It’s all over and done folks.
The 2016 Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant is completely over and today I was back to reality which included 2 hours of class, work, cleaning stalls, and studying with my friend Katie and cousin Megan (I know, just like any other day it seems!).
Before I go into who won what, I want to talk about something first which is the thing that surprised me the most about the pageant. I also want to apologize for the delay on this post, I’ve had it written for quite a while but I had to check to make sure I was still allowed to blog here.
IT’LL BE WHAT IT’LL BE!
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous about spending one of the most important weekends of my life with a complete stranger. I was blessed by the amazing opportunity to have a young lady named Dusti be my competition for this weekend. With just the two of us I was nervous that it would be tense and very “you versus me” but it wasn’t.
Right off the bat it became clear that although we come from different backgrounds we are cut from the same cloth. By the end of the second day of pageant (our first FULL day of pageant) I was confident that whoever won was going to be an amazing representative of rodeo and the state of Oregon and that took the only stress off that I was really feeling! I adore the Junior and Teen programs with all my heart and they were the most important thing to me.
Dusti is a truly amazing individual. Like me, she was laid back and had thoughts on literally every subject that mirrored me. From choreographing our dance with each other to practicing our modeling and discussing questions; I could not have asked for a better person to go through the weekend with! I feel like we spent more time helping each other than we did worrying about ourselves during the pageant!
At the end of the weekend, the pageant director just kept reiterating how she had never had two contestants get along so well. It’s kind of a crazy thought though, after all that stress, craziness and practice, I don’t see how we wouldn’t be friends! I can’t wait to support Dusti in whatever her next adventure is, I will always be one of her biggest fans which is a pretty stiff competition because her support system is beyond amazing!
There was another… competitor(?) that was at our pageant but I will explain more on her in a later blog post but she wasn’t competing for the title of Miss Rodeo Oregon. She was auditing our pageant and had already been crowned the 2015 Miss Rodeo Alaska and I would not have survived the weekend without her. Whether it was her prayer before the nerve-wracking fashion show or her stopping the car to right an American Flag in someone’s yard – she’s the epitome of the All-American girl!
The title of this blog post was what had become Dusti and I’s motto for the weekend.
Thanks to my religion, I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. In line with my religion, it was such a relief to have that weight taken off of my shoulders. I have prayed continuously for the last year for guidance through this adventure. I know that God has big plans for me but I felt like for the past two years I was really struggling with finding what that job was supposed to be. I was hoping that my goals of being Miss Rodeo Oregon were correct and that that was where I was supposed to be at this point in time.
Thursday was the first full day of the pageant and consisted of horsemanship, horsemanship interview, autograph signing and then the rodeo run-in. My horse … well long story short my horse threw out her lower back and was in a lot of discomfort and you could tell due to her inability to hold a right lead at the canter. I was blessed to have submitted multiple back up horses and swap her our for one of them which allowed her to get adjusted by the chiropractor and the proper care needed. She will be okay after about a week off which makes me very happy. As a horsewomen it is your worst nightmare to have your horse in any sort of pain and I worried about it throughout most of the pageant as I was cut off from all communication and couldn’t see my horse for myself to see how she was doing.
Friday morning, after Sweetness’ painful grand entry the night before, I was pretty down in the dumps. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know if my horse was okay. I didn’t know if I would be riding her again that night. Then I remembered that my roommate, Ruth, had written me a series of letters for each day of the pageant. I sadly opened up the letter afraid to see something that read “You are doing great! Keep it up!” because, quite frankly, I didn’t feel like I was doing that great.
The letter was not what I was expecting.She had written the verse John 16:33 onto the note.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
Her note told me that things were going to go wrong, that that’s just how the world works. That those “things” going wrong were okay because as long as you have peace with God everything is going to turn out alright.
Right there I mentally reset my brain and boy am I glad I did!
The first question that I was asked in my personal interview was, “So tell me about your horse and your run-in last night!” I explained the truth. I had checked her back after the run-in and she was obviously in discomfort and I had had the message passed on to my horse handlers. Then I explained that I was feeling down on myself but then I read Ruth’s note and the verse and how it reminded me that we were going to get curve balls and everything was going to work out as long as you had faith and the self-control to have the grace and maturity needed for this position. I also told her about how the night before, in fashion show practice, I had so much fun working with the current Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon who has one of the most infectious personalities you could ever meet. As I told the judge, “If that don’t cheer you up then you’ve got bigger problems!”
I am very thankful for my sister and friends for all the hardwork studying and prepping for the pageant. My amazing roommate, newfound good friend, and competitor won the categories of horsemanship, appearance, and speech. I won the categories of personality and knowledge while also earning the highest score on the written test. There was 300 points available in each of the categories and I am guessing that we were within points on each of them but all my studying pulled off giving me more points of a lead in that category than what I lost the prior categories in.
Thank you all for your support and I look forward to a crazy next year and a half as Miss Rodeo Oregon 2016! 🙂