By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
“History of mankind is carried on the back of a horse.” Author Unknown
Cowboys and cowgirls play a significant role in maintaining our western heritage and way of life. It goes far beyond looking the part with starched Wrangler jeans and dusty Justin boots. For me? It’s in my roots.
As a horse crazed, toe-headed toddler, my father instilled his passion for rodeo and western way of life deep within me. Many nights we would be found atop the staircase of our country home in Menan, Idaho, pouring over the black and white photographs from his professional bull riding career. I would sit, knees clutched to my chest, full of excitement as I listened to his stories of success and failure on the back of some of the greatest bulls Andrews Rodeo Company had to offer. There was no doubt about it… I was a rodeo fan.
My obsession for the sport led me to an early start, barrel racing on a buckskin Shetland pony named Dusty, at the tender age of four (bound and determined to be the next Charmayne James). By seven, I needed something more and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a rodeo queen!
In 2003, I went from a rodeo fan to a rodeo queen! This journey I embarked on would lead me into a fourteen year career of service to rodeo committees, communities, and most importantly rodeo fans. Being a rodeo queen has given me a way to share my love for the sport and guide other aspiring rodeo fans and athletes to its core. Now, as your 2017 Miss Rodeo Idaho, it is my goal and duty to serve the sport of professional rodeo by making sure our industry continues to grow and be successful for years to come.
As Miss Rodeo Idaho, I’ve had the opportunity to help build rodeo related programs all over the state of Idaho and as far as Alaska! Why? Well, did you know that rodeo is the only sport that is based on an industry? The range cattle industry is firmly rooted in rodeo and the day to day activities of the cowboy. In fact, the large majority of rodeo fans are more likely to work in agriculture or resource extrication and of the 35 million rodeo fans, 12 million of them come from rural backgrounds! You see, it goes far beyond our classic rodeo events. It truly is a way of life! Not only has rodeo blessed me to continue my education through scholarships, but also guided my path into a future career in agriculture sales as an Idaho real estate agent; where I’ll be able to assist farmers and ranchers in finding the perfect property to practice our loved and cherished western way of life.
You might ask, “All of this by being a rodeo queen?” Yes! When I meet and make just one child a rodeo fan; I am playing my role in establishing not only rodeo but our western heritage for years to come.
As a die-hard rodeo fan, my life and history is carried on the back of a horse. So long live those cowboys and cowgirls!
Hunter Rae Rackham
Miss Rodeo Idaho 2017