Our Town

Shelby Cummings delights Brooke, rodeo crowd

Cranbrook’s Brooke Willisson takes a spin around the arena at the Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds with Trick Rider Shelby Cummings Saturday evening at the Cranbrook Pro Rodeo. Cummings is an ambassador with the Children’s Wish Foundation, helped Brooke out with the six-year-old’s special wish. - Julie Brannigan photo
Cranbrook’s Brooke Willisson takes a spin around the arena at the Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds with Trick Rider Shelby Cummings Saturday evening at the Cranbrook Pro Rodeo. Cummings is an ambassador with the Children’s Wish Foundation, helped Brooke out with the six-year-old’s special wish.
— image credit: Julie Brannigan photo

Julie Brannigan

I can't tell a bridle from a harness, but my arms were covered in goose bumps within the first five minutes of the Cranbrook Pro Rodeo this weekend.

Maybe it's anticipation of the primal battle between man and beast.  Maybe it's the sound of Wes Cummings reciting the Cowboy Prayer, stirring a spirituality living in Christians and atheists alike. Maybe it's the sight of a young woman standing on a speeding horse.

Whatever it is, it's something special, and this weekend as the rodeo progressed the emotion became more intense.

Trick Rider Shelby Cummings is an ambassador with the Children's Wish Foundation. She flies the Children's Wish flag at every rodeo, raises funds for the cause and showcases a local child in need of help.

During the Saturday night rodeo six-year-old Brooke Willisson, who was born with Crommelin syndrome, an extremely rare condition that left her without hips, femurs, fibulas and both arms, rode in front of Shelby while her story was told to the audience.

Cranbrook's goodness and generosity came through Sunday when it was announced Dacota Freight was making Brooke's dream come true, donating a family trip to Disney.

Brooke's delight shone through to the back of the stands as she rode another round with Shelby and later handed out autographs, all while dressed in a Crazy Cowgirls trick riding outfit.

As always, the rodeo was entertaining, but it was this gift, and the obvious delight it created, that stole the show.

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