The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Ambassadors group was formed in 1980 when Chris Dublin, the rodeo chairman, needed dependable young ladies with excellent horsemanship skills to set pivots for each rodeo grand entry. He asked Dr. Gary Hodges, DVM, to get a group of girls together.
This volunteer program, sponsored by the Stock Show and Rodeo Association, has grown from setting pivots to a fast-paced drill team performing at each San Angelo rodeo performance, as well as at several other rodeos across the state of Texas. The Ambassadors also assist with the mutton busting, junior barrel racing, and the Little Princess and Clown competitions.
They volunteer with Sonrisas Special Rodeo, PBR events, ride in the rodeo parade, participate in rodeo sale promotions and help with the annual Roping Fiesta in October.
The Ambassadors’ mission is to promote America’s No. 1 sport—rodeo. They represent the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo throughout the year and provide inspiration to other young ladies through community involvement, leadership and excellent horsemanship skills.
The young ladies chosen to be Ambassadors work hard to provide entertainment for you to enjoy during the rodeo performances.
The 2009 Ambassadors are Jennifer Allen, Captain; Emily Herrera, Co-Captain; Johnna Pullig; Serena Lee Allsion; Haley Hernandez; Bryce Box; Lexxi York; and Kelsy Hullihen.
The Ambassadors’ Coach Misty Keane and Directors Tom and Elaine Lee recently offered a special “thanks” to each team member and their parents for their dedication to the organization.
Coach Keane helps the girls develop riding routines that they perform at the beginning of each rodeo performance. The girls spend long hours rehearsing the routines and working with their horses to get everything just right.
Captain Jennifer Allen said she is proud to be an Ambassador and realizes that children attending the rodeo look up to the girls on horseback. “It means a lot, becasue the little kids sit up there and watch you and say, ‘Hey, I want to be one of them one day.’ They look up to you.”
Co-Captain Emily Herrera added that the team enjoys doing volunteer work and helping during the junior barrel racing competitions and helping with other behind-the-scenes jobs before and during rodeo performances. “For the Princess and Clown contests, we interview them, we judge them and we get to pick who gets to be in the rodeo. For slack, we pick up the barrels and we help people who don’t know where they’re going. We’re pretty much there to give out information.”
The public will be able to “Meet the Ambassadors” after each Friday and Saturday night rodeo performance in the San Angelo Coliseum’s north lobby. Fans can get photos and autographs.
Girls interested in being an Ambassador can attend tryouts for the 2010 team, to be held Sunday, March 15, 2009, at 3 p.m. in the Spur Arena. Coach Misty Keane encourages all interested young ladies to obtain an application and information sheet from the San Angelo Stock Show office.