My name is Andrea Thorp, and I am the rodeo Mrs.
I am a 23 year old midwestern girl from Iowa, but don’t let location fool you – my true passion has been rodeo since I was just a little girl. I started riding horses with my grandpa when I was five years old, which eventually grew into a barrel racing obsession. After competing in the NBHA for eight years, I was introduced to my now-husband, Marshall.
Marshall grew up in a very involved rodeo family and had been a calf roper since he was young. He was the force that converted me from barrel races to rodeos and helped me fulfill my lifelong dream of being involved in the western industry.
I attended Iowa State University and was an active member of their rodeo team, even though it was small. For my first season, I was actually the only team member and paid for everything out of my own pocket! Regardless of the struggles, I absolutely loved the atmosphere and meeting people from all over the midwest. I knew from my freshman year that I wanted to pursue something in rodeo, but now I was ready to get involved.
My first experience was a work-study with Barnes PRCA Rodeo Company in Cherokee, Iowa. I learned about rodeo stock, helped them develop new marketing strategies and got to know Marty and Westin Barnes throughout the week I stayed with them. To this day I consider them as the rodeo gems of Iowa.
The summer after my experience with Barnes PRCA Rodeo, I went to intern under Susan Kanode at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. I worked with the media and got to interview some of the top college athletes in the nation, some of which were also NFR qualifiers. Susan lives one of the most fascinating lives and I relished spending time learning and working with her.
Although I loved my experiences up to this point, I took my biggest leap of faith yet in December of last year. Looking for a new internship, I stumbled upon an opening in Austin, Texas at Rodeo Austin. Being married and in college, I never thought I could manage moving 1000 miles away from home, working full time as well as being a full time student. I did it anyway. Marshall and I moved 16 hours away from home and rented a room in town from Craigslist while we both worked at the rodeo.
This experience was so rewarding as I got to see new sides of the industry and get an in-depth look at what it takes to put on a top five PRCA rodeo. While I loved every minute of it, I knew I wanted to be my own boss while following the rodeo trail myself, so we moved back to Iowa. Marshall is an aspiring business owner who has projects in the state and I am pursuing the western industry from every angle imaginable.
I love western fashion, cowboy culture, Native American history, midwestern traditions and all things involving the great sport of rodeo. I am truly excited to document my experiences here and I hope you all enjoy getting a glimpse into the life I love.