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Ariat Announces "What's Under Your Skin?" Contest Winner

Ariat Boots

When Ariat announced its “What’s Under Your Skin?” contest to find out what Texas cowboys were made of, they actually found out what a Houston cowgirl was made of: bravery and determination. In conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Ariat, a leading manufacturer of performance equestrian footwear and apparel, asked consumers to submit stories of personal bravery or courage through its “What’s Under Your Skin?” contest. After reviewing the essays, Ariat and its co-sponsors, Cavenders and Boot Town, selected Patricia Burks as the winner.

At the age of 48, Burks had never been on a horse. So, she took a few riding lessons and soon after decided to participate in the Houston Livestock Show Trail Ride. With that event, and some confidence under her belt, she committed to a five-hour ride. At the end of the ride, still atop her mount and talking to her friend, she realized she was fainting. In trying to brace her fall, she snapped three bones in her right arm. When she awoke the next morning, she was hospitalized and on a ventilator because she had stopped breathing. Unable to speak, she used her left hand to scribble a note to her riding partners, “I will ride again.”

After nine surgeries, due to series of complications from infection and bone loss, and six months of wearing a halo around her arm, she didn’t back down from her promise to herself. Two years after the accident, she rode in the Houston Livestock Trail Ride against the advice of her friends.

“Patricia embodies the spirit of the contest with her determination and strength through adversity,” said Beth Cross, CEO and founder of Ariat. “We could not have asked for a better candidate for the contest. She showed that what’s under her skin is the unshakeable determination that our contest sought to reward.”

As the winner of Ariat’s inaugural “What’s Under Your Skin?” contest, Burks received a certificate for four pairs of boots, which she’ll be sporting on future trail rides. For more information about Ariat and its products visit

About Ariat
Ariat International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear and apparel. Featuring patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat is the pioneer of integrating athletic shoe technology into equestrian footwear. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800-899-8141 or visit