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2019 Miss UPRA Shara Dalton Continues Work with Horses on Local and International Basis

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A Winnsboro, Texas native, 19-year-old Shara travels with horses to far flung corners of the globe in one of the many fascinating aspects of the horse industry. She loves the new sights and cultures she encounters, attributing her ability to meet people and exude confidence in new situations to her years as Texas rodeo royalty. “I thank my parents for starting me off riding a gentle horse, then transporting me to all those small rodeos so I could follow my dreams, gradually learning the ropes and finally becoming a contestant for Miss UPRA when I was in high school. And it was Linda Chase, UPRA Contestants Co-coordinator, who helped me come out of my shell and put polish on my personality to win the crown. Without them, I’d probably still be shy! But today, my life is an exciting one, although I still do the hard, gritty chores taking care of a lot of horses each day! I love my career, and plan to always have horses in my life.”

Shara as 2019 Miss UPRA at age 17

Shara explained that the COVID year put a pause on many of her plans. After earning the UPRA crown in November 2019, her responsibilities were to include travel all over Texas and Southwest, representing the Association’s Cinch rodeos in small and large towns. By March/April 2020, when COVID-19 struck the US, many rodeo associations as well as competitors were questioning the safety of holding their Spring events, and as the summer went on, many more were cancelled. It was an unprecedented change of life for Americans in every aspect. Like many other high school graduates, Shara had begun college, and she hopes to return one day for her degree. But due to the changes and restrictions brought on by COVID, she was forced to abandon her plans for higher education. By being resilient and positive, Shara found a way to make lemonade out of lemons, and landed a job close to home working with horses. She is an employee of Centurian Stud Farm of Como, Texas, a breeder of Thoroughbred and Arabian horses which ships the horses they raise to foreign horse-buyers. Now Shara travels with her charges, making sure they have a safe journey and are delivered to their new owners. As an equine groom, she has become accomplished at hauling an equine to a busy airport, loading it from the tarmac into a ‘jet stall’ then making sure the horse and stall are carefully loaded onto the plane. The horse then experiences a safe and comfortable ride across the ocean where it’s new career awaits. Along for the ride, Shara gets to experience different parts of the world from the Middle East to Asia, and is learning to appreciate different cultures, foods and customs. “I never dreamed I’d have a job this interesting and satisfying, working with horses! But of course, there’s still the daily feeding, grooming and exercise, so that keeps me down to earth!” Another of the good things to have come out of having been a rodeo queen, the former Miss UPRA was the influence she got to have upon her nieces Rylie and Jayden Lindsey. “The girls began to get interested in rodeo queening and started competing. Now they each hold rodeo titles from associations in the NE Texas area, and continue to ride, enjoying the fun and goal-setting that rodeo can bring into the lives of young girls as well as young women, too! For me, it’s a kind of paying it forward for those who helped me on my journey!”

Author: Enola Gay

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