Vanessa Ternes: Miss Rodeo South Dakota newsletter
Hello rodeo friends! I’m delighted to share with you the memorable experiences I have made in the month of July. This has been the busiest and the most amazing month of my title holding year so far. Looking back on this month, I am reminded of how lucky I am to represent South Dakota and the amazing sport of rodeo. It’s easy for anyone to say that “rodeo is a great sport,” but when I refer to it as amazing, I reflect on how it is the type of sport that allows people to grow and to better themselves. We are so privileged to grow up in an area that fosters the positive aspects of rodeo!
The first place I traveled in July was to the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada. My favorite special event of this fun rodeo and production were the chuckwagon races and being able to cheer on some of the top cowboys and cowgirls in our sport. It was so thrilling to see teams race against each other and then feel the anticipation build as they came around the last bend to the finish line!
While at the Stampede, I also enjoyed the Western parade that was held in the middle of a huge city. The streets were filled with rodeo fans and supporters of Prince William and Princess Kate. I greeted them as I traveled the forty-six blocks of the parade route; the crowd had a great time yelling “Yahoo!” as the visiting royalty passed by. What a treat to experience an outstanding Canadian rodeo; thank you to Kezia Morrison, Miss Rodeo Canada, for making me feel so welcome!
My next adventure took place in Colorado Springs, CO, to the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and the PRCA Hall of Fame Induction. What a fantastic rodeo! Visiting state queens were kept busy with a children’s educational booth before the rodeo and by assisting with the mutton busting. We then enjoyed dinner at the VIP Lounge where we signed autographs and enjoyed watching a tribute to our soldiers who are overseas.
It was inspiring to be a part of the induction ceremonies at the PRCA Hall of Fame; you could feel the history and strong influence of rodeo by walking through the halls. I felt very fortunate to be able to be at the inductions where a South Dakota Committee – the Deadwood Days of ’76 committee – was honored. Their recognition was well deserved. This event has won the medium size rodeo award seven times in a row and the small rodeo of the year award for four years, and continues to entertain audiences and welcome cowboys and cowgirls with hospitality. What a memorable and cherished experience I had at the Hall of Fame.
The next few days after the induction ceremonies, I attended the Miss Rodeo America (MRA) Queen Clinic to help prepare for the MRA pageant in December. We learned from great clinicians that ranged from current Miss Rodeo America McKenzie Haley, to Miss Rodeo America board members, to last year’s Miss Rodeo America Kelli Jackson. I benefitted greatly from the clinic by participating in a mock pageant, a horsemanship portion, having a tour of the PRCA headquarters, and having Procom employees answer our questions. Thank you to the Miss Rodeo America board and the Pikes Peak rodeo committee – I had a fabulous time!
The Cheyenne Frontier Days has always been a desired destination for me and I was so excited to finally be able to experience the “Daddy of ’em all!” The most exciting part of this adventure was the “fly by” introductions for the state queens. We rode Harry Vold’s horses as we sped by the grandstands on our presentation rides – what an adrenaline rush! I loved being able to go behind the chutes to have a first-hand look at the always exciting rodeo action. We also enjoyed the company of local Wyoming rodeo queens at the Frontier Queens luncheon. Another fun aspect was being able to introduce myself at the Jason Aldean Concert. Thank you to Arlene Kensinger and Ester Moore for allowing me to enjoy all of those great opportunities. Also thank you to Richard and Diane Morrison for being my very gracious host home!
The end of July was made great by coming back to South Dakota. I’ve attended the Days of ’76 rodeo since I was a little girl, but it has never been as special as when I was able to attend as Miss Rodeo South Dakota. The ambiance of the reenactments, beautiful scenery and caring people make this rodeo very special to me and for everyone who attends.
I was able help announce the Miss Days of ’76 Queen contest, sign autographs at the First Gold, ride in an old-time horse-drawn buggy in the historic parades, and carry sponsor flags during the stellar rodeo. After the parade on Saturday, I attended an exceptional luncheon with South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard along with the other visiting royalty, and the Days of ’76 Rodeo Committee. In my introduction speech I mentioned that this rodeo is so successful because of hard working people and the great community that comes together to produce a rodeo with a hometown feel. The committee continues to provide an impressive rodeo because the people behind it truly care. Thank you to Ted and Kathy Thompson, the Roberts Family, Ron Burns, Pat Kinghorn and the First Gold Hotel for allowing me to have such a fantastic time in Deadwood!
Congratulations to Jackie Higlin for receiving a plaque in honor of her hard work and years of service as secretary for the Days of ’76 committee. Thank you for making the nomination for the PRCA Hall of Fame possible!
The Black Hills Roundup’s Chutes for Charity organization is putting on a fundraiser with the first-ever goat roping event on Aug. 27, 2011 at Belle Fourche’s Community Hall. The registration for the competition starts at 8 p.m. Please support our generous charity so we can continue to benefit members of our community and surrounding area!
Miss Rodeo South Dakota
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In addition to the washracks for the cattle shows, the warm up arena for the rodeo competitors, and creative parade entries that take hours of preparation, another event at the National Western Stock Show has…