July: Adventures Near and Far September 6, 2017 by Katelin Bradley, MRW 2017The week surrounding July 4th is referred to by the rodeo community as “Cowboy Christmas”. There are over 30 professional rodeos around the country during this week. In Wisconsin, Cowboy Christmas is bookended by the Mid-Western Rodeo in Manawa and the Heart of the North Rodeo in Spooner. Both rodeos have large payouts and can boost a cowboy’s standing in the Great Lakes Circuit. The Heart of the North Rodeo attracts world class cowboys and cowgirls to northern Wisconsin each year. Joe Beaver, Jacobs Crawley, Sherry Cervi, Tim O’Connell, and Jana Bean were among many notable names in the 2017 program. Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin and I arrived in Spooner on Thursday, July 6th before the first performance. We helped with the Exceptional Rodeo, an event where children with disabilities can learn about rodeo events and experience them firsthand. Spooner’s Exceptional Rodeo was sponsored by Pine Brook Farm and each child was able to get announced to the crowd and receive a trophy. At the Heart of the North Rodeo, I was also able to make a queen fly-by, clear the arena during timed events, and help out with the Mutton Bustin’. During the final performance, the Mutton Bustin’ champion was brave enough to give me a kiss on the cheek! It was such a memorable rodeo. During a few hours of free time, Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin and I even visited the Wilderness Walk Zoo and made friends with deer and goats who wanted treats! I cannot thank the Country House Motel, Kate Peck, and the entire rodeo committee enough for arranging my visit to Spooner. You all know how to make a queen feel welcome! When the Heart of the North Rodeo wrapped up, I went to work for one day and then headed to Algoma, Wisconsin for Farm Technology Days. This event usually attracts over 40,000 people from around the Midwest who have interests in agriculture. I was able to attend two of the three days. I assisted with the Mounted Justice mounted shooting demonstrations, met famous trainer Chris Cox, watched Dan Steers and Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship perform, and signed autographs and raffled off tickets for the Brown County Fair and Rodeo at the AgSource booth. It was a busy two days to say the least! The weekend after Farm Technology Days, Miss Teen Rodeo Wisconsin and I made the drive to Iron River, Michigan for the U.P. Championship Rodeo. Miss Rodeo America was also at the rodeo. All the local and visiting royalty made fly-bys, ran sponsor flags, and signed autographs after the performances. We met rodeo legend Mel Potter who roped in each of the performances. Erica and I also visited Chicagon Falls, a small, scenic waterfall hidden in the woods not far from Iron River. It was a great weekend filled with rodeo and adventure. My next big adventure in July was driving about 1,100 miles to Wyoming for Cheyenne Frontier Days. In Cheyenne, I stayed with Bob and Roberta Bolton, both volunteers at Frontier Days. They were incredibly welcoming and made Miss Rodeo Virginia and I feel right at home. All visiting royalty got to participate in the parades downtown, help flip pancakes at the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast, visit with sponsors, and run down the famous track on the rodeo grounds waving to thousands of fans! Nothing could have kept me from attending the “Daddy of ‘em All”, not even wild horses could have drug me away.