Editorial by Warriors and Rodeo President, Sheri Smith, U.S. Navy Veteran
While it is our first clinic of 2023, it is our second bull riding clinic with Pale Horse Ranch in Big Sandy, Texas.
This clinic was an amazing experience for me, as president of W.A.R. I’m going to tell you the real story of this clinic and why it is a great example of our mission – Operation Not Forgotten.
For a year now, the owners of Pale Horse Ranch, Merrill and Gina Kidder, and I have been discussing some of the possible events and projects that we could partner on. In October, we launched the first of many bull riding clinics! With little time to announce the event, we did our best to get the word out. Numerous veterans and active duty military attended and our clinicians were veterans themselves! To top it off – the owners of Pale Horse Ranch are veterans, too! Such an incredible team to work with! Thank you, Robert Long, U.S. Army Veteran, for instructing this clinic and for the others who put in the time to instruct our students!
January snuck up on us, with the holidays and a family crisis in my home. The next thing we knew, the second clinic was upon us without much time to plan. I didn’t want to cancel; I’ve found something will always come up to derail great events and I was hopeful that it wouldn’t happen again.
After discussions with Merrill Kidder and Chad Rutan, Army Veteran bull riding instructor for the January clinic, we all agreed this clinic would go on even if only one person came. And sure enough, we had one person come – and he was well worth the effort.
With our organization, it’s not always about the masses,
many times it’s about the one.
One of our mottos is, “We can’t help them all, but we can help some.” That is exactly what we did. While we can’t put on clinics everywhere in the country to help every veteran or first responder who rodeos, we can do what we can, with the volunteers we have, and the donations we receive. I firmly believe that helping even one is worth it and that is why we partner with many other non-profits and organizations – because together we can reach so many more!