Greetings from the Show Me State!
My name is Jessica Buffington, and I am your Miss Rodeo Missouri 2015. My home is a small ranch in New London, Missouri. In May 2015, I will graduate from college with BS degrees in accounting and business administration as well as a minor in finance. I will also have completed the additional year of classes that is required to take the CPA examination.
Animals of all kinds have been a big part of the twenty-four years of my life. Foregoing traditional classrooms, I traveled extensively barrel racing prior to entering college. However, on March 11, 2011 my life nearly ended in a tragic accident, which left me clinging to life on a ventilator, in a coma, and totally paralyzed. My body suffered axonal diffusion, a traumatic brain injury, damaged organs, and fourteen broken bones – including both hips and my pelvis which was in many pieces. The prognosis was that if I ever came out of my coma and started to breathe on my own, it was likely that I would be a vegetable and paralyzed for the rest of my life.
Initially, the doctors even said that I would have to relearn how to talk. However, I eventually found my ability to speak again. Then I began asking the really important questions such as, “How long until I can ride my horse again?” Doctors and various specialists all gave me the same answer; that is to say, they told me it was highly unlikely that I could ever ride again.
Many surgeries, prayers, and miracles later I began a long road of recovery and rehabilitation. Once I recovered my balance, I bought a helmet and decided that I was once more going to ride a horse. Being able to ride again is a dream come true and something that I do not take for granted. Reigning as Miss Rodeo Missouri and riding in PRCA rodeos is beyond my wildest dreams. I am blessed to have the support of so many people in the equine and rodeo world. However, my true gratitude goes to the Lord above, because I know that I would not still be here without the love of Christ.
So far this year, I attended the RNCFR in Kissimmee, Florida. As soon as I graduate, I plan on hitting the road to PRCA rodeos out west. I am really looking forward to the Cheyenne Frontier Days. However, I am also excited for the Rooftop Rodeo in Colorado, because it was the first rodeo that I ever attended. I feel really blessed to have been given the opportunity to travel to so many rodeos, meet new people, and be an ambassador for the sport I love. Being a state queen is the experience of a lifetime, and I know it is going to be an amazing year!