By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
Over the past 23 years I have seen wonders that some only dream about. I have seen the northern lights, I have seen 6 feet of fresh powdered snow, I have seen the sun set upon many of our 10,000 lakes, and I have seen all four seasons come and go. I am lucky enough to call Minnesota my home and God has given me the opportunity to represent my home state as Miss Rodeo Minnesota 2016.
My love for horses began when I was just starting to sit up. My grandpa Donny showed up with a Pony named Missy. We didn’t have a barn, we didn’t have a pasture, but grandpa knew his little girl needed a pony. By the end of the summer Missy was a permanent member of our family and we had added four other horses to our herd. We began attending rodeos in Minnesota and South Dakota, and it wasn’t long before I was competing in local 4-H events. These events required me to have a western pleasure horse, so I went to the sale barn and found a big Tobiano paint that I was convinced could be made into a pleasure horse. The owner no-saled her and I persuaded them to trailer the horse to my house where I rode her in the dark with only a halter and lead rope. Of course my mom couldn’t say no at that point. Class and I attended every free lesson we could and she definitely solidified my love for the American Quarter Horse. Although she was mostly my pleasure horse we ran barrels, poles, and dabbled in hunt seat. I purchased my first sorting horse when I was sixteen. She was a Quarter Horse named Tinkerbelle that “did it all!” She taught me more than I could have ever imagined a horse could teach me. Tink carried me to many local wins throughout my teenage years. Although I was busy with my horses I still found time to graduate from Willmar Senior High and obtain my Associate’s degree in Business Management from Ridgewater College. My equine love at that point was solidified on team penning and ranch sorting. I went on to purchase a 3 year old quarter horse named Glitz. She would step on every nerve, and test every ounce of patience that I had, But with the help of a lot of people including my team mate Emma Campbell, and a great trainer, Kenny Krebsbach I made it to the American Quarter Horse World Show and placed in the top 15 in Open ranch sorting.
Having the opportunity to promote the sport that I love is what prompted me to run for the title of Miss Rodeo Minnesota. This Journey has been a whirlwind of activities and experiences I will never forget. In the first three months of my reign I’ve traveled to four states, including Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Florida, as well as participating in events at home in Minnesota. I am working hard to represent the talented cowboys and cowgirls in this great state with dignity and integrity. Being the daughter of an Air Force Sergeant I learned quickly that resilience and perseverance were two qualities that were necessary not only in a soldier but in life. I have also Many days are filled from morning to night with activities such as bathing horses, making school appearances, and everything in between.
I have had so many beautiful opportunities throughout my life and I hope to have many more experiences during my travels. This year is already off to a great start and I cannot wait to see which road Miss Rodeo Minnesota will lead me down next.
Stay true to your heart and follow your arrow,
Miss Rodeo Minnesota, Jody Bombeck