Bush Elementary 4th-Grader Wins Rodeo Poetry Competition

By: Sarah D. Blakelock
| Published 03/20/2024


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Bush Elementary fourth-grade student Kennedy Standridge won first place in the poetry division of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trailblazer Committee 2024 Writing Competition.

The writing prompt for this year’s poems and essays was “My Magical Rodeo Garden.” Each entry was judged by committee volunteers in two double-blind rounds on the following criteria: ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentations.

Following the committee judging, the top entries were reviewed by an education panel to confirm they met all criteria for the competition. The final round of judging was conducted by a panel of celebrity judges.

“My Magical Rodeo Garden” by Kennedy Standridge
On my big Texas ranch where wild winds swirl,
I find an old hat and try it on for a twirl.
To my surprise, everything starts to darken,
And then I wake up in a magical rodeo garden.
I see a beautiful red cardinal with feathers of love,
Reminding me of Mimi, she guides me from above.
I ride a floral mustang, petals braided in her mane,
galloping on rainbows, free of her reins.
I see Bluebonnets dance in a vibrant ballet,
and Texas pecan trees stand tall on display.
Butterflies whisper to come to the show,
Ants riding June bugs in a teeny rodeo.
Cactus clowns juggle in a prickly parade,
their spikey routines, a hilarious charade.
The stars are cowgirls that sparkle in the night,
time to wish my magical garden goodbye.
Through the hidden door, home in a snap,
a fourth-grade cowgirl with a magical hat.

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