School has begun! Dixie, my dog, and I moved back to Ames for the start of another academic experiences, but it does not mean the fun is over. This last weekend I got to help John Steenhoek and the Heartland Rodeo Company crew at a rodeo in Nevada, Iowa, which is a quick drive from Ames. It was great to see John again, and I had a great time riding his horses chasing out cattle and carrying the American flag.
Rachel Burton (Miss Rodeo Iowa Teen) and Tank also attended the rodeo because Rachel is a new, proud Cyclone, as she begun her Animal Science undergraduate curriculum at the best university. Welcome to the family Rachel! Rachel hopes to enter the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine in four years; I am very proud, and wish her the best of luck! I had a great time atteding events with her this year because I have many great memories and can always count on her for a laugh when needed!
The first night I rode Jeep Steenhoek's palomino pick-up horse which was fun because he had a lot of steam! I love Pepper Ann's mellow attitude, but sometimes it is nice to ride a horse with a little spirit and "go" (and to my delight, there was "whoa" to go along with it)! The second night I finally achieved the feat of riding a horse taller than Rachel's horse, Tank. The big buckskin I got to ride stood about 16.2 hands and was great! Thank you, John and Jeep, for allowing me to borrow a horse!
For your viewing pleasure, here is a video clip, courtesy of Rowley Burton. Rowley has been great to get to know this summer at the many rodeos and queen functions. He was taking pictures for Rachel and I Saturday night, and accidently pushed "record" instead of taking a picture and captured me riding the crow-hop out of the judge's flagging horse during my queen's run in the opening! I believe they scored me in the low 70's, so I was happy with the score, but didn't win any money. Life is never boring and I don't mind laughing at myself, so I hope you laugh along with me!
While Rachel and I were in Nevada we met Mr. Dennis Dostal of Toledo, Iowa who honored us with a ride atop a stagecoach! Dennis had a team of beautiful Belgian geldings that were good sports about giving spectators stagecoach rides before the rodeo. It was neat to be up so high, and I had a great time getting to know Dennis. He hosts a United Rodeo Association-sanctioned rodeo at his home arena every year, and just celebrated the 30th Anniversary this summer! Congratulations, and thank you, Dennis! However, the more times I am around draft horse teams, the more I want one of my own. I appreciate all of the work Mr. Dostal and Julie Buddenburg put into their teams, and I know as a veterinarian I will not have a lot of free time, but it would be neat to go out for a leisurely Sunday drive or moonlit snowy sleigh ride!
While the rodeo was moving along in full force, I had to do a double-take during the barrel racing because I saw President Abraham Lincoln himself stroll by the arena! Realing I had been staring for an extended period of time and knowing gawking is rude, I rode over to the President and asked if he would pose for a picture. After the 17th question about what it was like to live in the 1800's and how things were at the White House, Mr. Lincoln told me it happend to be the Lincoln Highway Days in Nevada, a community-wide celebration. Yes, I remembered this, but I was sSURE it was the 16th Commander in Chief. Nonetheless, I have photo proof!
With the quickly-arriving end to the rodeo weekend, I was sad to say goodbye to the Heartland Rodeo Company for the season, because I am just about done with attending rodeos as Miss Rodeo Iowa. The whole week before I was bombarded by histology, anatomy, biochemistry, etc. at school and did not realize that I am coming closer and closer to the end. This has been an incredibel year, and I am sad to see it about over, as I head to Ft. Madison this weekend to watch the competition for Miss Rodeo Iowa 2008. However, it will be great to be back in Ft. Madison, and I am excited for the Tri-State Rodeo! I will be sure to share pictures and stories once I return from Ft. Madison and catch up on classes! Until then, take care!