Here is another story of "when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade." The ongoing outbreak of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) has instituted quarantines and tighter restrictions on travel, which makes competing at out-of-state rodeos and horse shows difficult. And as someone who knows a little bit about the rodeo world, we’re just starting to get into the busiest part of the rodeo season … this puts a big cramp in the rodeo lifestyle.

Stick horse

A great way to accessorize your rodeo queen outfit--pick a coordinating stick horse!

And what would a rodeo be without a rodeo queen? Especially out West, rodeo queens are important ingredients for hosting a rodeo. They add that extra bit of "bling" and patriotism as they run around the arena horseback, carrying the American flag for national anthems and grand openings. However, when the host state is strongly recommending quarantining horses, the show must go on and potential rodeo queens had to find another way to become the face of the Davis County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse Junior Queen Contest in Farmington, Utah.

The creative cowgirls found another way to complete their horsemanship patterns without a live horse. They found the right mode of transportation that allowed them to still walk, trot, lope, or gallop through a pattern; allowed them to look forward "between the ears," and maybe add a well-timed nicker here and there. When the queen contestants came into the arena for the Junior Queen contest, their first stop was a barrel, where they chose their mount--the purple-headed pony, or the bay horse that knickers when you squeeze his ear. These girls had to strut their stuff astride a stick horse.

I love the rodeo world. We don't let much get in the way of our goals/dreams. Surely you've heard the term, "Cowboy Up" (or Cowgirl Up in this case)? Well, that's exactly what these girls did--they cowgirled-up and did the best they could, while going back to their childhood of playing horse show with your stick horse. One contestant, 15-year-old Savanna Steed, told ABC News it was "Kind-of weird, but you can't really help that the disease is going around." Good point.

"With a stick horse it's a lot different because you have to do all the work, and I think it's going to be a lot more tiring than with a real horse," contestant Kylie Felter told KSLTV (click to see video from the competition).

This story has helped bring the EHV-1 outbreak into the mainstream--Comedy Central's "Sports Show With Norm MacDonald" even made mention of the stick horsemanship competition, not to mention the national news organizations like ABC.

Can you recall other equine events that have gone mainstream thanks to one interesting twist?