Rodeo queen of determination
Hastings, Neb. (August 18, 2016) – Lindsey Hinrichs didn’t let an accident get in the way of her passion.
The 2015 Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo, who lives in Glenvil, Neb., was kicked by a horse when she was fourteen years old. She doesn’t remember much about the accident, and was unconscious for half-a-day, but she’s still back to horses and being on horseback.
It was on Good Friday 2010, the spring of her eighth grade year, and she had just finished track practice. She was letting horses out to pasture, before going back to the house to ready for church.
She doesn’t know what happened, but she and her family: dad and mom, Bryan and Teresa, surmise that the horses were “bucking and kicking and messing around,” she says, “and they think I tried to stop it. I don’t remember about half of that day. I can’t really tell people what happened.” After she was kicked in the forehead, they think she laid on the ground for fifteen minutes, then walked into the house. “I was really upset about everything,” she remembers. Her mother “couldn’t see my face at first, but she heard me yelling. I went into the house and she saw my face,” and then she knew an accident had happened.
Lindsey spent the night in the emergency room as doctors worked to get the brain swelling down.
After that, it was weeks of physical therapy and massage therapy. She had a bad case of whiplash and headaches, but it could have been worse. “The doctors say it could have killed me,” she said.
But it didn’t. Her mom took away her horses for the entire summer, and required her to wear a helmet after that. She wore the helmet for a while, then threw it against a post, breaking it. “I told mom I broke it and couldn’t wear it anymore,” she said.
Even with the nasty accident, Lindsey was not done with horses, even though her parents tried to keep her from them. “I told my mom, that’s my passion and I can’t just stay off. She couldn’t keep me off, either. I got back on and kept going. Since then, I’ve rode all kinds of horses, done all kinds of things. It’s never stopped me from doing something.”
Doctors did not release her to play high school sports, but riding didn’t require a release. The eye doctor was especially hesitant with her riding, but “I told him he couldn’t take my horses away. That’s been my life passion forever.”
It certainly didn’t stop her from running for the 2015 Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo crown. The twenty-year-old cowgirl was crowned during last year’s rodeo and has loved representing her hometown pro rodeo in Hastings.
And it hasn’t stopped her from being involved with horses. She gives riding lessons to local kids, and volunteers with 4-H and horse shows at the Webster County and Clay County Fairs. As a second-year student at Southeast Community College (SCC) in Beatrice, she helps with the equine program at college. She’s also a member of the Ag Club Board, the SCC Ambassadors, and is on the Student Senate Board.
She will graduate in May of 2017 with a degree in agriculture.
Lindsey will be at the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings August 26-28, and will hand her crown off to the next queen during the rodeo on Sunday, August 28.
And she counts her blessings. She realizes what could have been, and teaches safety to the kids she works with. “It opens your eyes,” she said. “Things happen in a split second.” But she continues. “It’s the passion. Look at all the athletes who have concussions, got hurt, and still go back to it. I love it.”
Lindsey’s sponsors include U Lazy U Leather (Seth and Jenna Adam), Lazy K (Micheal and Julie Lilienthal, Bar V Ranch (Dave VanBoening), Republican Valley Vet Clinic (Jeremy and Erin VanBoening), Keith and Sara Hemberger, Hinrichs Farms, Bohlen Cattle (Ron and Jenise, Cody and Haley), Todd and Becky Bartels, Osborne Cattle (Justin and Allison Osborne), Bryan and Teresa Hinrichs, Chance Mignery, George and Colleen Adam, and Troy and Meghan Anderson.
Tickets are on sale for the rodeo, which will be held August 26-28 at the Adams Co. Fairgrounds in Hastings, Neb. They range in price from $10-$20 for adults and can be purchased at the Adams Co. Fairgrounds in advance or at the gate.
For more information, visit the website at AdamsCountyFairgrounds.com or call 402.462.3247.
– Oregon Trail Rodeo