Posted in #PleaseAllowMeToIntroduce, My Royal Adventures, Rodeo Queens

#PleaseAllowMeToIntroduce the 2016 & 2017 Miss NPRA’s

I think it’s such an interesting position that I am in. I never felt like I was a part of the rodeo queen world but I spent one year in the mix and then I was out. To this day, I have never felt like I belong. In light of the start of 2017, I felt like 2016 was a complete blur. Just a distant memory, something that may or may not have actually happened.

Then I went to the coronation of 2017 Miss NPRA Sam Henricks. Sam was the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo Queen last year, the first rodeo in my home state of Oregon. It wasn’t anything like what I had expected it to be. Here are two of my MANY memorable stories from that rodeo!

The Zika Scare of 2016

For starters I’m still convinced, to this day, that I got Zika. Sidenote: Don’t have children for two years. Probably won’t be a problem! ūüėČ
When I got there, Sam was quick to start making jokes about the “dead ponds” or the swampy ponds that surrounded the entire fair grounds. The first night that we were there, there were mosquitos EVERYWHERE. Per usual, I was the one who got attacked by them.
I got bit on the back of my left hand and the forearm of my right arm. By the next day, it had swollen SO huge that I was pretending not to be freaked out while simultaneously trying to figure out how to tell everyone that I was dying. On the second night of the rodeo I ended up going to the EMT’s with the ambulance that is mandatory to be on site during a rodeo to see if something could be done for it.

“How did it go?” My mom asked, she was beginning to be concerned because the swelling wasn’t going down.
“The EMT was totally trying to hit on me,” I said with a mock, exasperated eye roll.
“Yeah?” She said with a skeptical look. “What did he say?”
“He demanded that I come back tomorrow,” I said with a laugh.
My mom just rolled her eyes at me, “Katie, is it that serious?”
“In all honesty, he told me that I needed to go to the emergency room.”

What didn’t help is that I work within the Oregon government and got an alert that said there was a potential case of Zika in southern Oregon. In hindsight, I have always wondered if that “potential case” was actually me.

I never got any pictures of the swelling, I was so absolutely mortified by the fact that my hand looked like you had blown up a plastic glove that I was trying to keep it as hidden as possible. I actually had a legit fear that my hand was going to bust open, it was so filled with swelling, and I didn’t like what my imagination was doing thinking that it was going to just pop wide open.

My hand was so swollen that I actually couldn’t hold my reins. As a rodeo queen, you are announced in the grand entry and you do a “run-in” or a “hot lap” while the announcer advertises your rodeo/title and you wave. You run in counter clockwise because in the cowboy world you hold your reins in your left hand (so that your right hand is free to hold your rope) and you wave with your right hand. My left hand was SO swollen that I actually had to hold my reins with my right hand and wave across my body with my balloon hand because it wouldn’t hold the reins (and my mare has A LOT of power).

The swelling lasted the entire weekend and into most of the next week. I will never know what exactly caused it to overreact so bad but I quickly learned that I had an allergy to whatever was happening when I was bit by southern Oregon mosquitos and always kept a bug spray in my horse trailer to save me from turning into a balloon.

The Attack of the Eyelash

Wild Rogue ProRodeo was the first Oregon rodeo but during that weekend I already felt myself mentally preparing myself for the next weekend; Union, the Rose Parade in Portland and the Sisters Rodeo. It’s a crazy weekend but I was nervous for the Rose Parade because I had told myself I was going to wear these HUGE fake lashes for the Rose Parade so that they would have the dramatic effect that I was going for with my outfit. The only problem was that I had NEVER worn fake eyelashes before! I thought that the Wild Rogue ProRodeo would be as good of a time as ever to get a start on it.

The last night of the rodeo, I put on my fake eyelashes and we had a great time. Sam had to get her leased horse back to the stable that night as it was leaving for a horse show and I felt so bad because her pickup wouldn’t start up. We somehow got the owners of the riding Longhorn specialty act to let their assistant for the summer help us out by taking Sam, her friend, myself, her horse and her trailer to the barn and back in the middle of the night (that’s what time it was by the time we decided to give up on the pickup working).

There was no AC in their truck and it’s already VERY hot in southern Oregon at the beginning of June so, sitting in the front seat, I rolled the window all the way down as we cruised through the southern Oregon back roads.

That’s when I began to feel it.

My right eyelash started to flutter, I could feel it starting to come loose. So huge were they that they were beginning to get lift off… right off my eyes! Before I could do anything about it I had a flash to what was about to happen which was

Samantha Henricks, the 2017 Miss NPRA and 2016 Miss Wild Rogue ProRodeo Queen

that it was going to fly into the back of the truck and hit one of the unsuspecting individuals in the back. I started laughing hysterically.

 

“What’s wrong?” Same asked as I manically laughed.
I just turned and looked at her, my right eye lash waving at her with it’s best rodeo queen run-in impersonation.
She immediately got what was about to happen and she too started laughing really hard.

I looked ahead and BOOM! Off went my eyelash!

“AHHHH,” yelled her friend from the back. “I just got attacked by a moth! Oh my gosh it’s in here somewhere!”

To this day, we have not told him it was my eyelash.
I also wonder if the Longhorn group ever found that eyelash and wondered the story behind it.

 

The Rose Parade – Sisters Road Trip

The next weekend was when I began my friendship with the 2016 Miss NPRA Beth Snider. Beth and I had such an intense weekend, it’s nearly impossible to explain the amount of people it takes to get you ready and get everything taken care of.

I had been at Union for two nights for their AMAZING rodeo where I got to meet some of the most amazing people! That night I made the long haul drive with my mom riding shotgun all the way to a house on the outskirts of Portland where my sister and dad were already with my horse for the Rose Parade.
Beth was having a similar weekend. It was her finals weekend at Central Washington University where two of her finals counted for the majority of her grade in the class. She also couldn’t get the day off of work because she works in the admissions office and it was the day before commencement. She also made the midnight haul with her gelding Pink to get to Portland where we met up and got ready for the big event.

After the parade, I couldn’t help but laugh as Beth kept nodding off during the awards banquet. I was originally supposed to ride with the NPRA Director to Sister’s because my whole family left as soon as the parade was over to get my horses to Sister’s so that they weren’t stuck in traffic since it’s a very close drive to get there in time. Beth was so exhausted however that Jean had me drive her so she could sleep.

WE WERE BOTH SO EXHAUSTED.

Beth, the 2016 Miss NPRA (and future Miss Rodeo Washington) on my sister’s horse Skylla who I rode sidesaddle in the Portland Grand Floral Parade and Holly, my rodeo mare.

Honestly, it was probably the second most dangerous drive I’ve ever made due to the fact that we were so exhausted. I had to stop once and get a¬†Pepsi and some snack foods because I didn’t know how I was going to stay awake. I had about 3 hours of sleep and Beth had one. It wasn’t a good combo.

 

Once Beth woke up from her nap, it’s about a three-hour drive from Portland to Sisters with a horse trailer, I asked if we could switch and just sitting in the passenger seat talking I felt much better. We rolled in about 15 minutes before the start of the rodeo but I was very thankful for my big sister Nicole for getting both my parade horse and my rodeo horse so that Beth and I could just jump on and SPRINT to the arena to make our run in.

Beth was a trooper all year, always being willing to help, always being her intelligent and sweet self! I loved having such amazing sash sisters in the state of Oregon this year!

 

The Future

I am so excited to watch each of these young ladies in the future! Sam will be an AMAZING Miss NPRA with her charisma, jokes, and great humor. Beth, we will see in the next few years, I am sure, as a Miss Rodeo Washington contestant. I cannot wait!

Posted in My Royal Adventures, Rodeo, Rodeo Queens

The Three Seasons of Rodeo Queening

Rodeo Queens are just like every other mainstream sport with three different seasons; preseason, league, and the post season. We may not be athletic but we are all athletes, training hard for our season, for our finals, and for our career.

PRESEASON

It starts off just like every other sport, your years of preparation all come down to the beginning. You’ve trained and practiced. Not just that but you have been selected to be “on the team” and “in the action” meaning that you won your rodeo court title. It’s “Coronation Season,” that mean’s that it’s the time of year that all the titleholders are raising as much money as they possibly can to determine how many rodeos they are going to be able to go to that year.

Coronation’s are kind of like graduation parties; the more you go to the more people will go to yours. It’s like a strange cultural thing; if you drive and pay the ticket for their coronation, then they better drive and pay the ticket for your coronation. See how that works?

Preseason also usually includes a lot of school visits as school is out of session during the summer rodeo season; this provides an amazing opportunity to do rodeo outreach. Not just to schools, but also a prime opportunity to speak at clubs, associations and rotary events getting rodeo, your title, and yourself out there for future opportunities.

LEAGUE

League comes around not fast enough and too quickly all at the same time. One second you’re twiddling your thumbs, itching to be on your horse going fast, and the next you’re being sunburnt by that too big metal necklace hanging around your neck in a hundred degree rodeo arena. League is rodeo season. League includes the craziest week of your life: Cowboy Christmas.

For some crazy reason everyone in rodeo expects every contestant and every rodeo queen to be at 10 different performances in 4 days during Cowboy Christmas. What’s even crazier is that every rodeo director, queen director, and sponsor expects the rodeo queen to also be at an additional 6 luncheons, 4 parades and numerous other places all at one time. It kind of makes us wish we had Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner necklace! (#nerdalert)

League is a lot of fun. It’s where rodeo queens are most comfortable. Yes, we love spreading the news of rodeo, agriculture and the western way of life, but most of us are at home on the back of our horse. Working in the arena, being involved, and getting the opportunity to further our sport is why we do this!

League is only great though because of the preseason. Just like in any sport, preseason provides us an opportunity to find our weaknesses, to work on them, to get help. It allows us the opportunity to network, make new friends, and create a strong network on how to be the best ambassadors that we can be once league comes because that’s where the most press is going to happen. Other sports aren’t necessarily happening during rodeo league because college is out and there isn’t summer college sports. We do compete with other professional sports, but to a sports fan base like America’s, that’s accustomed to paying attention to up to 5 leagues at once, we gain some of that national attention. We must be on our A-Game so that we don’t end up on #SportsCenterNotTop10.

POST SEASON

Like any post season it’s bittersweet. It’s been a great run but now it’s time for the pageant… to hand off your crown. That can be a hard thing to do. The year goes by so fast, just like it does in sports, and you don’t want to hand off the crown, but you do want to take a moment and recuperate from all the rigors of the season.

Unlike most sports you have a full year season, while at the same time you aren’t necessarily competing every single year.

The post season includes your association’s finals, the championships, the best in the business, and hopefully you are there! Regardless of if you have limited exposure in the arena, this is a wonderful opportunity to prepare yourself for future titles and future ambassadorship. Networking is the stat line for your year, make sure that you make your stats count. The number of personal relationships you gain, business relationships formed¬†and career opportunities created are the equivalent of extra points, RBI’s, and your field goal percentage in sports.

OTHER SPORTS LESSONS FOR RODEO QUEENS

What makes a phenomenal athlete? Not his or hers athleticism, it comes down to their brain. Eighty percent of sports are mental and this is true in rodeo queening. Yes, there is a lot of pressure put on one’s¬†image but that is unnecessary, especially in rodeo queening, because in today’s day and age of social media, your ability to showcase your unique ability gives you a whole new platform.

BE SMARTER. What does this mean? It means that you prepare, you are constantly learning, and you are¬†always humble. Play the game smarter and then you won’t have to work as hard; be an athlete not athletic.

Another thing that separates the rookies from the veterans?¬†EXPERIENCE. Never get complacent being just yourself. Take it to the next level. When extreme or absurd situations happen rookies tend to choke, to panic, and to lose control of their emotions. On the other hand are the veterans, who have control of their emotions (think of the John Wooden Pyramid of Success) and whose flexibility in these impromptu and strange situations are beyond impressive. Think of the confidence and self-assuredness they always carry with them. They may not always know what is happening but they are secure enough within themselves to tell you that they don’t know the answer or what to do but you better bet that they have networked enough to have someone they can call and ask.

There are some life lessons that we learn through sports that we can apply to a multitude of levels in our lives, especially with our role as rodeo ambassadors. We may not be athletic but we are all athletes, training hard for our season, for our finals, and for our career.

Katie Schrock is the 2016 Miss Rodeo Oregon and former Oregon State Women’s basketball player. Her mission is to spread the message of “Unmoldable” meaning to be the best YOU that YOU can be. Unmoldable is a word about finding and defining yourself as a unique individual, breaking the current mold or stereotype, and being comfortable in your own skin.¬†

Posted in My Royal Adventures, Relationships, Rodeo, Rodeo Queens

Gracious, Class, Investment & Work: The Life of a Rodeo Queen featuring Barb Carr

When it comes to being a rodeo queen mom no one has done more or worked more years than Barb Carr, the current Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant Inc. president and mother of 2011 Miss Rodeo Oregon and 2012 Miss Rodeo America Mackenzie Carr Ivie. Check out her thoughts about what it’s like to be the “Ultimate Rodeo Queen Mom!”
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m proud to be able to share my thoughts on being a Mom of a rodeo representative. Over the years I’ve gained a great deal of perspective on the ins and outs of rodeo representation from many different angles; from being a title holder, a pageant judge, a clinician, a pageant contestant chaperone, and of course a Mom of a rodeo representative. By far, being a Mom has brought me the greatest moments and rewards.
As a Mom it is our responsibility to help guide our daughters along the path while at the same time letting them experience their independence. This at times can be challenging for us and a difficult balance to maintain. For me personally, there are a few areas that I feel very strongly about and so I chose to include those in my article.
Let Them Make Mistakes. Moms are great for helping with pageant preparation but you can‚Äôt do it for¬†them. Encouraging your daughter to be responsible for her own preparation will increase her ability to¬†stand on her own two feet and be able to think, adjust, and react to issues and questions that come¬†before her. She will make mistakes but that‚Äôs how we all learn. You have to allow her to make mistakes¬†and when she does be supportive and encouraging. My daughter Mackenzie Carr Ivie and I had a saying¬†that we used often while she was competing. ‚ÄúFlush It!‚ÄĚ This comment was used when something didn‚Äôt¬†go well during her pageants. The bobble or mistake is flushed; it‚Äôs gone and over with and it‚Äôs time to¬†focus on the next aspect of pageant. Our daughters should never be discouraged for trying and not¬†being successful. Disappointed yes, but never discouraged. Every time they try something and aren‚Äôt¬†successful, knowledge and experience have been gained and will go a long way in helping to be better¬†prepared the next time.
Always Accept Defeat with Class and Grace. I‚Äôve sadly seen in all levels of pageants, a contestant (and¬†Moms too) that doesn‚Äôt win bashing the organization she just tried to represent. Character is shown¬†when a contestant is respectful of an organization and the judges‚Äô opinions, even if they may not agree.¬†Never should there be finger pointing and faulting others. As a judge, I‚Äôve had great on-on-one¬†conversations with young ladies following a pageant. When an unsuccessful contestant contacts the¬†pageant director to ask to talk with judges about ways she can improve and seek some advice, she is¬†showing maturity, character, and the qualities of someone with class. Taking this road instead of taking¬†the ‚Äúsour grapes‚ÄĚ approach is by far the better choice. Encourage your daughter to do this and to be¬†open to constructive criticism. Be sure to give it at least a week or so following the pageant to allow¬†emotions to relax; it will make for a better conversation!
Be Gracious ALWAYS! Every single time someone does something for your daughter, whether it’s a donation of money, an auction item, or simply a donation of someone’s time in their support, a thank you note needs to be sent. And I don’t mean a casual thank you in person, or a text message. In this case the old fashioned way is best. Encourage your daughter to take the time to sit down and write a quick note of thanks and appreciation. It’s important, it’s kind, and it will go a long way when asking for future sponsorships from the same person.
Investment. Yes, it will cost you money. Yes, putting together a pageant wardrobe and traveling from rodeo to rodeo can get expensive. When I hear these comments this is always my response. I choose to look at it as an investment in my daughter’s future. The skills learned from the experience of competing in rodeo pageants or holding a title will follow her all of her life. She will be better prepared for job interviews; she will be able to place something on her resume that will set her apart from every other applicant; she will learn how to talk to people; she will learn the importance of holding herself high with
confidence, class, and grace; and she will know the importance of working hard. She WILL become a better individual. These values are priceless and I‚Äôm proud to have given my daughter the ability to gain them. Is it worth every tank of diesel and rhinestone I ever purchased ‚Äď ABSOLUTELY!
It‚Äôs a Job. Wearing a crown is an honor, but most importantly it‚Äôs a job. It is not about the attention or¬†the perks your daughter will get, it is about the job she needs to do for whoever she is representing.¬†Respect will never be given to your daughter by the rodeo industry, other title holders, or the¬†contestants at the rodeo just because she has a crown on her hat. She must earn it and honestly it¬†might take half of the year she reigns. If it‚Äôs 100 degrees out and she is in a leather dress or wearing¬†chaps she keeps a smile on her face. If it‚Äôs late and you are exhausted and ready to go because you have¬†to be at work in the morning, it doesn‚Äôt matter. Your daughter should be asking ‚ÄúWhat else can I do?‚ÄĚ
Be Real and True. The compliment I received the most often throughout Mackenzie‚Äôs rodeo¬†representative career was that ‚ÄúShe was down to earth. What you see is what you get.‚ÄĚ From pageant¬†competition to media interviews to working in the dirt behind the chutes, she was the same person, she¬†was herself. Often times we see girls that try to be someone else during a pageant. Encourage your¬†daughters to be themselves. It is their best feature and is what will set her apart from everyone else.¬†Rodeo pageants are essentially job interviews and your daughter needs to show who she really is from¬†the get go.
I sincerely hope that some of what I have shared with you helps as you guide and advise your daughter. Becoming a rodeo representative is your daughter’s achievement but I’m not going to lie; being the Mom of a daughter that held five titles was awesome and a huge sense of pride for me. Watching Mackenzie achieve phenomenal personal growth from her first local title to that of becoming Miss Rodeo America was unbelievable. As her Mom I will hold that pride in my heart until the day I die. There is simply no greater reward as a parent than that of watching your children become outstanding individuals with character, integrity, and compassion.
Congratulations to all the Moms who have encouraged your daughters to embark on this journey! Happy Mother’s Day to each of you!
Posted in My Royal Adventures, Relationships, Rodeo, Rodeo Queens

Rodeo Queens & Their Mom’s: The Bond featuring Vixen Wrecks

Our next feature is Vixen Wrecks, the mother of last year’s Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon. She discusses how the year bonding with her daughter, traveling throughout Oregon is one she wouldn’t trade for anything. She speaks of the lessons she learned and the message of loving yourself enough to love others speak volumes to those mom and daughter duos out there conquering the rodeo road!

As many of you know my daughter was the 2015 Junior Miss R0deo Oregon. Being a mom to an outspoken, driven young lady is nothing new for me as she was four when she started her journey with her first title. I have hung on ever since and will continue to do so as she has the rodeo title time line for her life and I guess that makes for mine too!

Spending the year with my daughter traveling over 30,000 miles to coronations, rodeos, speaking events, and more was a time in our lives we will never get back and we bonded more than words could ever explain. But the one thing that bonded and changed both our lives more than anything was a fateful July rodeo.

We had been on the road for 17 days straight from June to July through the Cowboy Christmas weekend of the fourth and spent many nights in the horse trailer. We had family come visit us while at Tillamook, a Northwest Professional Rodeo Association rodeo where we¬†got to spend some time at the beach. Then we had a surprise visit from my husband for our anniversary while we were at the Molalla rodeo. We had come home to wash clothes and repack and let her ol’mare Music rest some, for just a few days. We then loaded up and headed to The Dalles for their last rodeo, we had gotten to LaGrande (1.5 hours from home) and realized we forgot her sashes. We had my mom save the day by going to our house and then meeting us in the middle so we didn‚Äôt have to drive all the way back. Making it to The Dalles late, we decided to settle her horse in and go to the movies. We went and saw ‚ÄúInside Out” and while we were in that movie I got a text that changed my life. ¬†

My best friend (a mother of two boys the same age as my kids) had been in a horse accident and was being life flighted out of our home town to the Tri-Cities. The next morning I found out she was not going to make it and if I wanted to say ‚Äúgood bye‚ÄĚ I needed to get there. I woke Dez up and left horse and trailer in The Dalles at a friend‚Äôs place where we were staying. In that moment, knowing I was losing my best friend, and her boys were losing their mother, and her husband was losing his best friend and the¬†love of his life ~ I looked into the eyes of my little girl and realized that life would never be the same.¬†

I embrace those moments that you will never get and never miss that chance to hug the one you love or say you love someone or say you are sorry. I talked to my best friend that day we left 3 times and we laughed about me forgetting stuff and how when I got back she wanted to have dinner with me and we made a date! I never got that dinner but when I sit down at night with my loved ones, I know that each dinner with them is special not because it is Christmas or a birthday, but because they are alive and in my life.

They are a blessing that I thank God for each and every day. So my gift in life was my two kids and my lesson is that you can’t take back things you say or do, but you can ask for forgiveness and you can learn and you can be the person that God wants us to be by being true and loving others, forgiving them when you need to and loving yourself enough to love others.

Posted in My Royal Adventures, Relationships, Rodeo, Rodeo Queens

The Perks of a Rodeo Queen Mom featuring Susan Sheely

Our next Mother’s Day blog post comes from the first mother to ever have two young women in the Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant program: Susan Sheely.

Susan is the mother of Hannah and Katie Sheely who were the 2013 Teen Miss Rodeo Oregon and 2013 Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon at the same time!

 

Aww the perks of a Rodeo Queen Mom‚Ķ..I have the privilege of being the mother of the first sisters to hold the titles of Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon and Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon in the same year. I have to say 2013 was a crazy whirlwind at times, but probably one of the most memorable years of my life! Except , of course, 1997 when my first daughter Hannah was born and 2000 when my second daughter, Katie, came into my life! Hannah and Katie have always made me very proud to be their mother, but the sense of pride in watching them represent Oregon and the sport of rodeo was amazing. They gave me experiences I would have never experienced otherwise. For instance, I used more hairspray, curlers, and make-up in one summer than I had in my entire life. Anyone who knows me knows that is true. I had never spent more than 10 minutes on a hairstyle for the day or even a special event for that matter. That definitely changed when I became a Rodeo Queen Mom! I learned to press jeans and buckle chaps in record time; as well as, make flower packs, fix flower packs, and remake flower packs. ¬†Being a rodeo queen Mom, you have to be a jack of all trades. It seems the biggest task I had difficulty with and always ended up doing late at night or at the wee hours of the morning after driving for hours struggling to stay awake was putting rollers in the girls‚Äô hair. For instance one evening at the Tillamook Rodeo around 11:00, I was just finishing rolling up the girls‚Äô hair and realized I hadn‚Äôt fed the horses for the night yet, Bug was very unhappy with me (Hannah‚Äôs horse). It‚Äôs also very challenging to wake up a 13 year old at 2:00 am and keep her head up to get rollers in her hair after struggling to keep myself awake on the 3.5 hour drive to Grande Ronde in the middle of the night. All worth it to watch them fly around the arena for a grand entry, sign an autograph sheet for some adoring little girl, or stand up giving a talk about rodeo in a school. I could talk about so many memorable moments that will forever be etched into my mind. I have to say I love being a Mom, and especially love being a Rodeo Queen Mom! As Scott Allen, Pro Rodeo Announcer says‚Ķ. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs good to be Queen‚ÄĚ, but I say it‚Äôs even better to be their Mom!

 

Posted in My Royal Adventures, Relationships, Rodeo Queens

Through a Mother’s Lens featuring Kristi Schrock

As part two of our feature of rodeo queen mom’s for Mother’s Day weekend in honor of rodeo queen’s we have guest blogger Kristi Schrock… who is my MOMMY!

I love my mom very much! At times we are VERY (and scarily) similar while at others I feel like we don’t connect at all. This is a part of being family. If you know my mom then you know that she absolutely refuses to have her photo taken (sounds familiar, I was very similar to that before I started this queuing thing) but she does an amazing job at the other end of the camera.

My mom is by no means a professional although I firmly believe she could be with just a little bit of effort, she is already so close.

She is also the perfect person to take to events because she gets lasting memories to keep for forever… or for the most perfect Instagram picture later. Every rodeo queen from about 2010 on knows which mom to look for during all group pictures and who to look for to arrange us in the pictures at coronations. She is literally the lead Mamarazzi!

Kristi Schrock is the mother of the first ever sister’s to hold the title of Miss Rodeo Oregon; the 2013 Miss Rodeo Oregon Nicole Schrock and the 2016 Miss Rodeo Oregon Katie Schrock. She talks about how she loves her camera as her form of artwork to showcase what the life of a rodeo queen mom is like… through the lens of her Canon camera.

¬† ¬†Many friends have jokingly referred to me as the “Queen Mom”.¬† I am not sure what a “Queen Mom” is.¬† ¬†I am just a mom!
I have two amazing, intelligent, beautiful and unique daughters.¬† They hold the distinct honor of being the first sisters to each hold the title of Miss Rodeo Oregon.¬† Nicole was Miss Rodeo Oregon 2013 and Katie wears the title this year.¬† Perhaps this is where the “Queen Mom” title comes from.
I am not a real open type person.  Even with those closest to me.   I have taken to use the lens of my camera to share my feelings with those around me.  Through my viewfinder, I am able to showcase how beautiful my girls are.  There is their obvious beauty, but with my camera I can freeze the second in time when they connect with a young child and create a lasting memory.  A well timed photo can reflect the beauty of an elderly person, who can no longer saddle up on their favorite horse, relive those moments in a brief meeting with one of my daughters.
My camera allows me to record how unique each of my daughters are, and this amazing journey we call life.  I am able to capture those moments in time that will show generations to come how special my daughters, and the people in their lives, are.
There is a lot to being a “Queen Mom”, but it’s most important to just be a mom.¬† Like many rodeo Queen mothers, I have stayed up all night sewing a new outfit for a special event, and then driven across the state the next day.¬† Cooking for a week to have meals all prepared for the next rodeo weekend, with enough extra to feed any friends that may stop by.
It is my greatest hope that through my lens, I am able to capture the images that show my deep love and admiration for those closest to me, and that those photos encourage us to grow and learn.¬† It’s not about being best; it’s about being your best!

~ Kristi Schrock; 2013 & 2016 Miss Rodeo Oregon Queen Mom ~

I know I am biased but my mom is pretty special. She makes the best food, the best clothes, and always goes the extra mile! Not just that but my “Queen Mom” is also the mom of many other rodeo queens out there. The number of Benton County Queens she has been a director for, the number of young girls she has guided through pageants, the number of other rodeo queen mom’s she has lend a helping hand too when they felt nervous or overwhelmed. Thanks mom for all that you do for not just me but for all the rodeo queens out there, I love you!

~Katie Schrock~

Posted in Rodeo, Rodeo Queens

What is a ‘Rodeo Queen Mom’? feat. Sylvia Ladd Sanford

In honor of the Mom’s who have made us the rodeo ambassadors that we are today, we are highlighting some Miss Rodeo Oregon mom’s and Miss Rodeo Oregon’s who are now mom’s to hear from their words what it’s like to be a state title holding rodeo queen mom in Oregon!

Isn’t it funny how you can be so wrapped up in your life and daily activities that you forget the little things that make you who you are today?  The little things that were always present when I was growing up, somehow have transformed into my home.  The idea that we become our parents has been a public discussion and disputed by many.  However, I have embraced that concept a long time ago, but decided to put a spin on it to suit my style of raising my girls and being a strong role model.   

I was raised with a talented hard working woman who raised polled Hereford cattle, drove grain truck, cooked amazing meals and could sew like a professional.  She was raised on a farm and served her country in World War II as an Army nurse.   She always dressed up and wore her Tony Lama Boots and red lipstick to town.  She wasn’t your average farm wife, she was class rolled up into grit.  She was always first up and last to bed.  And she loved to laugh!  She was a 4H leader, and on so many boards that I couldn’t keep up which meeting she was attending just knew she was helping keep our local fair, library and school going.   Knowing how to speak, promote and look the part was the total package of my mom.  

I started representing our local fair and rodeo at the age of thirteen carrying flags for the court.  I worked my way up to princess and queen and loved every minute of it! I proceeded to represent my college as their club queen, at Oregon State University and competed at Nationals in Bozeman, Mt.  It opened so many doors for me that I look back in awe at the years of representing the best sport ever!  I continued my quest and in 1987 tried out for Miss Rodeo Oregon winning 1st Runner up and Miss Congeniality.  I wasn’t going to try out again.  I was tired. But a mentor of mine, a past Miss Rodeo Oregon, Italy June Spratt, talked me into trying out again.  In 1988 I was crowned Miss Rodeo Oregon in June and headed out to my first appearance at the Reno Rodeo.  Back then, we didn’t get a year to prepare to compete for Miss Rodeo America in November.  We hit the ground running literally.  To save money and stand out in a crowd my mom made most all my clothes.  We designed them and she tailored them and when she was done; it was like walking on the runway and I felt gorgeous!

One of the things I was raised with was a sewing machine always was sitting out on a table, material, drawings, patterns, scattered everywhere.  It was just there.  I never thought anything about it. Until now.  My mom was always putting finishing touches on an outfit, or making just one more shirt at midnight.  I always said I doubt I let my kids do queening.  I really didn’t think I would be able to afford it for one, and I didn’t sew like she did.  Oh how I was wrong!

I have two daughters, four years apart.  When Lilly was a sophomore she was approached by a friend and rodeo mom who asked if she would try out for their High School Rodeo Association queen.  I was sure she would say no.  But after we thought about it, we said we would try it.  My girls had started 4H horse, riding at our local gaming club Wranglers and had show horses.  Not rodeo horses.   I bought used queen clothes, made a couple shirts and we went for it.  She did it!  With one month to prepare for the National Queen Contest in Wyoming we had to raise money for the trip, clothes for a twelve day contest and expenses.  It was an education but I dug deep into what I had learned from being Miss Rodeo Oregon and what my Mother had taught me.  With a few prayers and the support of my husband, Rick; we did it.  And it was a great year for Lilly. So much that she tried out again the following year, and won the title again.  This time we were prepared and knew so much more that it was a fantastic year with her winning Miss Congeniality at nationals.  We also had purchased a new horse that did all the rodeo events and the youngest daughter got the rodeo bug.  

When Ivy became a freshman she tried out for the same title her sister held and won Miss Oregon High School Rodeo 2015-2016.  She of course had a different style than her sister so I seem to sew every day.  But, she placed in the top 25 out of 45 girls at Nationals, winning 6th in Impromptu, Appearance, and Personality.   Lessons learned through watching her sister, and other queens compete in these pageants and competing in rodeo. Ivy will be trying out again in June for the same title.  And yes the sewing machine is out year round. 

¬†One thing I have always loved about being a past MRO is the family. ¬†Once you have held the title, you are a part of family. ¬†You have so many networking possibilities that if you choose to keep them active they are always willing to help you out. ¬†¬†I have found that this ever changing world spins around us. ¬†But our love for agriculture, the western way of life and rodeo stands firm. ¬†We have to keep it alive through representing it in everything we do! ¬†You have friends in every corner of the United States that share that love too. ¬†We work together in one form or another. I have reconnected with so many past Miss Rodeo‚Äôs and it is a blessing in my life. ¬†Things have changed and evolved, don‚Äôt¬†get me wrong. ¬†But some things stay the same. ¬†The goals, the job, the ideals remain. ¬†But the styles, rules, events, and sponsors have changed a little. ¬†I am blessed, that I had such a great Rodeo mom who gave all she had to my years as a rodeo representative. ¬†Even if I didn‚Äôt think I was learning anything from her skills, I was; somehow I was. ¬†And now for the past four years, I have practiced my Rodeo Mom skills in writing speeches, articles, selling and promotion. ¬†¬†I lost my mom in 2008, but as my sister tells me; ‚ÄúGrandma Raine is so proud of you and her granddaughters.‚ÄĚ ¬†¬†I hope someday that these skills and love of rodeo continue on with the next generation.

 

Sylvia Ladd Sandford

Miss Rodeo Oregon 1988

Thank you Sylvia! 

Posted in Beauty, My Royal Adventures, Rodeo Queens

Fashion Blog Friday: The Coronation Dress

I was already at the point of, “Alright, this isn’t going to happen,” when I got the message back from my dress maker. I had met with her back in the beginning of March and after a few weeks texting pictures back and forth we had solidified prices and fabric for what was going to be my amazing formal dress.

My amazing dress maker had started the conversation with, “What kind of leather do you want?”

I gave her a sheepish look and said, “None…” Dragging the end of the word out, anxious to see how she would take that statement.

She gave me a quizzical look and then asked, “So what are we doing?”

I eagerly jumped headfirst into describing “the perfect for Katie Schrock” gown to her. My older sister had already done up a fashion sketch so getting the final idea approved by both my National Director and modified by the designer were the last few steps.

“I don’t want something of leather,” I adamantly told her, quickly followed by, “I want it to be the kind of dress that you would wear on the red carpets. Like, if I got asked to announce an award at the CMA Awards, this is the kind of dress that I would wear! I want it to be at a¬†‘Break-the-internet-like-Taylor-Swifts-sparkly-dress-at-the-Victoria’s-Secret-fashion-show’ status. CMA red carpet fashion.”

I probably threw that word in about every other sentence or every lull in the conversation while my dress designer was sketching. I even would text her phrases like that like, “Remember! CMA Red carpet fashion!”

About two weeks from my coronation I hadn’t gotten the slip that I was supposed to have fitted for the final pattern of the dress nor had I been summoned for a final fitting. Hmmm…..

I started sending her texts but had no replies. I realized that I probably wouldn’t have the dress by the time my coronation rolled around and began making other plans.

A few days before the coronation I got a message from the dress designer, absolutely stressed and feeling horrible! She is very trustworthy, she made all of my sisters gowns as well as many other Miss Rodeo Oregon gowns and wedding dresses, so I had absolute faith that there had been a miscommunication. I was most definitely right about that!

With how absolutely adamant I was about CMA Red Carpet fashion it didn’t really come as a surprise when she first apologized for leaving her phone behind when her husband and her went to work on their rental house in Nevada but that she had thought the dress was FOR the CMA Awards! It totally made sense, that’s literally what I kept saying!

Then it was on to the next step: Find something to wear!

I have a REALLY hard time being the center of attention, like a REALLY HARD TIME. My life coach Ashley, who was also my emcee for the event, told me that I needed to make sure that I wore something that was just so stunning that I wouldn’t be able to stop smiling, that I would feel ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS in and then everything would be okay.

How do you find something like that last minute? You don’t. I picked a simple outfit for my concert coronation to wear and was shocked when I got a text from my sister that said, “Bring your favorite long sleeve, zip up lace crop top to your coronation. Ashley and I may have figured out something for you to wear.”

I don’t know about you but HOW IN THE WORLD do you make a FORMAL RODEO QUEEN CORONATION outfit out of a lace crop top?!

I didn’t see the dress that I wore for coronation until I was in the room changing from outfit #1 to my coronation dress.

The dress that I ended up wearing was Ashley Minaise’s Miss Oregon formal wear dress, a black strapless, sequined, GORGEOUS gown! I wore my lace crop top underneath to give it the formal full length that is required as a rodeo queen and I added on some beautiful earrings given to my sister Nicole by the 2012 Miss Rodeo Oregon Shelby Ross as well as my sequined Bodacious Boots and I was good to go.¬†

I got so many compliments on the dress! It absolutely blows my mind! To think that I literally threw it together last second (and the fact that I actually fit into it because Ashley was TINY when she was Miss Oregon-USA) and it looked that amazing! I felt so AMAZING in that outfit!

I cannot wait to share my other dress with all of you as well… and if anyone has a ticket for the CMA Awards or any other Country Music Award Show, I most definitely have two dresses that I could wear to it now!