Abby Elmhorst’s dream came true early in June when she met a rodeo princess and rode a real rodeo horse.
Six-year-old Elmhorst, from Manawa, submitted the highest bid for the Rodeo Dream Package offered at the recent St. Paul Lutheran School Carnival. The package included a free family pass to the rodeo, meet-and-greet with rodeo royalty and an opportunity to ride a real rodeo horse.
Her day began with an introduction to the 2014 Mid-Western Rodeo Princess Bailey Wilfuer and her horse Diesel.
Elmhorst then met Mr. T, the rodeo drill team horse she would soon ride, owned by Rodeo Secretary Connie Klotzbuecher. Prior to her ride in the arena, Elmhorst was given a lesson in horse safety, grooming, equipment and riding.
Highlights to her ride included bringing Mr. T down the center alley and completing a barrel race at a walk/trot and riding with Princess Bailey around the arena waving royalty-style to the imaginary audience of rodeo fans.
After a receiving a gift and Wilfuer’s autograph, she gave Mr. T a ‘thank you for the ride’ brushing.
That evening, Elmhorst headed to her 4-H meeting along with her plastic horse. She spoke to the group about how to saddle a horse, put the bridle on and how to make the horse turn, stop and back up.
“It was awesome to be a cowgirl for the day,” Elmhorst said. “I loved being able to barrel race and meet Rodeo Princess Bailey. Someday I wish to have a horse of my own. See you at the rodeo!”