Monday, December 18, 2006

Bulls, Broncs, and Barrels!

What a weekend! John Steenhoek and the Heartland Rodeo Company put on a great show this weekend at the Iowa State Fairgrounds with arm-jerking broncs, high kicking bulls, and blistering fast barrel racers. Bethany Jo Thompson, Miss Rodeo Aksarben, and I got to help run flags in the opening program. I got goosebumps when they announced my name as I carried Old Glory into the arena for the Star Spangled Banner; I was honored to be carrying the flag and Bugsy, John's big sorrel I was riding, was so fun to ride because he was long-legged, smooth, and could really move when he was encouraged to!

I was very fortunate to be a part of the production this weekend not only because I got to meet many great people associated with the IRCA and BOA circuits, but I got to sit in a sleigh with Santa and tell him how good I had been this year and that I would LOVE for him to bring me a truck to use for the year! (He said he would do the best he could, but not to get my hopes up too much because the elves were backed up making all of the other presents for this year.) I also got to spend the day with John Steenhoek at the Iowa Association of Fair Boards Convention and met many people from this great state.

This weekend got me excited for my upcoming year; I will have so much fun traveling, helping out at rodeos, and meeting people! As for now, I have a short break from classes and will be working out the details for my coronation celebration on January 6, 2007. It will be a great time with delicious food, great auction items, a 10-year-old singer who has a set of lungs that could set Gretchen Wilson back in her chair, and a dance afterward! There will be many queens present, so it is a night you do not want to miss! You can RSVP to me at or (712) 542-0857 or 1888 Uker Lane, Clarinda, IA 51632. In order to get a count for the number of meals to prepare, we ask that you contact us by December 20, 2006 if you would like to eat, otherwise, just arrive at Wibholm Hall on the fairgrounds in Clarinda, Iowa at 5:30 for social hour, 6:30 for auction time, and about 7:30 for the music! Hope to see you there!

Take care and Best Regards,


Monday, December 4, 2006

Back to the Real World

With a frosty "welcome home" of single digits and gusty winds, Paula, Bobbie, and I returned to Iowa on Sunday afternoon. Congratulations to Erika for placing in the top 10 at the Miss Rodeo America pageant and for winning the Central Region Scholarship. She did a great job the entire week at the pageant and I had fun watching her. I have big shoes to fill this next year, however, I am looking forward to how fun it will be.

Recapping from the last time I wrote, I listened to the 2nd and 3rd round of speeches and attended the Miss Rodeo America President's Luncheon where the contestants answered current event questions that were written in a format for the girls to state their knowledge and opinion on the subject. Wow! The questions were very tough and about very current and controversial issues . . . I am glad I have a year to prepare for that!

Thursday evening was the Ladies in Waiting Bowling social at the hotel where we got a chance to get to know one another and establish traveling partners. I had a lot of fun because the girls were great AND I had some pretty good luck bowling! (I wonder if that luck would have transferred over to gambling . . .) After the social event I had a quick change of clothes and then I was off to the first performance of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! It was the neatest thing I have ever been to . . . there was so much electricity and excitement in the air at the Thomas and Mack Arena. We had upper bowl seats directly above the roping boxes, so we had a great view of the timed events and a straight-on view of the bucking chutes. We saw many great rides and runs and it was a very smoothly-run rodeo. Thank you, Bob Britton, for the tickets--I had the time of my life!

Saturday finished up the week with the coronation of the new Miss Rodeo America, Ashley Andrews from North Dakota. I had a lot of fun watching and learning and am excited to go next year, but I am more excited for the upcoming year. My coronation is the first "official" event as Miss Rodeo Iowa, and then I am off to Denver and many other places! I will check in on this blog to update you on my travels throughout the year, so check back often to see what I have been doing and where I have been!

Until next time . . .


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fascination, Inspiration, and Awe

Hello, again!

There have been a whirlwind of activities since the last time I have had a chance to report! Monday night was the "Get Acquainted" party where we got to see all of the Miss Rodeo America contestants dressed in beautiful rhinestone-dazzled leather outfits. It was a very fun and relaxed atmosphere because the girls were not judged, and there was a dance after each contestant introduced herself again and got to say a few words about their pageant experience. I thought it was a great night because it gave us a chance to talk to the girls, try an array of tasty hors'devours, and dance the night away! I got to meet many of the other state "ladies in waiting" and took many pictures with them. There are many nice girls that I am looking forward to traveling with during the summer!

Tuesday was the PRCA Luncheon where the contestants paraded around in their chaps and answered rodeo knowledge questions in front of everyone. We ate a scrumptious Iowa chop and were entertained by Susie Dobbs. Troy Ellerman, the commissioner of the PRCA, spoke a few words of encouragement to the contestants, and Harry Vold, the stock contractor of Cheyenne Frontier Days, served as the auctioneer for the live auction benefiting the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship fund.

Later that night we filed into the ballroom of the Orleans hotel for the Miss Rodeo America fashion show . . . and what a production that was! Amanda Jenkins, the current Miss Rodeo America, was involved in a comical skit with many PRCA contract personnel notables, while PRCA announcer Tim Fuller served as the emcee. Set to a NASCAR theme, all of the contestants participated in choreographed dance routines while they showed off their personality and ability to relax and have fun.

When the room lights dimmed and spotlights surged to life, each contestant came out one-by-one and introduced herself by telling the audience her academic endeavours and future career aspirations. The dresses were stunning, the hair was beautiful, and the girls were polished. I sat and watched in awe and excitement because I know that I will get to be part of the elite group next year! Erika looked spectacular and modeled her fashion show dress better than anyone else . . . and not just because I am partial! Wednesday morning we listened to the first round of speeches, and I was impressed with quite a few of the girls' speeches, however, I am excited to try my hand next year!

The rest of the day we spend relaxing by driving to see Hoover Dam and visiting the local Dairy Queen. It was mind-boggling to think that the engineers were able to build something so great without the modern technology and equipment of today! We drove across into Arizona, which is in a different time zone that Las Vegas, however we survived the "car lag" just fine as we crossed back over into "Vegas time" about 10 minutes later. The Magnificent 3 and I just stayed in the car and drove over the dam, but we had a lot of fun watching people try to walk along the road and almost get blown away by the wind! It brought a whole new meaning to the term "wind tunnel"!

My Miss Rodeo America pageant experience as a lady in waiting has been great; I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to watch, take everything in, and learn for next year. I have been fascinated with the beauty of the contestants, inspired to study and do well next year, and in awe of how the "Miss Rodeo" organizations are able to create such a mature, poised, and well-rounded public spokesperson and ambassador for the greatest sport on dirt.

Until next time,


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Viva Las Vegas!

My fingers can hardly keep up with the excitement that is pulsing through my veins . . . I AM IN LAS VEGAS! As the plane touched down I had Paula by the right knee and Bobbie by the left knee as I was singing "Viva Las Vegas" (though I only know the chorus . . .) through the biggest smile my face would hold. Amidst all of the excitement, my yearning to see the lights and sights of the "Vegas Nightlife," I feel very fortunate to be here. Lucky me, I get to spend 10 fun-filled days chaperoned by 3 spectacular ladies, one of which we do not see much because she is busily and dilligently working with the Miss Rodeo America Committee to keep the pageant flowing and the daily blogs about the pageant updated. I fondly refer to her as "queen boss" or "your Majesty" (otherwise known as Bobbie Hinds my national director). My second compadre for the trip is Paula Jameson, the teen queen coordinator, and rounding out the "Majestic 3" is Jessie Kokjohn, the Miss Rodeo Iowa pageant coordinator. I have a lot to learn while I am out here . . . and I have no doubts in my mind they will steer me down the right path.

This morning I watched 28 beautiful, practiced, and poised state representatives check in to the 2007 Miss Rodeo America Pageant. Through the glazed look in my eye and permanent smile of awe . . . I was slightly overwhelmed to think that next year that will be me! Though I am a little apprehensive, I am more excited to think how much I will change, mature, and experience in the next 12 months. The rest of the afternoon was filled with perusing through the Miss Rodeo America hospitality room looking through the contestants' leather and rhinestone-clad scrapbooks, doing some shopping, and trying to absorb everything!

Tomorrow is a free day for us, however, the contestants will be interviewing with a panel of judges who have credential lists many miles long (I hope I will be ready for that next year)! Paula and I will be taking in "Cavalia" while Bobbie and Jessie take in the spa (or most likely nap). "Cavalia" is a precision equine and human acrobat and dance act . . . I am really excited to see it! Speaking of shows, I have been mesmerized by the advertisements for the Phantom of the Opera, so I hope that will be on the agenda before I leave.

With that, I leave you with the words of the flight attendant as we were exiting the plane . . . "What happens in Vegas . . . will wind up on the internet." I will check in with you in a few days to share with you more of my exciting adventures with the "Majestic 3" as we viva Las Vegas!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Amanda Eason Earns Miss Rodeo Iowa 2007 Title

Southwest Iowa cowgirl Amanda Eason traveled to the opposite side of the state in September to compete in the four-day Miss Rodeo Iowa Pageant. Competing against two other contestants, she was awarded the Horsemanship, speech and photogenics awards along with the title. For her efforts she received a tooled trophy saddle, belt buckle, clothing, horse supplies and many other awards. At the end of her reign she is eligible for a $1200 educational scholarship.

Amanda previously held the titles of Miss Sidney, Iowa Rodeo and Miss Rodeo Iowa State University. She is a pre-vet major and has applied for admittance in the College of Veterinary Science. Her goal is to not only have a successful large animal practice, but to also write about her experiences and become a published author.

On January 6 Amanda will receive the official crown and banner of Miss Rodeo Iowa at a Coronation Celebration held in her honor. This event is her major fundraiser to help cover her travel expenses and preparations for the 2008 Miss Rodeo America Pageant. During her reign she will make appearances at numerous functions within Iowa, including the Iowa State Fair, Iowa Horse Fair and rodeos in Sidney, Cherokee, Edgewood, Decorah and Fort Madison. She will travel to Cheyenne Frontier Days, the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo in Louisville, Kentucky.

To learn more about the Miss Rodeo Iowa program, visit our homepage at Requests for apearances and potential sponsorships of Amanda can be requested by contacting National Director Bobbie Hinds at

Welcome to Amanda's Blog

An exciting year awaits Amanda as she travels throughout Iowa and surrounding states as Iowa's First Lady of Professional Rodeo. Selected at the Tri-State Rodeo in Fort Madison last September, she has been busy readying for her reign which will begin January 1, 2007. Check back frequently as she posts about her travels.