Note from Chelsea Shaf­fer

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Departments -

Some days, there’s so much hate, sad­ness, and divi­sion on the news— and it makes me feel just a lit­tle hope­less.

And then some days, I find a rea­son to smile–a rea­son to keep be­liev­ing, to keep lov­ing, and to keep push­ing for more for this world we all live in.

That spe­cial day, for me, was Septem­ber 29. I’d been home to Pitts­burgh for a fu­neral. When I landed in Den­ver and turned my phone back on, I had a text from my friend Deb­o­rah Burt that said, “It was EPIC!! So many rop­ers showed up to sup­port us.”

She was talk­ing about her Sam’s Posse Ex­cep­tional Rodeo at the Poway (Cal­i­for­nia) Rodeo, which she and her hus­band Buck or­ga­nized in mem­ory of their dear son Sam, who they lost in 2013 af­ter a bat­tle with di­lated car­diomy­opa­thy. The rop­ers who showed up? Der­rick Be­gay, Ryan Motes, Cole­man Proc­tor, Lane San­tos-Kar­ney, and Cody Mora.

In plan­ning the event, my friend Deb sent me the trade list and asked if I knew how to reach any of the rop­ers. Im­me­di­ately, I text Der­rick, Ryan, and Cole­man, be­cause I’d seen they were on the list for the 1 p.m. per­for­mance. They all said, with­out hes­i­ta­tion, that they’d be there.

If you’d been fol­low­ing the bub­ble cov­er­age, you might re­mem­ber that Cole­man and Ryan were try­ing like heck to have a good cou­ple of days to crack the top 15. They were at Omaha Fri­day morn­ing, drove to Kan­sas City Fri­day night, and didn’t have any luck at ei­ther place. With hope dwin­dling for a trip to Ve­gas, they hopped an early-morn­ing flight to San Diego, jumped in a car at the air­port, and headed straight to the Sam’s Posse Ex­cep­tional Rodeo at 10:30 that morn­ing.

“Chelsea sent us, how can we help?” they told vol­un­teers when they walked into the arena just in time.

And with that, I have never been more proud of any­thing I’ve done in my ca­reer—proud not that I had any­thing to do with them walk­ing into that arena, but proud I had built a ca­reer in which I’ve come to know such great guys. They helped 28 par­tic­i­pants with in­tel­lec­tual or phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties en­joy a morn­ing with stick horses, rop­ing dum­mies, buck­ing ma­chines, and even a real-life uni­corn. JJ Har­ri­son em­ceed the event, Smokey the Bear en­ter­tained and in­formed, the Poway and Val­ley Cen­ter Rodeo Roy­alty vol­un­teered, and Miss Rodeo Cal­i­for­nia greeted guests, too.

In the mid­dle of a fight-to-the-fin­ish, with their sea­sons on the line, these guys, who surely could have used a few more hours of sleep as they criss­crossed the coun­try, showed up. They showed up for peo­ple who could do noth­ing for them; for those who had noth­ing to of­fer but a smile. They showed up to make some­one else’s day, week, year, life.

This is a very pub­lic thank you to ev­ery­one in­volved in the Sam’s Posse Ex­cep­tional Rodeo, for do­ing what’s right and what’s good and what makes us all bet­ter as hu­man be­ings.

NFR or not, Cole­man, Ryan, and the rest of the crew won big for tak­ing some time out of their day to do some­thing they sure didn’t have to do.

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