By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
The 4th of July weekend just came to a close. As I was carrying an American flag older than me into the Black Hills Roundup arena, I noticed an older veteran saluting the flag, sending shivers down my spine. It made me reflect on how incredibly lucky we are to have so many brave men and women who believe so strongly about what our country stands for that they are willing to fight for our freedom. I love the patriotism of rodeo, our most American sport. We pray, respect the American flag, and recognize all those who have served. This is why it is such an honor to carry the American flag as Miss Rodeo South Dakota.
South Dakota has four times the cattle as people. Agriculture is one of our top industries, with our livestock as the leading reason. The sport of rodeo and agriculture going hand in hand. It is no surprise that rodeo is South Dakota’s official state sport. Coming home from the 97th Annual Black Hills Round Up, and the home of the Miss Rodeo South Dakota (MRSD) pageant, it is hard to believe a year ago I was crowned MRSD Lady-in-Waiting. I decided then that in order to be successful at representing everything the crown stood for; the State of South Dakota, our official state sport, the western way of life, and the people involved, I had to have a servant heart. It isn’t about how I can benefit from this experience, but how I can serve this title and all the people involved.
Rodeo centers on community and camaraderie. I truly am thankful for everyone that has played a part in getting me to where I am today. Without the help of my family, past Miss Rodeo South Dakotas, rodeo committees, stock contractors like the Sutton and Korkow families, and my amazing sponsors, and everyone else who has believed in me, this year would not be possible. I cannot thank you all enough.
I am currently a senior at South Dakota State University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism, minoring in Animal Science, and Agricultural Business. When I am not in school or at a rodeo, you can find me at S.T.A.R.S, a therapeutic riding program. I am such a strong believer in the healing powers horses can have on a human. What I love about both the sport of rodeo and therapeutic riding is the communication between horse and rider, even when no words are spoken. I don’t think that society truly understands the dependency rodeo contestant have with their livestock- rodeo is a true partnership. A partnership I am glad to be a part of and pass down to others, for generations to come.
2016 Miss Rodeo South Dakota.