It’s hard to explain how it all came about. There can be so much and so little drama in the rodeo queen world but I have diligently done the best that I can to help as many young women as I can, to help them enjoy their time as a state titleholder, but to also network, capitalize and grow on the opportunities presented to them as a rodeo queen so that they can head for their ultimate goals and dreams. I use Becoming Royal as that platform. I have been so in awe with the young women that we not only have asked to be clinicians at our annual clinic but also the young women who attend the clinic and the adventures that they go forth on.
I saw a post, about November of last year, about how National State Teen Rodeo Queen Host Week was going to be no more. It seemed that yet another rodeo queen association had driven away volunteers that had donated so much time, money and effort to do some good for the group. I boldly placed the Becoming Royal name out there to see what we could do help with State Teen Host Week.
Next thing I knew, we were co-running it with the family from Florida who had run it previously. We then partnered with the Oklahoma Rodeo Pageants Council to have the event in Oklahoma in the second week in June with their 2019 Pageant. I was nervous for the event, I wanted the girls to have a good time and have great memories. Unfortunately, the Sunday it was to start, three girls canceled leaving us with just two girls plus the host. Ugh. It was so heartbreaking for me but I picked my head up the best that I could and decided that, if it came down to it, I could carry the energy for the week. I don’t know why I was so worried, the two young ladies that we got to host were hands down some of the most amazing young women I’ve ever gotten to meet!
Oklahoma City National Monument
The first place that we took the two young ladies was the National Monument in Oklahoma City. It almost scared me because of the fact that I NEVER covered this in school. I am such a history buff that I was caught off guard that this wasn’t deemed “relevant” in a sense. But I guess it was overshadowed, in a way, by the 9/11 bombings.
It was scary though, to go through the entire monument, and know that someone in our own country would be capable of doing something like this. It scares me, how do we ever know that we are goin to be safe.
Miss Molly from Nebraska is interested in going to school for something to do with nursing or even potentially forensic work with the CSI. I think that she enjoyed getting to see what caught the bomber and ruined his plans to kill so many people. He aimed for the government but in reality killed more children and general people than government officials… the same government that ensured that he got a fair trial.
Cattlemen’s Steakhouse & Stockyard City
We went to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse that night for dinner. The place was packed and held up to it’s reputation for great steak. Sauteed mushrooms and a delicious house salad rounded up our meal but what we did after was WAY more fun and exciting for me. As much as I love food, I was really excited to the Oklahoma Stockyards. I had just been at Randi Johnson’s the week or so before where their friend Jeb told me a little bit about the amazingness of the stockyards as he had worked their for a stretch.
I encouraged the Steinruck’s who were our chauffeurs to take us to the stockyards even though it was slightly after-hours but the blood red sunset was so pretty, I just had a feeling that we could possibly get some FIRE photos (pun intended). Getting to the stockyards the place looked virtually shut down but there were a few cattle trucks in the far corner that seemed to be loading up still.
Of course we went up on the catwalk overlooking the giant stockyard and I guess we were scaring Tom Steinruck because he was convinced that we were going to get caught and kicked out. Along that line, I was shocked at the lack of security – I mean if this was Oregon they would have to run this place as tight as a ship because protestors and PETA would be here left and right! Walking across the catwalks, we said hi to a cowboy who barely glanced up at us as he continued to record numbers in his pocket book as he rode a steady gray gelding through the alleyway trailing a small set of steers. The catwalk was a little sketchy, but some quick reasoning I figured out that the pink dots on the boards on the side meant those were the ones that needed to replace so the mantra of “don’t step on pink!” started.
Western Heritage Museum
The next day we went straight off to the Western Heritage Museum where I was in HOG HEAVEN. Sydney Spencer, the 2016 Miss Rodeo Oklahoma had told me that “for a history buff like you, you’ll love it!” She wasn’t wrong, that’s for darn sure! My first impression of the museum was that it was going to be an art museum. Don’t get me wrong, the art was amazing and I wish I could have a house FILLED with the wonderful western works of the greats but I thought there was going to be more “cowboy” stuff their, similar to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado. Something that resonated with me strongly in the art portion of the museum was the thought that those photos had the hands of people from the 1800’s on them and what was painted so carefully on to that canvas was what they were seeing at that time. It just really paints a visual in my brain of sorts of what the timeframe was like. I was just so in awe and entranced by all of it.
After the artistic portion it went into the beautiful antiques of the Native American tribes and original vaqueros. Then we got to see the “Hollywood Western” which I obviously love as I grew up on old westerns and still watch them religiously with my father. After that was the rodeo section and more on fur trappers and then there was the yard. There was just so much to see! I could have stayed there for a few weeks!
We went out on to the lawn to see the Wild Buffalo Bill statue and got to visit some noteworthy animal graves as well. Talk about an amazing experience!
Lazy E Arena
Our next stop before getting to the Woodward Elks Rodeo was the famous Lazy E Arena. I was bummed because our planned tour guide wasn’t in that day and so we had a fill in who wasn’t very energetic nor excited to be giving us a tour. She simply just walked us around the arena, answered a few questions, and then sent us on our way. I was bummed that we didn’t get the opportunity to go see the racehorse facilities or the breeding barns that they are known for.
I was excited though because the National Shootout for the Cowboy Mounted ShootingAssociation were happening. Having experience in CMSA shooting and a cardholder, I was able to explain a little bit about the fun event that CMSA is with the girls and the other adults that were in our traveling group.
Woodward Elks Rodeo
After the tours of Oklahoma, we headed to the Woodward Elks Rodeo and the 2019 Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Pageant. I was so impressed with the efforts of the two committees to put on a great event and was even pleasantly surprised to find one of my friends up in the slack the next morning and got the opportunity to watch him do his thing!
I think one of the things that I love about rodeo is that you are constantly able to make new friends from all around the country. Not only did I bond closer with the Steinruck’s of Florida and the Wade’s of Oklahoma, but I was also able to make a connection with the Tennessee and Nebraska families who let their daughters join us for this amazing trip! Not just that but I also met this kind blonde lady at the slack whose boyfriend was a steer wrestler. In the small world that is rodeo, I ended up sitting next to her for the Saturday night performance of the Reno Rodeo!
I am so thankful for the young women, their families and their boards, that took a chance on the new National State Teen Host Week! I am so excited for the future of rodeo with these two amazing young women and I can’t wait to see all that they accomplish in this world!