Today, we’ll finish our series with Jackie Luffey Harris. And today, you’ll learn a few ways to get involved. Jackie is doing more than just raising money–she’s meeting the children and giving them a night out at the rodeo. To my friends in Denver, Jackie will be bringing a little girl in need and her family to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, and I know there will be plenty of us in the industry there who can help make this special for her. So, in the Christmas spirit, read Jackie’s interview today and think about how you can help make this world a better place, one rodeo at a time.
Has your horse rodeoed before? If not, what’s your game plan to get her ready to compete?
Sis has rodeoed a bit. Back when Jeanie owned Hart-Bow ranch I ran in several rodeos there as well as some Bulls and Barrels here and there. My game plan for bigger rodeos, with more distractions, is just to get there early, ride her around and get her acclimated to her surroundings. Typically, once she is in the arena running, not too much distracts her. I am going to work with her this winter as well doing some of the Parelli techniques to get her used to flags, etc, in case I am asked to carry one-as we’ve not had to do so up til this point. All I can do is prepare her the best I can, and then go for it. Every rodeo horse starts somewhere I imagine. I will do as much preparing as I can over winter.
What support have you gotten so far from friends and sponsors, and how can people get involved?
I have gotten great support from my friends and family. They all helped me to win the Kick Ass Cowgirls, which started my bank account for fuel/entry fees for 2012. My boss, Franco Harris will be a money sponsor as well as my sister and husband, Peoples Gas, BB Flenory, Franco’s brother Giuseppe Harris, and The Settle Inn. I’ll use sponsorship money for fuel hauling to events, and anything remaining will be donated back to the charities. I have had a couple companies donate saddle crosses, Cowgirlz Flair and Deuces Wild. Thankfully, I have a hat sponsor as well, Brad at Star of the West Hat Company is designing me a hat-as my hat has seen it’s day! I had it since I was on the youth team at the Quarter Horse Congress back in the 80’s! So, no doubt, I was in need of a new one!
People can get involved with my Race for a Cause, by becoming a money sponsor, or donating items that I will need along the way. More saddle crosses are always needed as they are filling up quickly with initials.
My biggest hope, is for more barrel racers to join me in the “Race for the Cause”, by either joining the Kick Ass Cowgirls “Race for a Cause” contest where they can win prizes in the end, or just to designate a race or two on their own to donate their winnings that particular day to a charity close to their heart. You’ll be amazed at how good you will feel when you come out of the arena with a smoking run knowing you did it for somebody else. I know my donations will only be a pebble dent in what is needed.
Now, tell us about your newest venture involving children in need.
I kinda added more to the “Race for a Cause.” I have decided after watching the NFR and all the commercials about St. Judes and kids fighting cancer–to make it a little more personal as far as who I am trying to raise money for–to meet some families. Therefore, I am going to start taking kids to the rodeos where I compete. But, since I was headed out to Denver for work and going to the National Stock and Rodeo, I thought I’d start the new year off meeting a family.
I will be taking Amy LeClaire–a 10 year old little girl and her family. I have a ton of gifts to go in my goody bag as well. One of my sponsors is giving me a gift card to send with the tickets as well–for the family to go to dinner that night. I can’t wait to meet her! I’ve been getting such overwhwelming support from people wanting to include something for her in the goody bag-to make this a special evening.
If you’d like to get involved, let Chelsea know and she’ll put you in touch with me!