Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hello, 2008 and the NEW Miss Rodeo Iowa, Aleigh Beahm

L to R: Me, Aleigh Beahm (MRI'O8), Rachel Burton (MTRI 'O8), Suzette Walker (MTRI 'O7) Posing at Aleigh's Coronation Celebration.

As I rung in the new year, I sadly said goodbye to my title as Miss Rodeo Iowa 2007. Though I didn’t think I would be, I was sad as I watched the clock turn to 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2008 because it was true . . . I am officially a “has-been.” However, because of the wonderful experiences and priceless opportunities I was granted, I would like to think of myself as a “once was” or “always will be” in my mind!

On January 6, Dad and I drove to Dunlap for Aleigh’s Coronation Celebration. It was a great night with many other queens in attendance (which was good so I was able to spread the word that ALL of my clothes are for sale)! We had a great meal of COWBOY BEANS (kindly donated by Rowley, Deb, and Rachel Burton because they know how much I love them) and other delicious food. After eating, the ceremony began. Bobbie kindly recognized me in front of the group for my achievements at Miss Rodeo America and presented me with an extra $500 toward my standing $1500 Miss Rodeo Iowa Scholarship because I had money left over after the year (yeah!), and the board thought I did a good job of spending my money wisely. I was very honored and excited because that means I will have a total of $4,000 in scholarships to apply toward this next semester’s tuition.
Queens galore! L to R: Rachel Burton (MTRI '08), Holly Soucie (Miss Sidney '07), Amy Huddlemeyer (Miss URA '08), leigh Beahm (MRI '08), me, Katie Stark (Miss Lenox'07), Suzy Fife (Miss Teen Lenox '07), Lindsay Ahrenholtz (Miss AKSARBEN '07), Suzette Walker (MTRI '07), Charity Houk (Iowa H.S. queen '07), Kaitlin Wilkinson (Woodbin Saddle Club Queen '07), Carly Hagey (MRIL '08)

After the recognition was over, it was time for me to hand over the crown. Clutching Aleigh’s hand, I wished her the best of luck and all of the fun I had in the past year. Pitching in a little advice, I told her to live her year to the fullest because it flies by, and we will not be cute forever. On a serious note, I reminded her that through all of the fame and recognition she will receive in the next year to be sure to remain grounded and not let anyone change the wonderful person she is because that is the reason she achieved the title and all of her guests showed up to support her that night.

With shaky hands, I took the crown slowly off of my head and placed it on hers. A big bear hug sealed the deal that she is now Miss Rodeo Iowa 2008.The rest of the night was very fun and enjoyable as the other queens and I helped carry around items for Aleigh’s live fundraiser auction, and we laughed at the Mr. Rodeo Iowa contestants. Mom and Blaine provided the sound and music—Mom does a great job with song selection and background music! I had a great time dancing and talking with many people I hadn’t seen in a while, and it was wonderful to have Dad all to myself! He tricked me into thinking I didn’t get two mugs I was bidding on in the silent auction, but surprised me with them later in the night. It feels weird not being Miss Rodeo Iowa anymore, but I am excited about my “new” life as a future veterinarian!

My favorite picture of the year-- Carrying Old Glory aboard the beautiful grey, Pepper Ann at the Exira, IA rodeo.

My year as Miss Rodeo Iowa will always be one I look back on and remember while smiling. Though my first semester veterinary school grades were not what I am used to or like to see, I would not have traded my experience as Miss Rodeo Iowa or my time at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant for a 4.0. However, I still get to be a part of the Miss Rodeo Iowa Program by co-hosting this year’s clinic with MRI’04 Megan Wiemold on February 16-17 in Ames. She is a great gal, and our minds work well together. It should be a fun time warping young queens’ minds!

This next summer will feel somewhat uneventful because of the decreased number of rodeos and events I will be attending, but I am excited because the time will be filled with working cattle, riding, being outside and getting a tan, spending time with family and friends, and doing all I can to make myself an experienced, tough, and personable veterinarian! I feel truly blessed--thank you, once again, to everyone involved with making this the best year of my life!

Contact Trey Eason of Adel, Iowa at "Eason Portrait Gallery" for all your photography needs--he is very talented and does a WONDERFUL job! Thank you, Trey!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Blinked . . . and Now it's Over

Twenty seven state titleholders--what a tough job for the judges!

What an incredible experience!

I cannot believe my week at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant is here and gone . . . I had the time of my life! I knew it was going to be a great week when we moved into our rooms and were greeted by shiny, new acoustic guitars! Santa came early and I was so excited; the only thing that would have made it perfect is if I only knew how to play it. Maybe as an afterthought Santa will bring me a "teach yourself to play the guitar" DVD in my stocking.
Cheese! L to R: Ashlee Stallings (NM), Kadee Coffman (CA), Kelsea Walker (IL), and I heading to the Cowboy Christmas Auction.

After the guitar, things only got better. The group of girls was wonderful; I got to know 26 great friends and reminisced with those who I knew coming into the pageant. The horsemanship portion of the pageant was one of my highlights because I drew a really nice little bay gelding who sat down and slid about 10 feet for me to complete my first pattern! I think I was more impressed than the cheering crowd because I have never sat something that felt so wonderful before; it was like the horse just folded under me. Amazing!

Doing a little tiger wrestling and recapping of how it looked as I "started my year off with a BANG" into an out-gate post . . .

I had a great time learning the dances for the fashion show and was very proud to model my beautiful Ashley Kelber leather dress--she definitely out-did herself! Though the organized dancing wasn't as bad as I thought, I was rewarded by the opportunity to shake a leg and cut a rug at the "Get Acquainted" Party. There was a great one-man-band who provided some great tunes to polka, swing, two-step, and waltz to, so I was in seventh heaven! Not to mention it was on the same day as horsemanship, so it was definitely a great day because any day the begins on a horse and ends on a dance floor is bound to bring a smile to my face!
Ann, Ty, and Butch Murray--I was honored to meet all of them! What a wonderful family!

One of the highlights was getting to meet the "King of Cowboys" Ty Murray! His mom was one of our judges, so it was a great suprise, and I now have a prized autographed picture to frame and hang! I began my auctioneering career on the "Cowboy Christmas" stage as I introduced the items I had brought to raise money for the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Fund. I was glad the proper colonel took the microphone back because I definitely not great, but I had fun. That same morning I got to see Jerry Dietz and the rest of his family! They came out to support me and broadcast live--it was great to see such shiny, southwest Iowa faces!
Jerry Dietz of KCSI Radio in Red Oak, IA interviewing me moments after coronation in Las Vegas.

As the week went on, it was easy to relax and be myself. Though I was not as well-prepared as some of the other girls, I had a great time and turned out alright. You can breathe easy now, I came home with two scholarships, so that will cheapen your future vet bills by a small percentage! I was very honored to end up placing where I did, but would have liked to place Iowa higher since we live in the best state of the fifty united!
Friends! L to R: Chelsea Stramma (WI), Brittany Sing (AR), me, and Jesse Budd (WA) looking photogenic at check-in!

Thank you for the endless support this year. I have been humbled by everyone's kindness and hospitality. I am sad that I am now an official "has been" and cannot believe that a year has passed. It was fun to see so many wonderful friends, family, and supporters out in Las Vegas. It made me smile and think that if I did nothing else right this year, I at least came out with many new, genuine, and lasting friendships. Some of my best memories were made this year, and I am so thankful and fortunate for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The reality check of having to come back and take finals right away was not as fun as I hoped, but as I finished the last test, I had a wave of satisfaction come over me . . . I did it.

"Oh, you better not pout, you better not cry, you better watch out I'm telling you why . . . Santa Claus is coming to town . . . "

Thank you, I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! I really appreciate all of the thoughts, gifts, and emails I received during the week of the pageant--it was very comforting and reassuring. If you would like to see more pictures of the pageant, visit Make sure you are extra good these last few days before Christmas because Santa is watching!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Congratulations Amanda - Top 10 and More!

Amanda was named a top-ten finalist at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant on Saturday. She also earned the Central Region Scholarship, being the highest scoring individual in her region who was not in the top-five. In addtion to these awards she was honored with the Raeana Wadhams Spirit Award. This award is given to a special young woman who has particular focus, drive and goals along with a positive attitude throughout the pageant.

Amanda is now home and taking her finals as she ends her first semester as a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State. Once she's finished with her finals, and things settle down a bit, she will be doing a summary of her Miss Rodeo America experiences here on her blog. Thank you to everyone who sent her well-wishes throughout the pageant through the pageant email. Your messages helped keep up her spirits during a grueling week of competition.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Way to go Amanda!

Today it was announced that Amanda had won second place in the Scrapbook competition! The cover was created by Cary and Laura Veach of Veach's Leather Goods in Ankeny. She received a rosette ribbon and a cash award for her efforts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Best of luck Amanda!

Your Board of Directors, committee and friends all wish you the best of luck this coming week at the Miss Rodeo America 2009 Pageant! You have lived a dream year and managed to pack a lot of living into just 365 days. We are all very proud of your accomplishments, not only as Miss Rodeo Iowa but also as a student of veterinary medicine.

If you would like to send well wishes to Amanda while she is at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, please remember the following:

Place "Iowa" in the subject line (makes it easier for the committee to file)
All messages are read prior to giving to the contestants, so keep it appropriate.
Amanda will not have access to email while competing.
Messages may not be printed after noon Friday, December 7.

The email address to use is The Miss Rodeo America blog can be found at Updates on pageant activities and special interest stories will be posted daily.