Meet the Rodeo Ride A Horse Feed A Cowboy
story by Hope Raley Rodeo has a heart for philanthropy. It is by nature that those of western lifestyle feel compelled to help those in […]
story by Laurie Wood, WSRRA Representative
Tia Tomburello says she has definitely never considered herself rodeo queen material: she doesn’t really like to fix her hair much beyond a braid or pulling it back and putting on a hat or cap, and if she is wearing mascara it is a pretty special occasion. “But,” she says, “that’s the cool thing about WSRRA, they wanted someone who knew horses and cows and knew the ranching life style. And that’s all I know. I’ve bartended twice but the rest of my work history consists of ranches and working with horses. I don’t know anything else, and to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Tia was one of four ranch women vying for the very first Ms. WSRRA Ranch Rodeo Queen title at the 2014 Finals in Winnemucca, Nevada last fall. The judges were looking for a handy ranch gal with spunk, tenacity, personality and great horsemanship skills who could represent the best of what the WSRRA stands for, and Tomburello definitely fit the profile. Born and raised in Reno, Nevada and currently living near Bruneau, Idaho, she has worked in the livestock industry since high school and sports a degree in Equine Studies from Feather River College in Quincy, California. Tia started out competing in high school rodeo, but in recent years has leaned more toward roping and ranch rodeo events. She said “So far I’ve competed in two women’s ranch rodeos; my first one was in Spring Creek, Nevada with Moon Creek Saddles. It was a lot of fun, and a great group of gals. And the second one was last summer in Rexburg, Idaho with Vicky Jackson, Maggie Muratore and Blair Smith. Again, great group of gals to compete with, and Vicky helped me out a ton on the horse I was riding. He was real young, and I hadn’t ever roped on him, and didn’t know if he knew how to be roped on. But he handled town great, and if I got something necked, Vick was right in position to keep me out of a wreck.”
2014 was her first time to compete at the WSRRA Finals on a team, though she says she has been to nearly all of them for the last five years to cheer on friends. According to Tomburello, from the first rodeo that she went to until now, “the WSRRA has blown up! It’s unreal to me how big it has gotten. It’s amazing. Not last year, but the year before last, I was down for it and ended up in the family branding afterwards with a few guys from Nebraska. Actually, one was from Nebraska, one from Oklahoma, and then the kid on our team was from Southern California. Three years earlier, if I were to have had a team, all of us would have been from one state, or maybe two, and they would have only been western states. It’s so cool to see how big and diverse it has gotten. And as far as competitive, the bigger this organization has gotten, the more competitive it has gotten. It went from a small bunch of people that were all from the same place to nine states now.Guys from different areas that do things way different to get the same job done. The events got faster. The horsemanship got better. It all got a lot more fun.”
Tia’s reign will continue through the 2015 WSRRA Ranch Rodeo National Finals on October 29th through November 1st, 2015. If you are interested in competing for the Ms. WSRRA 2016 Ranch Rodeo Queen title, call Crystal Kelly at (208)-972-3403 or find forms and more information on the WSRRA website at http://www.WSRRA.org.
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