Back in June (!!) the girls had the opportunity to attend a brand new event in the world of CFD events: the Queens Clinic, hosted by Miss Frontier (Sami Jo Heitsch) and her Lady-in-Waiting (Chloe Pfoor). I'm going to be brutally honest for a minute: before we moved to Wyoming in 2000 I had little (OK, zero) exposure to the world of rodeo royalty; because of this, I may have harbored a small amount of wariness about queens and ladies-in-waiting and attendants and princesses and whatnot. I surely had my eyebrows raised the first time I passed a number of visiting queens on horseback before a CFD parade in 2001; so much fancy hair and sparkles.
I didn't really give the whole thing much more thought one way or another until our second time in Wyoming; with our increased involvement in CFD beginning in 2010, I started to really pay attention to how competent and poised the women who served as Miss Frontier really were. My blanket wariness of this element of rodeo culture went away, especially this summer as we spent so much time with Sami Jo and Chloe—two women we are proud and honored to have Maddie, Gracie, and Bridget look up to as role models. They are so much more than fancy hair and sparkles.
Having said that, I will now point out that there was plenty of both fancy hair and sparkles at the Queens Clinic : )
Chloe and Sami Jo hosted the event at the Old West Museum with the assistance of the CFD Dandies (horse drill team) and Cheeks International Academy of Beauty Culture. All the proceeds went toward the CFD Scholarship Fund (which is huge every year—a pretty big part of the whole rodeo). All the girls in attendance had their hair, nails, and a little light makeup done—I have never seen that Toddlers and Tiaras show, but this was nothing like what I imagine that to be, no worries. Maddie's hair was done so beautifully and age appropriately that I took about 15 pictures of it so I could try and recreate it at some point. We'll see. Heh. [Note: All Miss Frontiers since the 1930s have worn handmade buckskins. Chloe's are not nearly as brand-new-white now that CFD is over!]
About 30 girls were in attendance; in addition to getting gussied up, they talked about what is required to be a Dandy and Miss Frontier, about setting goals, having poise, and other things related to being a public figure and ambassador of western culture. Maddie's goal of being a Dandy remains intact, but she told me she's OK with not being Miss Frontier one day because there is too much talking in front of people, ha. She is her father's daughter indeed : )
But! The night was not over! After the clinic we headed back to one of the committee BBQs and our new friend L invited the girls to come with her to feed treats to the General Committee horses. As you might imagine, they were completely ecstatic.
Please note who is carrying the treats. I always say the two things you need to know about Gracie are: she is always first, and she always carries the treats. It is uncanny.
As Bridget often says: it was the best. day. ever.