Tonganoxie’s Abdallah Shrine Rodeo queen leads real cowgirl life
Two days after the Abdallah Shine Rodeo ended its three-day run at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds, this year’s rodeo queen was on the family farm in McLouth, occupied by a task much less glamorous than riding around an arena in Western finery.
“I was on horseback helping move cattle,” 17-year-old Cheyenne Patton said Monday. “It’s a daily thing actually.”
It’s not surprising Patton was on horseback for her rodeo appearances of Thursday, Friday and Saturday or her Memorial Day chores. She’s been riding horses “since before I can remember,” as the child of a rodeo family.
Patton said her father Monty Patton, who now lives in Wichita, was a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bull and bronco rider and her mother, Susan Patton, was a National Barrel Horse Association competitor.
“I think anything involved with horses is a pretty great event,” she said. “Mom qualified for national barrel racing finals. As a youngster, I made it to state finals. We always did pretty well. If you have a good horse under you, you can do anything you want.”
Her knowledge of the cowgirl life helped Patton earn the rodeo queen title. A contestant the past two years, she earned this year’s crown in part through her answers to questions on horses, horsemanship, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and her grace in the saddle.
Rodeos will be part of a busy summer for the 17-year-old who just finished her junior year at Free State High School in Lawrence. She plans be part of several rodeos and parades as visiting royalty with the goal of attracting competitors to next year’s Shrine queen contest.
Other summer activities will be working in the Free State FFA chapter’s community garden, showing cattle in 4-H and working as a babysitter part-time.
Her days will get busier next fall when Patton will add to her normal daily workload of schoolwork and before- and after-school chores the added responsibilities of vice president of the state FFA’s eastern district. Patton also plans to keep showing with the American Paint Horse Association and be active with Free State’s sports medicine team.
Patton’s goal is to parlay those last two activities into college scholarships. Her goal is to be a member of a college equestrian team while studying sports medicine to become a certified athletic trainer.
“I’m looking at Oklahoma State, and I’ve talked to a couple of Texas schools,” she said. “It’s an interest of mine to compete on an equestrian team my first three years in college — to have a group of friends with similar interests.”