Lane Frost once said, “Don’t be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be. But don’t be afraid to be willing to pay the price.” I refer to this quote not only as I live out my dream year as a rodeo queen, but also share it with the youth I have had an opportunity to come in contact with through the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Miss Rodeo America Organization. I am Nicole Moody and it is my mission as Miss Rodeo North Carolina to inspire young people in all walks of life not only to have great dreams for their future, but to put in the necessary work to make those dreams come true.
Being a farrier’s daughter came with many unique opportunities that have prepared me for this journey. At age 5, my dad introduced me to some of his customer’s children and we worked together to create our county 4-H club. We built that club to forty members strong and took home many titles at local, state and national levels most notable for our superior horse judging team. Though I aged out at 18, I continue to volunteer and transitioned my love for agriculture to holding a seat on my local Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Ranchers Committee.
In addition to living on a working farm, raising beef cattle and training naughty ponies, I soon took up the sport of barrel racing. In 2012, while on a family road trip I attended my first PRCA sanctioned rodeo, none other than Cheyenne Frontier Days. It was like no rodeo I had ever experienced. I returned home with endless stories of each event and an enhanced love for professional rodeo. In 2015, we returned to “Daddy of ‘em all.” While watching Miss Rodeo America run by, then Miss Rodeo Wyoming, my cousin said, “You could be Miss Rodeo North Carolina.” I laughed as I told her I had never heard of such. Three hot laps later Miss Rodeo North Carolina, Devin Redding was announced as she made her appearance. I was amazed. I know God put us both there in Cheyenne on the same day for a very important reason.
I spent the next year studying the PRCA and turning my AQHA barrel horse, JoWayne, into a trusty horsemanship mount. In December of 2016 I became Miss Rodeo North Carolina 2017 and knew I wanted to inspire youth to follow their dreams just as I would be doing with my new title. I have now had the opportunity to speak at schools, junior rodeos, hospitals and orphanages representing the PRCA. It is my priority to remind these children that you do not have to be born into rodeo to get involved. I teach them of the various ways to get involved in the great American sport including contract positions, volunteering as well as the most important of them all, being a great fan! As an ambassador of the sport, I educate these prospective fans about the athletes, both of two and four legs, the individual events, the industry and history that made modern day professional rodeo.
The history of professional cowboys can be applied to every dreamer and it has been especially rewarding for me to share this lesson with the children of North Carolina orphanages. This sport was created by a group of cowboys who were not satisfied with the hand they had been dealt. They joined together to create the Cowboys Turtle Association and worked to build the sport based on showmanship, sportsmanship and mentorship. It was deemed profitable for everyone. This is the mindset I hope to instill in these children. The circumstances they have been born into do not dictate the success of their future. As many of them share their dreams with me or even write them on the back of my chaps as a promise to pursue, I remind them that whatever challenges they may face along the way they each have a little cowboy try in them that will make it all possible.
From the Wrangler state, I am Nicole Moody and I will say it with pride, “ Long live cowboys.”