Arizona Trappers Association Convention

This is my fur vest that was donated by the Arizona Trappers Association

This is my fur vest that was donated by the Arizona Trappers Association

After Kansas, I pretty much got to stay home for a couple days. When I did an event away from home, I just had to drive two hours, to Globe. The two hour drive is such a beautiful one. In fact, that got me to thinking… when I was in Dodge City, I had to fly out of Kansas City. That required a 5.5 hour drive from the southwest corner of the state to the northeast corner of the state. I drove all across the entire state of Kansas. As I rode in that car, I noticed something. Nothing really changed. It was gorgeous and green: soft rolling farmland with sunflowers on the sides of the road. Every couple of miles a small town would come along with a farming name like Hutchinson. They were all marked by a grain elevator, and they all looked alike. For five and a half hours. It was stunningly beautiful. However, it was all the same. Then when I took that two hour drive to Globe in Arizona, I went from desert, to mountains, to hills, to red canyons, to pines, to junipers. The landscape was vastly different. That is one of my favorite things about Arizona. She is everything all rolled up into one.

Anyways, upon arriving in Globe, I put on the gorgeous American lynx with white fox trim vest that was sponsored to me by the Arizona Trappers Association. I walked in there prepared to help earn some money for the ATA. However, they had me to a 50/50 raffle, with half of that money going to my travels. As if the gorgeous vest wasn’t enough, now here they were sponsoring me even more. I am incredibly grateful for their continued support!

The convention was a blast! People were very eager to help out with the raffle, especially with the aid of the adorable Kylie, who helped me sell the tickets!

It was so fun to listen to the animal calling competition, and then to witness the trap setting contest as well. It is great to see that this art and livelihood, which has been an integral part in the quality of the life in human history, is being preserved.

 One of my favorite parts was participating in the skillet throwing competition. Even in a leather dress and with fake nails, I was able to toss that heavy skillet a whole 24 feet. Granted, I was still 10 feet behind the winner, but hey- we need to take all the factors into consideration here!

By the end of the day, I was reluctant to leave this group of people. We had just met, but I felt like I had been attending their convention for years.

The Queen of the Cow Towns… Dodge City

My last out of state trip for the summer took me to Dodge City, Kansas. Once again, there was excitement at the Denver airport: My hair had stayed perfectly curled throughout my flight to Denver, and I somehow managed to keep my hat from getting rained on throughout my travels thus far. Then came the walk to my Great Lakes puddle jumper that would take me to Dodge City. Through the course of that 50 yard walk I came the closest I have ever come to losing my hat, my hair and hat got doused, and I almost got blown away as well. Needless to say, the thought of taking off in this inclement weather in a plane on which we had to reorganize our seating so the plane was balanced well, was a bit scary. But we took off in it anyways and made it into Dodge City.

This airport was much like North Platte’s: we were the only plane there, the person who guided us in with the glow sticks was the same one who unloaded my luggage and brought it into the airport.

I was picked up and immediately taken to the rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink performance Wednesday night. They call the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo the Greatest Show on Dirt, and it was a lot of fun. It is a Silver rodeo on Wrangler’s Million Dollar Tour with world champions competing in every event. The stock was wonderful as well, and were giving even some of our best cowboys a run for their money!

Along with the rodeo, I had the pleasure of participating in the Miss Rodeo Kansas Pageant. The current Miss Rodeo Kansas, Meredith Holland, has become a very dear friend so it was a blast to spend the weekend in support of her! They treated us visiting royalty well!

One of my favorite things was learning about the history of Dodge City from the Boot Hill Museum. We got to take a walk into the 1870’s on the Boot Hill boardwalk.

Dodge City was founded in 1871 and served as a trade center for travelers and buffalo hunters. It also was a supply base for troops fighting Indian Wars and a frequent stop for wagon trains. Initially, there was no law enforcement. In this time period, the city earned it’s notorious reputation.

“Kansas has but one Dodge City, with a broad expanse of territory sufficiently vast for an empire; we have only room for one Dodge City; Dodge, a synonym for all that is wild, reckless, and violent; Hell on the Plains.”

– A Kansas Newspaper in the 1870’s

Of course, this town eventually was tamed by such names as Wyatt Erp. For my stay in Dodge, I was impressed by the way the city clinged to the history- the good and the bad! I loved the brick streets and the western and old-fashioned feel.

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and PRCA Hall of Fame Inductions

After Calgary, Canada, I flew to Colorado Springs, Colorado. There I had the pleasure of helping out at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. It was a great rodeo and everyone was very enthusiastic! Even when the rain poured at the beginning of the rodeo, the people were pouring in as well (I am not sure what draws the rain to this Arizona girl, but everywhere I go, it pours! I think over the course of Prescott, Calgary, and Colorado Springs, I have endured an amount of rainfall that actually exceeds the annual rainfall of Phoenix Arizona!).

Along with the rodeo were the PRCA Hall of Fame inductions. It was powerful to see in person and all in one place the rodeo legends of Seven-time World Champion Dan Mortensen, 1985 World Champion Bull Rider Ted Nuce, 1969 World Champion Steer Roper Walt Arnold, and NFR average title winner from both ends of the arena Ace Berry. Erv Korkow, who has had stock in the NFR every year, and 1934 Triple Crown Champion Leonard Ward were also inducted. Each of their legacies has done volumes for the preservation of the western way of life, and their inductions into the hall of fame will help to perpetuate that even more.

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

After the Saturday night Prescott Rodeo performance, I rushed home, unpacked, repacked and left for the airport. I was headed to Calgary, Canada for the Calgary Stampede. The Stampede experience starts as soon as you set foot on Canadian ground. Every airport employee had a cowboy hat on, a live band was playing country music at the baggage claim, and ladies in western outfits were going around stamping people with Stampede stamps while saying “This is going to be hot…. tssssssssssss!” as they pretended to brand us.

I am not going to lie– I have heard so much about the Calgary Stampede, I thought there was no way it could live up to the expectations I had for it. Could it really be the greatest outdoor show on earth? I can now excitedly proclaim that it lived up to all of my expectations. It wasn’t just a rodeo, even though the rodeo itself was incredible. But then you add in the motocross, the chuck wagon races, the dancers, the fireworks, the music, the food, the art show, the trade show, the singers, the rides, the pig races, the dog shows, the exhibits, the stagecoaches, the hypnotists, the performers…… it was a conglomeration of some of the best entertainment in the world, an entire cross-section through which everyone can be entertained.

I was so excited they let me bring a chaperon. I chose to have my dad come along and we sure had a blast.  We met up with Miss Rodeo Utah 2008 Renae Cowley, Miss Rodeo Montana Lesli Furniss, Miss Rodeo Kansas Meredith Holland, and Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas, Kara Hackney.

Each day, it was a struggle to decide what to watch next. With about ten different stages or arenas, there was too much to choose from. Miraculously, we were able to direct our feet from destination to destination despite our ambivalence towards which of the incredible events we were going to choose to witness next.

We were able show our sorry pancake flipping skills at a pancake breakfast, through which 20,000 people were fed for free. There we also tried to atone for the pancakes we mutilated bu line dancing to the live band.

We also made out way downtown to enjoy some square dancing. Man, those Calgarians sure know how to party! They had me tuckered out by the second dance! I think square dancing is in my blood. The skills were lying dormant within me, and they were obliged to be released within the bounds of the imaginary square of our square dance.

The one thing we made sure see each day, the rodeo. The stands alone were breathtaking and there were like 30 bucking chutes! Contestants like Lindsay Sears, Will Lowe, Justin McDaniels, Fred Whitfield, and stock like Grated Coconut made for some good scores and times. Not even the torrential downpour got me to unpeel my eyes from that rodeo arena.

One of the mornings, my dad and I drove to Bamf, the mountain town about an hour out of Calgary. It was absolutely gorgeous. The breathtaking views and the crisp mountain air were very rejuvenating.

Overall, it was incredible experience. One of my favorite things about it was seeing how involved the entire town was. Many people have work and school off for the stampede. Those who do have work wear cowboy hats. Everyone had so much pride in the Stampede. That was one thing that really drove home the idea that the Calgary Stampede might just be the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

The Daddy of ‘Em All

Several years ago, my dad promised a trip up to Wyoming, so that us rodeo-loving kids could experience the Cheyenne Frontier Days. I anxiously awaited our departure date. As it drew nearer, I started noticing some foreboding signs- sore throat, coughing, dizziness, muscle weakness, hives, and about ten other symptoms I had never experienced before. But I was determined to make it! Ultimately, the virus won, and confined me to my bed for a few sorrowful days: not only was I feeling lousy, but I was also missing the Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Years later, when I became Miss Rodeo Arizona, I knew that I would have the opportunity to finally make it up to Cheyenne. Nothing would stop me. Well, I ended up making it, and I am so glad that I did!

I drove in from Reno, Nevada with my parents. The first thing we were greeted by was the sound and the rumble from the A-10 Warthogs flying low to the ground (I tried to make that seem natural, like I casually typed it up because I can easily and independently identify old aircraft flying through the air, but in reality, that was my dad’s knowledge and I had to ask him what they were probably 10 times to internalize the funny name).

The Pancake breakfast was a blast. I got a rematch with the pancake flipper after they asked the visiting queens to help out in the celebrity pancake flipping chuckwagon. This time, there was a twist. In Calgary, I was having enough issues, and all we had to do was flip the pancakes. In Cheyenne, there was an extra step: 1. flip pancake over 2. pick up pancake with spatula, flick over side of chuckwagon so a boyscout can catch the pancake in a pan. This means that with the flick of our wrist, we had to artfully propel the pancake through the air, as it traversed the distances from the cooking top, to the boyscout below. There were some for which we did not quite generate sufficient momentum. The end result: the sad sight of a disheveled and discombobulated pancake lying on the asphalt. I was quite proud of myself; by the time I hung up my apron, I had only three pancake casualties on my hands.

After the pancake carnage, we made our way to the other end of the park to meet the Thunderbirds! This was so neat. We told them how excited we were to see their show.

The Thunderbirds were definitely a highlight of the trip. It had been a few years since I saw them perform. The show was breathtaking. Of course a newspaper photographer captured one of these breathtaking moments for me: a front page picture in the paper with my surprised face as the Thunderbirds came from behind.

I had the pleasure of also meeting the commander of the base there, who happened to be a former Scottsdale resident and an ASU alum!

After the show, I found myself at the arena I was supposed to have been at years before. Except this time I was riding Sport, one of Harry Vold’s horses in front of the massive grandstands. My name and title were announced, I turned Sport and gave him the cue, and then we flew down the track in front of the crowds. What a rush!

After our flybys, we made our way up to the media room. There we got to do a media interview in which they let me tell the listeners what was going on in the steer wrestling. That was fun. I love talking into the mic. Now you give me a setting like the Cheyenne rodeo live in front of me, with an audience of hungry rodeo lovers, you can bet I am not going to relinquish the mic easily. “Looks like we are going to have to pry that mic out of your fingers. You must be a communications major,” was the radio host’s response.

From there, we were taken down to the chutes for a chute tour. The rodeo action occurred feet from me, as we were crammed next to some of the rodeo’s top cowboys as they got on their drawn stock in the chutes. 

We also got to go to each of the night shows- PBR, Rodney Atkins, and Taylor Swift.

As I sit back and review my trip, I can’t believe how much I crammed into two days: A PBR, a Pancake Breakfast, a parade, two rodeos, a Thunderbird show, Rodney Atkins, Taylor Swift, and many lifetime memories. It was an incredible experience, and it even exceeded my childhood expectations of what the Daddy of Em all would entail!

Prescott Frontier Days, the World’s Oldest Rodeo

Shortly after the Reno Rodeo, it was time for the Prescott Frontier Days, the World’s Oldest Rodeo. Some people balk at that title, claiming that Pecos, Texas, North Platte, Nebraska, or Deer Trail, Colorado actually host the world’s oldest rodeo. However, they are simply confused/misinformed.

Rodeo is a Spanish word and it refers to the definition of rounding up. This type of rodeo has been going on for centuries. But what about the rodeo we know today? Before the use of the term rodeo, they were normally called cowboy contests. Some of these can actually be considered rodeos, and some can’t. That’s what I am going to help with right now. What exactly is a rodeo? There are five criteria:
1. a committee to plan and stage the rodeo
2. cowboys are invited to compete
3. admission is charged
4. prizes and trophies are given out
5. the contest is documented

Prescott was able to document all five of the criteria at the oldest date (1988), thus vindicating their name from the U.S. Patent Office, the World’s Oldest Rodeo. The registration of this trademark name (Service Mark No. l,353,477) was the result after some controversy when the game Trivial Pursuit came out with their 1985 game that had the question “What rough-and-tumble Western sport was first formalized in Prescott, Arizona?” And now anyone who reads this will know the answer and can answer unequivocally: RODEO!!

Despite the controversy over the time of the inception, no one can deny that the Prescott Frontier Days is one of the best rodeos around. The committee does such a wonderful job! I am so honored to represent the state that hosts this historic 4th of July celebration!

For each performance, I posted the colors on Harry Vold’s horse ‘Sport’ with Miss Rodeo Colorado 2008 Megan Grieve. Fellow Arizonans, I can promise you that every time I carry that beautiful Arizona flag, I do not take the responsibility lightly. I am an Arizona native, and I am so honored to be able to represent each one of you. We are so fortunate to call our wonderful state home, and I try my hardest to exhibit the potent pride we all have of Arizona.

Each rodeo performance was exhilarating, with some top cowboys and cowgirls making some top times and scores. Competitors who make their way to the Grand Canyon state during Cowboy Christmas for this rodeo cannot find disappointment. Not only is it a Silver rodeo on the Wrangler Million Dollar tour, but the crowd is spectacular, the venue is beautiful, and the weather is great… normally.

This year, we did deal with a little rain, which created a mucky arena. But contestants, stock, and fans all toughed it out. I think we may have created some new events though: steer skating (very similar to steer wrestling, but before you actually wrestle the steer down, you must skate (while being propelled by the steer) on top of the mud),  and tie down fishing (very similar to calf roping, except before actually tying the calf up, you must fish it first out of the mud). Even shagging the cattle turned into a new experience for me and my horse as we were sliding all over place. But the thing I love about Prescott, even though things got damper, everyone was just as dapper!

I really cannot think of a better place to spend the fourth of July than Prescott. My heart pounded with patriotism as I watched Miss Rodeo Arizona 2007 Katie Hill proudly carry that huge American flag around the arena.

We are so lucky to live in the country we live in. We have the freedom to start each rodeo off with a prayer, in which we thank our father in heaven for giving us the freedom to do so.

My fourth of July prayer: I am so grateful for the Lord’s hand in the inception of this country. The divinely inspired men who started it must never be forgotten. Their bravery led to the formulation of the safest haven for liberty in the entire world. Then each man and woman who fights for this country and maintains what these man started are just as responsible for the freedoms we enjoy. We cannot forget any of these individuals. We must lift our prayers of gratitude to the heavens, and ask the Lord to bless each person who is responsible for securing the abilities that we have to do just that– to pray to our father in heaven. We must ask God to Bless America, and then we should thank him for it too.

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”
- Patrick Henry, Patriot 1776

Reno Rodeo

After the NEBRASKAland days, I flew straight to Reno, Nevada for the Richest Rodeo in the West, the Reno Rodeo.

This history of this rodeo actually contains the inception of my own western heritage. My great grandpa was Harry Frost (we called him grandpa booboo). He was the president of the Reno Rodeo in 1963. Then my grandmother was the 1950 Reno Rodeo Queen. My family has been going to the Reno Rodeo for years, so for me to go this year and be a part of it, was pretty special.

The beginning of the rodeo Friday night showcawsed a Chinook hellicopter that hovered over the arena, paying tribute to our troops. The color guard in the dirt below showed the respect to our flag and our country. The spectacle brought tears to my eyes as I pondered how incredible it is that we love in the land of the free. I am so grateful I get to promote the most patriotic sport there is!

That night I didn’t get to run a hot lap, but I got to do something even better! I got to sit next to Scott Smith on his beautiful stagecoach as we rumbled into that rodeo arena being hauled by his gorgeous team of six horses. I was hanging on real tight, considering I was another 20 hands higher than I normally would be, while being propelled by 5 extra horsepower. Then, when we got to the center of that arena, and he stopped that team. Announcer Bob Tallman introduced me to that sold out crowd with his familiar voice: “and on that coach we have Taryn Brady, Miss Rodeo Arizona, who happens to be the great granddaughter of Harry Frost. He has done so much for the Reno Rodeo.” It was an honor to be able to pay tribute to my great grandfather in that way. The legacy he started there was the fuel that led me to the passion that I cherish today- the sport of rodeo and the western way of life. Being able to bring that legacy full circle back to the Reno Rodeo was truly an incredible experience I will never forget.

The rest of the weekend, it was fun talking to people who knew my great grandpa. Even Earl, the fourth generation Reno Rancher in the sub shop, knew grandpa booboo very well.

Here is an article about my great grandpa and the Reno Rodeo written by reporter Guy Clifton: http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009306240002

Taryn is leaning over her grandmother's saddle and wearing her grandmother's shirt that she used to wear when she was the 1950 Reno Rodeo Queen, and Odile is wearing her father's (Taryn's great grandfather Harry Frost) vest.
Taryn is leaning over her grandmother’s saddle and wearing her grandmother’s shirt that she used to wear when she was the 1950 Reno Rodeo Queen, and Odile is wearing her father’s (Taryn’s great grandfather Harry Frost) vest.
My great grandpa Harry Frost
My great grandpa Harry Frost