By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
“Life is about the journey – not the destination.” A quote I have lived by throughout this experience. What a whirlwind year this has been, filled with experiences, friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime. Hello everyone! Ashley Espin here, writing to you from the Battle Born State of Nevada.
Growing up, my parents, Marc and Marie Espin, always told me, “Oh the places you’ll go.” In 2014, I wanted to better myself and find a way to give to my community. I decided to run for the title of Miss Reno Rodeo and to my delight, I won! This was the beginning of something great. The title not only gave me the opportunity to open my heart to my community, but afforded me new opportunities for growth, maturity, and accomplishment. With the scholarship I received from the Reno Rodeo, I was able to finish three Associates Degrees and now, I am well on my way to finishing a duel Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and Early Childhood Development.
As I gave up my first title, my heart ached a little as I had developed a true passion for being an ambassador for the sport of Professional Rodeo. I knew that I had to continue the journey. With the support of family, friends, and my new Reno Rodeo Family, my dream to become Miss Rodeo Nevada, 2015 became reality.
It’s hard to believe that my year as Miss Rodeo Nevada is coming to an end; however, it was a year that I will never forget. This past year, I was able to visit Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, California, Wyoming, and traveled from one end to the other beautiful end of my home state, Nevada. I’ll forever treasure the memories of flying down the Cheyenne track, carrying flags at the Denver Stock Show, and taking the Grand Entry lap at my hometown rodeo in Reno. I will cherish the opportunities that I was afforded to work alongside elite athletes, stock contractors, rodeo queens, and contract personnel. I will hold most dear and perhaps most miss visiting with the rodeo fans – especially the little ones that give sticky cotton candy hugs. I am beyond blessed to have gained so many friendships on my rodeo trail.
I began this journey as a means to give back to my community, but as I look back it’s been the community that has given me the best gift of all –their love and support. The people in Nevada have the biggest hearts. I am so honored to have been able to represent them this year. It has truly taken a village to prepare this rodeo queen. I simply can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done! I have loved every moment of my year and am honored, humbled, and grateful to have been able to represent Nevada, the sport of Professional Rodeo, and the western way of life.
My journey to the next chapter of life is just beginning and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me next.
Thank you for all of your love and support,
Miss Rodeo Nevada 2015