Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2001

De Soto woman takes second runner-up in Shrine rodeo

August 23, 2001

Brandi Andersen said she loves opportunities for good competition, but prefers they offer a chance to hop in a saddle rather than formal wear.

The 20-year-old Andersen took second runner-up out of nine contestants in the 2001 Miss Abdallah Shrine Rodeo on Aug. 16 at Kemper Arena. To compete, the De Soto High graduate was judged on poise and personality, modeled, and was interviewed by judges. She was also judged on her horse-riding ability, such as barrel racing. Andersen said she prefers the more active participation in the contest.

"I liked the horse stuff a lot better," she said. "I'm not one for dressing up and wearing dresses all the time."

Andersen has been riding horses since she was in the second grade. At age 13 she started in horse events and has competed for the crown of the Abdallah Shrine Rodeo four consecutive years.

Though she hasn't won the title yet, Andersen said she isn't disappointed.

"I was just happy to place," she said. "It really didn't matter, I'm happy either way. It gets to be pretty close in that competition. Everybody tends to become friends by the last day."

Now that her summer activities slowed from a strong gallop to a gentle stroll, Andersen has returned to Kansas State University, Manhattan, where she will continue her studies. She is a junior majoring in wildlife biology and natural history.

Andersen said she plans on competing for a final year in 2002. And even if she doesn't win next year, Andersen said the reward is more than a crown it's the experience.

"It's so hard and a lot of people don't get that opportunity to speak in front of a large group of people," Andersen said of the competition. "There was probably about 100 to 150 people there that night and that's nerve-wracking, but it's a good experience."

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