Wyoming’s Miss Congeniality | TSLN.com

Wyoming’s Miss Congeniality

Susan Kanode

The first thing I’m going to tell you is that Blood Brother from Burch Rodeo and Cool Alley from Kesler Championship Rodeo tied for the saddle bronc horse of the year award.

I want to congratulate both of these great horses. Blood Brother is a horse that I’d never want to get on. He’s retiring this year and we will miss his antics in and out of the arena. I haven’t been around Cool Alley as much as I have Blood Brother, but she and I have a lot in common.

We are both big bay mares, we’ve both had some foals and I would imagine that if we were around each other much, we might be friends. Of course that’s the way I’m going to imagine it, because reality probably wouldn’t be that pretty. I think we’d probably be pretty competitive. This is her second saddle bronc riding title. She also won it in 2004 (when I was second place) and was the top bareback horse in 2001.

I finished behind these two great horses and that’s okay for this year. I have two of those championship halters, but I am far from being done. It’s a great accomplishment for a horse to finish in the top three in the voting, but now that I’m representing Wyoming, I really want another halter!

Speaking of Wyoming, we went home after the rodeo in Omaha and got some pasture time in. We probably had one of the prettiest falls ever recorded in Riverton, (WY) so it was really nice to be there.

With plenty of good grass and great weather at the Powder River Rodeo ranch headquarters, you might think that I wouldn’t want to leave. Well I wasn’t born to be a pasture pet, so when I see them coming to gather us, I’m ready.

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I know it’s not time for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but when they sorted us, it was like we were going back to Omaha. Well, I heard Hank (Franzen) talking about Dallas and my ears pricked up. I didn’t get to go there last year, so I was really excited about it.

Once again, I was in the semi-finals along with my traveling partner Big Chill. Touch of Silver and Check Out were in the finals. I’m still a little bit upset about not being in the finals, because I want them to win the rodeo on me every time. It didn’t matter as much as at Omaha and when I finish my story I think you’ll understand why.

Big Chill and I were back in the pen together and I was my usual calm self, just wondering who would be the lucky contestant to get on me. Well I knew that Jesse Kruse had been doing really well in Dallas and had made the semi-finals. When I found out that he was getting on me again, I was pretty excited. They were all talking about it, wondering what the odds were and I was like come on guys do the math, it’s one in eight.

They held Jesse and I till last, so I got to see all the other horses go. I’d stick my head out over the chute and watch the action. Big Chill had a pretty nice trip, a solid out and bucked right down the pen. She got Justin Arnold this time and they teamed up for 87 points.

Well I kept sticking my head out watching the rest of the action and anticipating my trip. Honestly I just couldn’t wait to perform in that arena. Jesse settled down on my back and just like in Omaha, I was reminded about how little this guy is. He’s kind of like a fly on my back, but honestly, he’s not that easy to get rid of.

My first jump was typical and just like last time, Jesse was right there with me. I bucked all the way down the pen, just bucking and kicking a little higher with each jump. Jesse stayed with me the whole time and you should have seen that guy’s smile when the pick-up man set him down. They’re leading me out of the pen and the coolest thing happens, Jesse tips his hat to me.

I’m pretty full of myself now, thinking about how much fun that was and then I hear the score – 91 points. Wow. Having the judges recognize that performance with a 91-point score was a great way to cap off eight seconds of fun.

So, Jesse won the round, Justin finished in second and the Powder River horses have done well so far, but it isn’t over yet. Touch of Silver and Check Out are in the finals. You probably remember that Jesse Got on Touch of Silver at Omaha and missed him out. Well this time, Silver got Billy Etbauer. According to Silver he had Billy bucked off three or four times, but somehow Billy made the whistle and they won the rodeo with an 86-point ride.

Jesse finished second with 83 on Belstar from ProRodeo Inc. So here’s another math lesson. Jesse won $22,343 in Dallas and $10,312 in Omaha and I’m proud to be part of that. Before he was in Omaha he was ranked 20th in the world standings. After Dallas and $32,656 from those two rodeos he’s still 20th.

I have managers, people to plan my schedule, get me to the rodeos, make sure I eat right and get me ready for the competition. Jesse Kruse needs a manager. Saddle bronc riders can only count 70 rodeos. Apparently Jesse had already counted those 70 rodeos before Omaha, so the money he got at Omaha and Dallas only counts in his checkbook.

I’m glad that I don’t have to keep track of any of that stuff. It lets me focus on bucking. Jesse’s already focused on riding, he just needs somebody to keep track of his stuff. If he could have counted those two rodeos, he would have moved into fifth place in the world standings and we might have met in Las Vegas. What would be the odds of that? Let’s do the math, 1 in 15.

So even though I didn’t get the chance to have a guy win the rodeo on me in Dallas, I did have the high scoring ride and I’m very pleased with that. And, it was so cool to have Billy win it on Touch of Silver, because even though he doesn’t carry the name and he doesn’t care about it as much as I do, he is a Wyoming bucking horse too.

The weather was so good in Dallas, I kind of was wishing that I could stay there, but when they backed my trailer up to the gate, I was ready to get in. The trip home was uneventful and when we got back to the ranch I couldn’t believe how nice it was.

We’ve had a really mild fall. It makes me wonder what the winter will be like. I’m getting my winter coat and eating plenty so I’ll be ready for some snow when I get home from Las Vegas. If you are at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo be sure to go to the Wyoming Travel and Tourism booth at Cowboy Christmas and pick up one of my autograph cards. Of course I won’t be able to meet you personally, but the people at the booth will let my managers know when people ask about me, and I love having fans!

My name is Wyoming’s Miss Congeniality and I’m proud to be a bucking horse!