LINCOLN — An accident involving an accidental buckoff knocking 2020 ACRA rodeo queen Allie Baker off her horse while carrying the American flag has created an opportunity to establish new protocols.
Baker’s horse appeared nervous, refusing to stand still and eventually pushed her away as local disc jockey Jake McBride sang the “Star Spangled Banner” during the Thursday, August 12, 2021 performance of the 68th Annual Lincoln Rodeo .
Baker, the ranked rodeo queen ahead of Ciarra Luedke’s coronation as Miss Rodeo Arkansas on Saturday, August 14, 2021, served as the designated mounted standard bearer during the opening ceremonies when the unthinkable happened without her mistake.
Rider Sophia Duchs surrounded the arena with fireworks coming out of the flag she was carrying. Just as Duchs finished her run, Baker’s horse threw her and the American flag landed in the dirt.
Baker immediately stood up, retrieved the flag, briefly dusted it off and raised it, relying on veteran rodeo announcer Jeff Wren’s support over the loudspeakers.
“It doesn’t happen every day, sis,” Wren said while urging fans to cheer Baker for taking matters into her own hands and refusing to let embarrassment dominate the moment.
Two days later, Luebke received the Miss Rodeo Arkansas crown on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the 68th Annual Lincoln Rodeo. In December, she competed for Miss Rodeo America in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In Native American culture, if someone drops an eagle feather during a powwow dance, everything stops until a proper ceremony can be held to retrieve the eagle feather. Native Americans consider the eagle feather “sacred” and only certain people are allowed to pick up a fallen eagle feather. This must be done before the dance can continue.
A question posed to Luebke after she was crowned Miss Rodeo Arkansas 2021 touched on the issue and she didn’t dodge it.
“Of course we don’t want Old Glory to touch the ground and if it did it would be great if we could have a veteran or someone pick it up and make sure we treat it with the proper respect. “, said Luebke in the aftermath. of his coronation.
The incident could cause sanctioning bodies and local rodeo promoters such as the Lincoln Riding Club to adopt a similar rule for rodeo as a way to revere the American flag and to have an American veteran present to perform a clean-up ceremony at the case the flag accidentally touches the ground. .
“I think that would be a great idea to do with our American flag,” Luebke said.
Miss Rodeo Arkansas did not hold a pageant in 2020 due to covid. Last year, Miss Rodeo Arkansas contacted the Lincoln Riding Club and asked if they could send a young lady to compete in the 2021 LRC Royalty Contest as a repeat contest. According to Lincoln Riding Club royalty coordinator Sherry Smith, the state organization didn’t want a year missing a contestant in the Miss Rodeo America pageant.
“In this way, they continue their legacy and tradition and continue to perform in Las Vegas at the Miss Rodeo America pageant,” Smith said.
Luebke couldn’t wait another year because her eligibility was running out and had to review her scores in a contest setting so she knew what to work on before the national competition.
The Lincoln Riding Club was more than happy to oblige, recognizing Luebke as a PRCA Queen (she won the 2015 Old Fort Days title) and aware that the LRC Royalty Contest is one of the few contests held in the state of Arkansas.
Smith was in awe at what she called “the fact that they chose little po-dunk Lincoln” to bestow the Miss Rodeo Arkansas crown on Luebke.
“We have a very strong tradition in the rodeo world,” Smith said. “We’re trying to build that and get things done and they’re just working with us and that’s a really big honour. We’re very grateful for that.”
The 69th Annual Lincoln Riding Club Rodeo kicks off Wednesday, August 10 with a street dance in Lincoln Square featuring the Boston Mountain Playboys with rodeo performances scheduled for 7 p.m. August 11-13 at the Lincoln Riding Club Arena at a mile west. from town on US 62.