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2002/01/11

Jennifer Griswell Presents The Flag by Rita Smith On December 4th of 2001, Jennifer Griswell of Savannah, TN. made her 1st visit to Las Vegas, Nevada and the National Finals Rodeo as a participant. She went to be a part of the 10th Round Opening Ceremony billed as a salute to the Traditional Mexico. For the next few days, she not only watched the 10 rounds of the NFR, but also attended the PRCA convention, contestant's reception, and the awards banquet on Sunday night. She was able to be involved with all of the festivities as a guest of her fianc, Tomas Garcilazo, a native Mexican who is also a Trick Rope Artist and a Specialty Act performer in the PRCA. Tomas has been choreographer for several of the Opening Round ceremonies each year at the NFR since 1996. This year Jennifer was able to participate in the 10th round Opening by carrying the American Flag on Tomas's 12-year-old Palomino stallion, Pinto Bean. After entering the arena amidst several dancing Andalusia horses that bowed or lay down as they passed. Jennifer and Pinto Bean then bowed to the packed house of the Thomas and Mack Arena, before they played the National Anthem. Jennifer said, " it was a wonderful experience, far greater than her expectations, it was quite a great rush, one of those kind that bring chill bumps to you all over. You could feel the electricity through out the crowd as they removed their hats and placed their hand across their hearts to show their respect for our flag and our great country. It has been an eye opening year for this country and it is great to see us all pull together."

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