If you were anywhere near the Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park, you would know something major was going on. If you were inside the arena, you got to experience one helluva rodeo! 3 days of spectacular riding, roping & entertainment. If you were judging by the crowd, you couldn’t tell the difference between Friday night, Saturday night or Sunday afternoon for the finals; that arena was PACKED for every single performance. The atmosphere was electrifying at the 138th Silver Spurs Rodeo!
My first interview of the night was none other than world-renowned bull rider, Joe Frost. Dressed in double denim & pacing the back buckin’ chutes, he took a couple of minutes to chat with us about his passion,bull riding.
IC: So what are you doing to prepare for tonight?
Joe: Well, right now I am just waiting for it [the rodeo] to start. Here in a little bit I will rosin up my rope, check my equipment & stuff…go put my ridin’ pants on, not a whole lot right now.
IC: Do you have any goals for the rodeo season this year?
Joe: I guess, the same as always, as every year. I want to be the world champion and just go to as many rodeos as I can & try to win as much money as I can at every one of them.
IC: What is your favourite thing about being on the rodeo road?
Joe: I think my favourite thing is getting to go so many places but you can also get burned out, especially when you go to over 100 rodeos a year. The thing I love the most is that every rodeo I go to is the people. The people there wait 365 days for you to come to their rodeo. Even though it might just be another rodeo to us, it’s not to them. It’s a nice refresher.
IC: Has there ever been a bull that is memorable to you?
Joe: Oh yeah! I remember all the bulls that I made good rides on and try to forget the ones I didn’t but a bull called Cross the Wyoming Line out of Summit Pro Rodeo is probably one of my favourite bulls. He was buckin’ bull of the year in 2014 & had been unridden & I was the first one to ride him last year. That was a pretty memorable bull.
You can see our video footage of the interview on Facebook and we found Joe’s 2016 ride on Cross The Wyoming Line which you can check out here: Joe Frost vs Summit Pro Rodeo’s 952 Cross the Wyoming Line on Vimeo
Meeting Joe is probably one of the highlights of my blogging career so far & I am extremely thankful for him taking the time to chat with me. Joe carries on the Frost Family legend & everyone in the rodeo industry loved his cousin Lane Frost. I was definitely enamoured by Joe’s character & charisma; I think a lot of people who came across him were. You would never guess that he is only in his mid 20s. When you talk to a bull rider, you think of them being rough around the edges including how they speak, but Joe talked to us as if he had met us before; like he hadn’t a care in the world but business to tend to.
Joe went on to get to second place for the evening with an 86 point ride! That’ll bring home some money! Congratulations to Joe & please join me in wishing him all the best for the rest of the 2017 rodeo season!
As always, thanks for stopping by! Stay safe & God Bless!
2017 is the year of growth for us here at International Cowgirl. One of the ways we are growing is that we are branching out and covering more topics in the sport of rodeo & equine areas. We have recently been communicating with the wonderful public relations groups at HITS which is an incredible elite company that “produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows.” Established in 1982 & base out of upstate New York, HITS hosts world class shows in Florida, Virginia, New York, California, Arizona & soon Chicago, Illinois in May of 2017. If you haven’t heard of them, check them out!
For now, yours truly (moi), will be covering upcoming shows in Ocala, Florida until we can build up to the events further afield. We are excited because there are many Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) qualifying and grand prix shows being held in Ocala & other HITS locations.
The FEI is an international company that hosts the biggest & best worldwide equine shows that International Cowgirl would love to cover some time in the near future, so we are working on integrating the HITS & FEI coverage a little more into the blog to truly become INTERNATONAL on all levels instead of just the writer/photographer-side of things since this blog isn’t about me, but I want to live up to the name.
Soon both equine & rodeo fans will be kept up to date with new trends & performance coverage from the USA to the UK, all the way to Dubai or Australia. Rodeo & equine sports span the globe & we are looking to bring all of that to you in one super cool, easy to read & follow blog.
So if you have any suggestions, recommendations or advise for us, I would love to hear from you. Right now we are in that uncomfortable, but necessary, “growing pains” stage. We all know growing pains may hurt but only great things come from the growth. I want to make this blog as perfect as possible for you, my readers, & sometimes I have to be vulnerable with my audience in order to achieve that. I ask that you please pray for me, the blog, tell me what you think & “watch this space” as they say, for some awesome rodeo & equine coverage!
As always, stay safe & God Bless.
Are you ready to have a blast at the 138th Silver Spurs Rodeo? I sure am. I love seeing rodeos bring people together from far & wide to see some of the best athletes (human & animal) compete for some brilliant prizes!
If you are all about saving some money (who isn’t?) then you can get a great deal on ticket prices on Groupon – just click on this super handy-dandy link: Silver Spurs Rodeo – From $9 With Groupon – groupon.com
Now that I have helped you save money, now let me help you find the best place to sit. To be honest there is absolutely NO bad seat in the entire arena. You can see everything from every angle. My favourite places to sit are either by the bucking chutes, directly across from the bucking chutes OR by where the horses run in and out for sponsors, rodeo Queens or barrel racers.
I cannot recommend going to rodeo enough, even if you are not the “western” type. There is fun & entertainment for everyone. The food at Osceola Heritage Park is awesome & all hotdogs or burgers are made with local beef #BeefItsWhatsForDinner and the people are just incredible & down to earth. There are not many industries that you can make millions of dollars & find humble people, but you certainly will in rodeo.
So, there you have it! I can’t wait to see you there! If you see me running around or down in the dirt, feel free to say hey, I’d love to meet you & chat for a bit!
See ya at the rodeo!
God bless & stay safe.
Or should I say “Winner, winner, tickets to the rodeo!”
The winner of our first ever give-away is Jennifer Mullen! Congratulations Jennifer!
Thank you so much to all the wonderful people who liked & shared the video & helped make International Cowgirl’s first ever give-away a major success!
I have many more give-aways ready for 2017 & cannot wait to share them with you! So stay tuned, subscribe or like our page on Facebook to keep an eye out for some more really cool give-aways!
I wish you & your families a very Merry Christmas & all the best wishes for the New Year!
As always, stay safe & God bless!
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to give one lucky winner two (2) tickets to the Silver Spurs Rodeo Finals – Sunday February 19th 2017!
Head over to our Facebook page, like & share the video & I’ll pick a random winner on December 23rd 2016!
Disclaimer: this blog was not compensated for prize. No purchase necessary. Giveaway begins on 12/17/2016 & ends 12/23/2016. One winner will be chosen randomly. Void where prohibited. WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter are in no way affiliated with International Cowgirl blog or this giveaway. Osceola Heritage Park or Silver Spurs Rodeo does not sponsor or associate with International Cowgirl blog.
As always, thank you for stopping by & Good luck!
God bless & stay safe!
So this week’s post is a little different from others. I am going to get a little personal with y’all this week. I have been preparing for the first half of 2017 with lots of rodeos during the first half of the year. I have had no rodeos to cover in person recently & even though last night was the first night of the NFR – surprise I didn’t stay up to watch due to the time difference but thanks to friends and a DVR, I watched it this morning. Thank goodness for technology sometimes.
So something came to the fore-front this week and I was ashamed of myself as a person and as an equestrian. Why was I ashamed you ask? I felt that inner tornado of panic, anxiety and stress while I was out at the barn; I woke up late, I was tired, I was going to be late for work, the horses wouldn’t get in their stalls, I tripped over a barn cat, one of the gates wouldn’t close…everything I touched was going wrong and I realized all I did all week-long was rush, rush, rush, rush, rush and rush some more.
NONE, not a single one of the animals did anything wrong…I was the one out of balance with myself. I don’t own any horses of my own but I help look after 4 and I have always told myself that if I have a horse, I would be able to deal with my daily stresses from work. If I had a horse, I would feel complete. If I had a horse, I would hang out with my horse-friends more because I would be back at showing again. If I had a horse…
I used to spend time drinking coffee with the owner of the four incredible equine creatures out by the fence, just watching their tails swish, and listen to them munching on hay or grass, watching Billie Jean be a diva, Spidey be a dork & Sparkles never leaving Rays side. I just spent time appreciating them and simply being with them dreaming my dreams, praying they were happy & enjoyed my company as much I as enjoyed theirs. A simple manifestation of peace.
This week I rushed everything and felt instant regret & guilt as I sped off to work. I rushed them in their stalls, giving them breakfast, throwing them hay. I rushed all the hugs, pats, belly rubs & butt scratches – are we the only ones who have horses who love getting their butts scratched? Non-equestrians might find it weird but whatever…I am not ashamed. Hahahaha!
I ask those who have horses, do you rush? Have you appreciated your horse recently? Have you thanked them for taking care of you as you are on their backs or hanging around the barn? We all have demanding jobs – but who is always loyal? Who is always waiting for us at home? Who never (intentionally) hurts us? Who gives us joy and peace (besides Jesus Christ)? Our horses! Our horses, dogs, cats, donkeys, cows, ferrets, pet raccoons – you name it!
So, tonight when I get back, instead of rushing to feed before it gets dark, I will be practicing the pause. I will pause and be thankful for lights in the barn and even though I have a million other things to do, that aren’t really all that important, I will be spending some time thanking the horses for being so amazing, for not judging me on my crazy Merida-like bed hair, or for the fact that I rushed all week. I know I will be only one feeling the guilt there – they won’t be mad. The only time they get mad is if I don’t feed them before a certain time; 7:15 rolls round – they will all be lined up at the fence giving me that look that says: “Uum…hello! Did you forget about us?”
Love your fur-kids, but thank them once in a while for being there ANY time you need or want them. Not everyone is as lucky as you to own a horse, or as lucky as me to have access to them at a drop of a hat. They are not animals to take lightly, or to be taken for granted. They deserve so much more for all that they do for us.
As always, thank you for stopping by!
Stay safe & God Bless!
The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo has been in Kissimmee for almost 3 years now. 2017 will be its third year and it keeps getting bigger and better with every passing year. Just when we think that their production team has given us their best, they top it with unbelievable ease.
This year you can save up to 30% on your tickets by purchasing them through Groupon – there IS assigned seating the earlier you can get ’em the closer you will be to all the action!
2017 will mark the RNCFR’s 30th anniversary and to do something special to they are adding something new that I am extremely excited about: the RNCFR ZIP LINE! So if you or your kids are dare-devils, the RNCFR is starting a #WeDareYou challenge! This is something that I have been dying to try out so this is perfect opportunity if you want to try something new too. Don’t worry, you are safely harnessed in and there are tons of professionals there to guide through a fun & exhilarating ride. You’ll feel so confident after it, you’ll want to ride the bulls. Just kidding! They don’t let you…I’ve tried. Hahaha!
Come on down to Kissimmee, Florida, April 6-9 2017, because even though this “ain’t your first rodeo”, we sure do love seeing you all time and time again! You and your kids can have a blast at the Tailgate Experience & the rodeo itself is more than entertaining for everyone who shows up. So dust your boots off, grab your favorite hat and come route for your favorite cowboy or cowgirl!
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Stay safe & God Bless!
Are you having a hard time finding a good gift for your cowboy or cowgirl this year? I know y’all are starting to think about it with all the Black Friday commercials flashing all over the place.
So in case you aren’t hitting the stores on Friday but want to start your shopping soon, here are some great ideas that can solve your problems or spark inspiration.
1. Rodeo Superbowl.
There are some huge rodeos coming up but the big one that your guy or gal is probably dying to get to is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! Head on over to their website to see their ticket prices and package deals. This is from Dec 1st through Dec 10th – so early Christmas gifts this good won’t be turned down!
2. Rodeo Tickets.
Other huge rodeo are The American and the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo – either way Champions from all over the nation come to compete for some serious prizes. Either performance will be sure to WOW you. So whether you’re in Texas or Florida, there is a rodeo waiting for you.
3. No Fail Gift Cards.
You can’t go wrong with gift cards. Some people think they are a little impersonal but then there is the other half of the fence that thinks they are great because you know they love the store that the gift card is to, so now they can get whatever they want. Tractor Supply, Boot Barn, Ariat, Justin, Wrangler, Montana Silversmiths or even a gift card covering your loved one’s feed bill at their local feed store, can keep anyone happy this holiday season. It sure would make me happy!
4. Plan a trip.
If Vegas just isn’t for you, try a trip to a dude ranch in Colorado, Utah or Texas; they are all over the US. Dude Ranches have tons of activities for your cowboy or cowgirl to try out from roping to working cattle, all the way to some pretty challenging trail rides depending on where you go. It will put your ranch skills to the test but I have faith in you; you will come back all the more skilled.
5. Something Shiny.
Whether it is for your horse or for your girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother, Montana Silversmith or your local western store will definitely have something sparkly and shiny for the cowgirl in your life. A nice new shiny headstall for breast collar for your four-legged friend is sure to be appreciated also.
Also, if you are in the area, the Southern Cowboy Classic Rodeo & Stock Show is in Ocala, Florida every year. This year it is Dec 2nd and 3rd and it a cool Christmas-y rodeo that is fun for all ages.
As always, thank you for stopping by!
Stay safe & God Bless!
Halloween is just around the corner and boy, are we pumped up or what? You probably love to dress up for Halloween, your kids eat that stuff up too, I’m sure and I know we all definitely love to dress our fur-kids up because, well, they just look too darn cute that we can’t get enough. The candy and sweeties are a plus too.
I dress my cats up in little NFL jerseys, every time our team plays and my husband is constantly telling me how much I torture them…BUT THEY LOOK ADORABLE!!! Plus, it is only for 5 minutes or until they find a way to wiggle out of them.
So today on our Hauntingly Fun feature, we are featuring one of our other four-legged kids, that we have a ton of fun dressing up; our horses. The options are endless and we, as equestrians, will take any excuse to include our equine friends in as much as our day-to-day lives and holidays as we can.
Here are some fun and easy costumes that you can bring together quickly for a fun, safe & absolutely adorable but spooky equine Halloween.
1. The Unicorn.
This one is an immediate go to when it comes to horses. Horses and unicorns go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. The other (more difficult) version that goes along with this one is a pegasus. Unicorns have the horn, pegasus’ have the wings. There is a brilliant website that I came across, that sells light up unicorn horns specifically for your horse. Believe in Unicorns is a UK-based company that ships world-wide. All her unicorn horns are custom-made. Some light up, others are all glitter. There are even sets of “demon horns” for that wee devil of a horse in your life!
You are probably wondering how they are attached to your horse, well, in the pictures she makes soft and flexible head bands that are suited just for horses. You can inbox her and tell her what you want and she can get it right to you. I absolutely love all of her designs and the owner is very pleasant to do business with.
Here is a unicorn in action that was completely hand-made from a Halloween Costume Contest at one of my local saddle clubs. Isn’t it adorable?!?! I am sure the crafter in your life can help you create your own unicorn horn also.
2. Body Paint.
This is where things can get super fun if you are artistic and/or creative. Body paint on a horse can produce some awesome costumes from painting skeleton bones to Native American Indian war or ceremonial paint. This was one of my favourites from a Halloween Costume Contest I attended at one of my local saddle clubs.
And yes, this horse is bridle-less and the rider (Stacy) is riding bareback. Impressive! I was blown away plus who wouldn’t love this giant pearly white smile?
So when you are looking for a body paint for your horse, make sure you choose one that is safe for them. Their skin can be extremely sensitive. Chick’s Saddlery has a equine safe product called Pony Paint Liquid Chalk. You may have a different go to body paint, that I would love to hear about and how you use it, so comment below! If you have never used body paint before, make sure it is water-soluble (meaning it dissolves in water and comes off easy). Stay clear from latex or oil based paints which are much more difficult to remove or could be toxic and cause severe irritation for your precious horse.
SmartPak Equine also has a similar product called Twinkle Mane & Tail Gel which can be put in your horse’s mane or tail to add temporary colour. This is a washable alternative to the mane and tail clip in coloured extensions from Gypsy Tails frequently used by the lovely Fallon Taylor. Either way, whether you choose the body paint, mane and tail gel or clip on extensions, your horse will be Halloween, or even, prom ready.
Here is another fantastic use of body paint for your horse. This little girl, dressed up in honor of her big brother who is in the US Army – “Uncle Sam Wants You!”
Find more body paint examples at the end of this feature.
3. Stickers/Temporary Tattoos.
This is somewhat similar to the last one, except this is probably more for those who don’t feel like painting their horse or don’t have the time. Equidivine LTD is another UK base company that sells custom body stickers for your equine buddy. Also Dover Saddlery in Orlando does a cute set of Tail Tamer® Equine Body Bling which is currently on sale right now in their closeout section of their website. Just peel off the back and strategically place on your horse! Easy!
4. Character Costumes.
Sometimes your horse’s personality just brings a certain character from a movie or book to mind and if your horse doesn’t mind being covered in clothes or fabric of some sort then this can be fun, creative and down right hilarious.
As far as I know, there is no company that makes full character costumes for horses…yet. People come out with new things every day so it is probably just a matter of time. If you are reading this and decide to create such a company or know of such a company already, leave a comment below!
Here are some example of such characters.
A Wild West Bank Robber:
A football player and cheerleader:
Tinkerbell, Peter Pan & Captain Hook:
Dukes of Hazzard car:
Other ideas could be Little Bo Peep and her sheep, Eeyore (with or without the Winnie The Pooh friends), Lord of the Rings Nazgul riders, Batman & Robin, Mario & Luigi, Superman and Superwoman or even…wait for it…a Kentucky Derby racehorse! BAM! Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?
So, what are you and your equine friends dressing up as for Halloween this year? I would love to know and would love it even more if you sent me a picture. You can always comment below on the blog or on the Facebook page.
Here is some more inspiration in case you need it.
As always, thank you for stopping by and checking out our Spooktacular Halloween feature. We hope you have a fantastic and safe Halloween this year!
Until next time, God Bless!
As the leaves are starting to change around the country and around the globe, we here in Florida are still feeling the heat. Fall and winter doesn’t hit us like it hits the rest of the northern hemisphere and non-exotic regions but we are thankful for that for many reasons.
If you take part in equine events in the winter, you are no stranger to the numb fingers and extensive warm-ups. Take a break from that this winter and see why you need to visit HITS Ocala this winter. The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit kicks off with the Ocala Holiday Premiere on December 1st through the 4th.
5 Reasons to visit HITS Ocala this 2016-2017 Winter Show Season:
By mid-November, early December we are still frolicking around in upwards of 70 degree weather. You won’t have to worry about the suffocating heat that summer in Florida brings so you and your horse can enjoy a breezy warm day at the shows. By January & February you might…and I say “might” need a light jacket.
2. Explore Galore.
Florida as a whole is considered horse and cattle country with a strong beach vibe but Ocala is something in its own altogether. There are beautiful hills and perfect horse property fences for as far as the eye can see…horse property after horse property…green grass all over. There are tons to do if you are a horse enthusiast or not; from golfing to Marion County Museum of History. There are blueberry farms that you can explore with the whole family or take a trip over to some of the local breweries with your spouse. Check it out all in one handy-dandy spot at Ocala Marion County Visitors or Visit Florida . You will want to stay for months on end.
Ocala is considered Central Florida but comparing the cost of staying in Ocala and staying in Orlando is like night and day. You can just hop in the car and head to Ocala any day and depending on where you are, the ride is tolerable enough for the kiddos.
4. Farm Tours Forever.
America’s Gypsy Vanner Foundation Farm is based right in the heart of Ocala and I haven’t met an equine enthusiast that doesn’t love Gypsy Vanners. There are tons of Tour Awe-Inspiring Horse Farms in Ocala, Florida that can please any and all of your equine peeps. I know you all have a great time showing your own horses but sometimes it is nice to go visit others and just be a spectator.
5. Home of the Great American!
The Great American $1 Million Grand Prix is one of the biggest equine shows that Florida hosts, and for HITS Ocala to host for the 3rd year running is awesome. The Great American $1 Million Grand Prix takes place on March 26th 2017 and tickets are available online at the hyper links above. Another huge show series that has a stop in Ocala during their winter circuit is Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ which is from February 7th to March 5th 2017. The International Federation for Equine Sports is a highly respected organization with shows all around the world and with Ocala being one of them, equine enthusiasts from all disciplines flock to Central Florida for some world-class horse show action.
So I am sure that visiting Ocala is top of your to-do list for this Winter by now…here is the full schedule line up. You can also find out more at HITS Ocala Winter Circuit
As always, thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and God Bless.
~~ International Cowgirl
A bittersweet moment as the PRCA Wrangler Champions Challenge Tour came to an end for the 2016 year. The winner is determined by who’s team’s contestants made the most money in each event. Collectively Team Experience Kissimmee brought home the Champions Cup this year!
This year’s Team Kissimmee contestants were:
Clayton Biglow – Bareback Bronc Riding
Jake Watson – Saddle Bronc Riding
Dalan Duncan – Bull Riding
Adam Gray – Tie-Down Roping
Baylor Roche – Steer Wrestling
Kolton Schmidt – Team Roping (Header)
Shay Carroll – Team Roping (Healer)
Morgan Breaux – WPRA Barrel Racing
Congratulations guys and gals! All of us here in the Central Florida area were proud to route you all on and you represented Experience Kissimmee well!
So you are probably wondering when the next PRCA Wrangler Champions Challenge is coming back to town…well International Cowgirl will be keeping you in the loop and up to date as soon as the PRCA announces the new tour dates and teams.
For now though, marl your calendars for the following up and coming rodeos that might be in your area.
RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo – April 6-9th 2017 – get 20% off tickets (online only) with code: EARLYBIRD at Osceola Heritage Park
Florida Ranch Rodeo State Finals – Sept 29th 2016 at Osceola Heritage Park
Florida Ranch Rodeo State Finals – Oct 1st 2016 at Osceola Heritage Park
Cowboy Heritage Festival – Oct 1st 2016 at Osceola Heritage Park
All of the above events are family friendly and we would love to have you bring the whole gang out!
Can’t wait to see you all!
Stay safe and God Bless!
You got that straight! We can’t get enough of rodeos and the rodeo lifestyle here at International Cowgirl and what better way to celebrate rodeo than the Florida Ranch Rodeo & Cowboy Heritage Festival at Osceola Heritage Park. I am telling ya folks, if you have not been to this venue for a rodeo sporting event, you are missing out. It is top-notch and always has tons for the whole family.
If you want a save a bit of money on tickets (and who doesn’t now-a-days?) here is a link to get discounted tickets for the Rodeo and Festival: 52% Off @ Florida Ranch Rodeo & Cowboy Heritage – We don’t want you to miss out!
A lot of the larger, national sized rodeos took place earlier on in the year in April and in June so we love to start the fall season with a bit of rodeo AND a festival at that…you don’t get that at any other rodeo so come on down and I hope to see you there!
If you are interested in becoming part of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association | FCA or Florida Cattlewomen – stop on by the hyperlink provided and check out their membership information. You will be the first to know about the rodeos throughout the state, conferences on many different equine and agricultural topics along with other fun benefits and events.
As always, stay safe and God Bless!