You have to be a true cowgirl to do this job.
I’m not saying you have to be able to win the rodeo next weekend, have a father that you followed on the rodeo trail for 20 years, or have lived on a ranch all your life.
True cowgirls, in my mind at least, only require one quality: passion for this sport.
My sport is rodeo, and because it’s my sport I live and breathe it every day. It’s not a chore for me to study rodeo, it’s my obsession. I read articles about it online and in print, watch videos covering it, and listen to it on the radio.
I get excited when one of my Canadian competitors gets on a hot streak, I wish them best of luck with a healing injury, and I know it’s corny, but I tear up every time I see one of them celebrate a big win.
For example, did you know that Zeke Thurston won the Houston rodeo and wasn’t even supposed to be entered? When another competitor was injured, Zeke rolled up into the rodeo but by then the first round had already come and gone. So with one round less than any other competitor and as one of the least experienced bronc riders there, Zeke battled his way to the top!
Did you also know that when steer wrestler Derek Frank hurt his knee at the Ponoka Stampede last year I helped him write his letter to the benevolent fund to request injury compensation?
And did you know I fought the urge to cry like a baby when I interviewed team ropers Kolton Schmidt and Tyrel Flewelling after winning the Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2013?
I would never think that rodeo queens should be required to compete in rodeo events themselves and I don’t think they should have to grow up in rodeo, but I do think they have to be true cowgirls in the way that they have a passion for the sport of rodeo.
By doing that, only then can you be the best representative for this sport, my sport, rodeo.