Ozark Missouri Rodeo/ July 22-27th
I arrived to the home of Lyndia and Rick Chaffin of Ozark, Missouri Thursday afternoon around 2pm to settle into my home for the weekend. They have a great barn apartment that I look forward to staying in each time I visit. Mrs. Lyndia’s mom brought me a basket with all sorts of goodies including fruit and some homemade cookies. The first rodeo performance kicked off Thursday night, and I was glad to see familiar faces from Hampton Rodeo company, announcer Danny Newland and Carissa and Hailey from the IPRA office. I carried the American flag on a beautiful white horse named Zbelle and helped with the Dash for Cash. Dash for Cash at this rodeo was extra cool though, because the gold coins the kids found were each good for one free snow cone. There was a line at the snow cone stand for the rest of the night! With the hot weather, the Ozark Boosters knew exactly how to treat the rodeo fans, and it was greatly appreciated.
Friday morning was busy with many sponsor visits. Mr. Mike from the Ozark Booster Club and I managed to see 19 sponsors between 10 am-2pm. We even had a delicious lunch at Rib Crib. Rib Crib has become one of my favorite places to eat since I was first introduced to it during the Miss Rodeo USA pageant last January. Around 3pm, my friend Rachel Burton from Iowa arrived, and we had so much fun catching up. I hadn’t seen Rachel since the pageant in January, and I was excited to have her visit for the weekend. She was so sweet to take pictures during the rodeo performance, and we did some shopping at the Cowgirl Clad booth afterwards. Visit www.cowgirlclad.com for some really cute and stylish items including jewelry, caps, and clothing. After the rodeo, I was proud to take Rachel to eat at Waffle House for her very first time! Saturday morning, Rachel and I made a stop by PFI- Missouri’s Largest Western Store on her way back to Iowa. Rachel- Thank you so much for joining me for the Ozark rodeo fun. You’re the kind of friend that regardless of how much time lapses between our visits, we pick up right where we left off. Thanks again for taking the time to make my rodeo weekend memorable*
Saturday afternoon, Joel and Amanda Chaffin had a cook out at their home for the rodeo personnel and Corey grilled the hamburgers. Mrs. Gina Hampton made her famous cornbread salad too. It was relaxing and fun to spend some quality time with the people that are usually all very busy during the rodeo working. I couldn’t believe how fast the Ozark rodeo seemed to go by. The final performance went on without problem, and we managed to finish just in time before the big rain hit.
Even though the rodeo was over, I stayed at the Chaffin’s a few more days. They were nice enough to let me stay in between rodeos, because my rodeo the following weekend was closer to them than going back to Oklahoma in between. This saved me from some extra and unnecessary driving which I greatly appreciate. Sunday evening, Joel, Amanda and I made a trip to Silver Dollar City for some fun. We rode a few rides, and I got our taste of “fair food“. A big thank you to Amy Duvall for the Silver Dollar City tickets. Monday, July 26th, I threw on a ballcap and went to the Joplin stockyards with Mrs. Lyndia and her dad Mr. Gail where we sold some stock and ate a great lunch. Tuesday, Mr. Rick, Mrs. Lyndia and I stopped in to see sponsors in Springfield for the Fall Classic Rodeo that will be held in November.
People like the Chaffin’s are the ones that truly carry each Miss Rodeo USA throughout her reign. For many years now, their family has booked Miss Rodeo USA for multiple rodeos and assisted at the IFR during the pageant in any form asked of them. They are genuine folks that understand the rodeo lifestyle from both the competing and production end. You can’t ask for better people, and I wouldn’t take anything for the memories made while spending time with their family. Thank you to the Chaffin’s for being such loyal supporters of Miss Rodeo USA.
Wednesday July 28th, I set my GPS for Huntsville, Arkansas, and it was on the road again*