jimmie smith cowgirl magazine
Photo by Springer, courtesy of WPRA.……

A dream is just a dream, and a goal is just a dream until you make it a reality.

In 2018, my goal was to win the WPRA Resistol Rookie of the Year.

Photo by Kent Soule, courtesy of WPRA.

Without knowledge of the rodeo road, I made it hard on myself and at the end of July I maybe had $10,000 won. Most people would laugh at you if you still told them “I want to win Rookie” with that amount won in July.

Once in the northwest, Lena On The Rocks found her winning streak and she was absolutely unstoppable. I knew if I did my job, she was going to win a check and even though we didn’t win first every time, we placed everywhere. I placed 3rd at Ellensburg securing our spot for the Tour Finale in Puyallup, Washington, which at the time I had absolutely no idea what a big deal that rodeo was, I was just there to have fun!

I will never forget the day of the shootout round, after the team roping I looked over at Tess, my hauling partner and best friend, and said “oh my gosh they’re giving buckles.” No longer than an hour later, I won one of those legendary Puyallup buckles and clinched the Rookie of the Year title.

Looking back, I wish we could be as naive as we were back then, we were just there to ride our horse and have fun! I didn’t let that buckle out of my sight for the whole drive back to Texas.

As much as I love my Puyallup buckle, that’s not the one that tells the story. My 2018 Resistol Rookie of the Year buckle is what tells my story. Every time I put it on, I am reminded of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. My not giving up that summer is why I get to wear my rookie buckle.

To this day I wear it, because it is still a reminder, “Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9.

I wish my great mare Lena could wear the buckle with me, because truly her heart is what got us through the summer, I had no back-up horse it was just me and Lena having fun!

(Courtesy of WPRA)