To Shaun Smith, these past few months have been filled with extreme highs and lows.
In a short window of time, the Southern Arkansas University student and rodeo team member dealt with the alleged theft and killing of his competition horse, Credit Card, to gaining celebrity status on the CMT reality show "Sweet Home Alabama."
"My cheeks hurt nowadays. I'm always having to smile for pictures," Smith said.
Smith is using his now-national name in a meet-and-greet event Thursday at SAU called "Sweet Home Southern Arkansas," with proceeds to benefit business students and the rodeo team.
"It's just going to be a great benefit for our university and for Shaun and for these organizations," said Megan Maye, who is the Phi Beta Lambda Officer of Publicity.
But with thousands of Facebook friend requests and fan messages on Twitter, Smith says life hasn't been all fun. The death of Credit Card still lingers.
"You kind of have those times where you are just vulnerable, you think about things," Smith said.
Smith, as well as his four teammates whose horses were stolen, are back to competing, while the investigation into the thefts continues.
SAU Police Chief Eric Plummer says authorities are building their case, and are still looking for person-of-interest William Webster Hamilton. Meanwhile, suspect Jaci Rae Jackson is due in court for a pretrial hearing in March.
"We do feel that there are at least two more person of interest in the case that we are constantly looking for information, to establish probable cause," Plummer said.
"I trust our justice system. I mean, that's in their hands, so I'm just going to hope and pray for the best," Smith said.
The "Sweet Home Southern Arkansas" event will be held Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the SAU Welcome Center.
For more information, visit: http://www.facebook.com/meetshaunsmith