many friends and family members come together.
A few days after my coronation, I headed back down to Aberdeen for the South Dakota Snow Queen Festival. The Snow Queen Festival is a state wide organization that recognizes young women who are either freshmen or seniors in high school for their exemplary character, and also provides scholarships for these young women. I served as a judge host for the Senior Snow Queen pageant, and escorted the four judges around Aberdeen for the weekend. I wasn’t envious at all of their jobs. All of the contestants were very impressive young women, and each one was deserving of the title! Congratulations to Miss Aberdeen, Kendra Woytassek, for receiving the honor!
A really fun part of the Snow Queen Festival was getting to know all the visiting royalty and explaining to them what a “Miss Rodeo” is. It was great to be able to talk to so many people from outside the rodeo world about rodeo and why we do what we do! I had a wonderful time getting to know my roommates as well – Mrs. South Dakota International, Shannon Rook, Miss South Dakota International, Mariah Logan, and Miss Teen South Dakota International, Patience Lunday.
After the Snow Queen Festival, I was Colorado bound for the Denver WESA Market and National Western Stock Show. Market was wonderful…I shopped until I dropped! All of the vendors were great to work with, and were extremely helpful. A huge thank you goes out to Greg Hensley with Dan Post Boots, who set me up with two sponsored pairs of boots! They were shipped in time for my parents to bring them out to the Black Hills Stock Show for me, and they look great and are incredibly comfortable. The news from home is that boxes from other companies I placed orders with keep showing up every day, so when I get home it will be like Christmas all over again!
As soon as market ended, the National Western Stock Show rodeo began. It was great to see all of the other state queens again after meeting them in Vegas! We spent the weekend carrying sponsor flags, promoting the All-Star Rodeo coming to Denver by awarding t-shirts to one lucky row at every performance, surprising another lucky fan with a free pair of Justin boots, and chasing down mutton busters after their wild rides. The flag horse I got to ride happened to be named Dakota, which I found very fitting! He found a soft spot in my heart right from the beginning. I learned how to ride on a horse named Shiloh, a jet black gelding with a star right in the middle of his forehead, and Dakota looked almost identical to him, with the addition of a couple socks!
After a busy weekend at the rodeo, I headed north to Steamboat Springs for the 39th Annual Cowboy Downhill. The Cowboy Downhill is an extremely unique event. It’s a ski race that is held every January for PBR and PRCA cowboys. There are actually two events that comprise the Cowboy Downhill – the timed event slalom race, and the Stampede. In the timed event, two cowboys or cowgirls go head to head, skiing through six slalom gates, going over a jump, roping a girl, saddling a horse, and crossing the finish line as fast as they can! The Stampede, however, is an entirely different beast. All of the contestants are lined up roughly 25 yards uphill from a jump. Everyone takes off at once, and the first one across the finish line is the winner! Obviously this can result in some extremely interesting pile-ups, since cowboys aren’t necessarily known to be skilled skiers or snowboarders. I myself am not a particularly skilled skier. As a matter of fact, the day of the race was the third time I had ever skied…which resulted in a very impressive wreck in the timed event. I started it off in good shape, weaving nicely through the first three gates, and even managed to land on my skis coming off the jump! However, if the rest of your body doesn’t stay upright, having your skis underneath you is NOT exactly a great achievement. I slid the rest of the way down the hill flat on my back and unable to stop until I hit the last slalom gate and it did the job for me. I did fare a little better in the Stampede, managing to avoid the big pile ups, and only running into one cowboy. Fortunately, he was a fellow South Dakotan. My apologies to Troy Crowser!
After enjoying a few days off in Steamboat, I was back in Denver for a few days to help out with the National Western Stock Show rodeo once again. I wrapped up my time in Colorado on a Thursday evening, and immediately hit the road for Rapid City and the Black Hills Stock Show! It was great to be back in South Dakota … even if I was technically still 400 miles from home! The Black Hills Stock Show is and always has been one of my favorite rodeos, and this year definitely did not disappoint. From the Xtreme Bulls to the PRCA rodeo, being there as Miss Rodeo South Dakota was an amazing experience. I was also honored to crown Gina Jesperson of Hemingford, NE, Miss Black Hills Stock Show 2013. Traveling the state as Miss Black Hills Stock Show 2012 was absolutely wonderful, and I hope Gina enjoys it as much as I did!
Hosting nine visiting state queens at the Black Hills Stock Show made for a very fun week. Miss Rodeo Arizona, North Dakota, Florida, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho, California, Minnesota, and Illinois joined me for events throughout the week and the second weekend. We visited Badger Clark Elementary School, attended the Stockman’s Ball, ate sushi, shopped at the trade show, signed autographs, carried flags at the rodeo, and much more! One really fun event was modeling in the fashion show for the first annual Girls in Spurs Ladies Night in the Rodeo Zone. We got to model great looks from Rancher’s Outlet, Pink 629, and the Molly and Gidget Boutique! Another highlight of the week for me was carrying the American flag for the opening of the Saturday afternoon rodeo both weekends. It’s not every day I get to carry a flag with fireworks shooting from the top of the flag pole!
Following the Black Hills Stock Show, I had a few days off. I took full advantage of the opportunity to do laundry and catch up on emails! Friday afternoon, however, it was off to Gillette for the Coors Pro Rodeo and Winter Western. Spending the weekend with Miss Rodeo Wyoming, Holly Kennedy, was great as always, and it was wonderful to work with the Powder River Rodeo Company. A big thank you goes out to Crystal Hershey for bringing her horse Deuce for me to ride!
The rest of February looks to be as busy as the beginning of this year. I can’t wait to see what lies down the road! Until next time, happy trails …
Kristina Maddocks, Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2013
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Anthony Halby, who founded his Halby Group Inc. insurance company half a century ago, has died just three days short of his 72nd birthday.