Springville, AL 35146
University of West Alabama
Minor: Business Administration
Planned Graduation: June 2020
I grew up in the small town of Springville, Alabama. Saint Clair County (my county) has the largest number of horses per square acre in the state of Alabama. Growing up here at the age of five my parents informed me that I was adopted. My parents were unable to conceive. They prayed for a child. I came into their lives through a Christian adoption agency. It was a private closed adoption at birth.
I never felt any different from any of the kids I knew. At school, eventually when my peers knew I was adopted they would question and kid me about it. I always had the perfect response, “Your parents are stuck with you, mine chose me!" When I was at the age of two years old, my parents bought a farm because my mom always wanted to own and raise horses. She had grown up around horses. My dad did not grow up with horses but being athletic, he quickly took to the horses we bought and mastered their training. We had enough land that my mom decided to take in some rescue horses that the humane society needed to be rehabilitated. My love for horses began through this experience. We adopted some of the horses we took in permanently and some we rehabilitated and re-homed.
Sometimes these horses were very ill, underweight, and generally unhealthy. The care we gave them created a great bond and love the horses shared with us. Each horse always became a part of our family. My mom, being a nurse, was especially interested in the equine physical health and she studied the equine system. My parents taught me early on the importance of proper equine health care. We provided a healthy environment for each horse we took in and enjoyed watching them heal and flourish. Through these experiences, I now realize that my desire to go into equine pharmaceuticals was established. During these early years, a scrappy, long haired, Shetland pony that I fondly nicknamed Ponyboy, came along as a Christmas present to me. Ponyboy was just small enough to allow me to gain control over him at my young age (well most of the time). We became the best of friends. I rode him everyday and if I was outside, he was by my side. I can honestly say that little pony taught me how to ride and I soon became an avid rider.
I began horsemanship lessons on him in my small town with an accomplished instructor. During my elementary to middle school years, I became involved in my local 4-H club. I began competing in 4-H events and local horse shows. Competition soon became my passion. My Grandfather promised every year, if I made honor roll all year, he would pay for me to attend a horsemanship clinic each summer. Every summer I would attend a different clinic. As I aged into middle school, I began to take summer clinics in barrel racing and eventually roping. I outgrew that special pony reluctantly and began riding adult horses.
A friend introduced me to rodeo and the competition there was new and exciting. After entering in some events and doing well, I decided that rodeo was the route I wanted to take. I had to prove to my parents that I would be competitive enough for rodeo. After I won a few rodeo events, my parents purchased me a competitive horse. As a freshman in high school, I joined North Alabama Youth Rodeo Association. My sophomore year, I entered Tennessee High School Rodeo Association. That same year I began to home school so that I could pursue my rodeo career.
Due to homeschooling, my mom had me attend the Birmingham School of Etiquette for two years. Time spent spent at the Birmingham School of Etiquette, helped me improve my skills in public speaking and other areas. Looking for an outlet to use my public speaking skills, I decided that I would compete in rodeo queen pageants. After entering my first rodeo queen pageant, I fell in love with the job of a rodeo queen. I immediately knew that becoming a queen would allow me the opportunity to represent the sport of rodeo as the rodeo ambassador.
I really enjoy sharing about the safety measures and rules that are in place to protect the livestock and teaching the public about the sport of rodeo. As a rodeo queen I became involved in special needs rodeos. I have worked at many special needs rodeos in my years as a rodeo queen and I plan to become PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) certified. I have volunteered in my free time at The Red Barn, a non-profit facility that assists youth and veterans with physical and mental disabilities. I have also volunteered for my local veternarian.
During my journey as a rodeo competitor and as a rodeo queen, I have learned so much about horse health, which has further solidified my desire to go into equine pharmaceutical sales. I personally believe that knowledge is power. My personal goal is to achieve a degree in my chosen equine field and continue to compete in college and professional rodeo and to share the knowledge I gain with those in the equine industry to promote equine health at the highest level.
As historian of the Beta Club at Springville Junior High School, I learned to lead by serving others. Our Beta Club won 5th in the state of Alabama in the Can Food Drive. At TNHSRA, I was bareback and saddle bronc event director for three years in which I kept scores and addressed discrepancies. In 2014-2015, I was honored to have served as Senior Miss Limestone Sheriffs Rodeo Queen. In 2015-2016, I am honored to serve as Teen Miss Rodeo of the Mid-South. During my years as a rodeo queen, I have assisted in the organization of several special needs rodeos along with local youth and adult rodeos.
Achieving a degree in biology & chemistry, will allow me to promote and teach the public the use of medications to heal and prevent disease in the equine population.
The greatest obstacle I believe facing our horse trailer industry is building a horse trailer that is both economically affordable and safe for the equine and consumer. As our knowledge evolves in this country so many recyclable materials are arising for the use of the consumer and builder. I believe recycling products could be beneficial and economical for the construction of horse trailers. There are numerous recycled materials and products that are durable and non-destructible on the horizon. Recycling is not only good for the environment, it also saves the consumer money. Metal, rubber, and plastic are just a few of the materials that can be recycled and may one day be used in the building of a more economical and affordable horse trailer.
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