Six month ago my life changed dramatically, when I took over as Miss Rodeo Wyoming. In that time I have been at events in Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, Florida (twice!), Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, and of course Wyoming! During these trips I have gone to elementary and high schools, hospitals, met rodeo fans, had new life experiences, made great friends, and rode many new horses. I have had an incredible year so far experiencing new rodeos throughout the country. PRCA Rodeo truly is the same in every state I have experienced, but the fan experience has made the difference. Small town Abbyville had a rodeo where the whole community came out, and reminded me a bit of being back home. Big city Florida is full of those learning about rodeo and growing new fans. I have seen beautiful nights on the back of a horse, and had my boots fill with water from a downpour of rain. It is hard to believe the year is already half over with the busiest season fast approaching. I cannot wait to continue down the road for a summer season, with my first Wyoming rodeo as Miss Rodeo Wyoming in June.
With applications coming up quickly for the 2020 Miss Rodeo Wyoming pageant I will only give one piece of advice today- go for it! Competing for the title will not be a decision you regret, whether you win or lose.
"There are times in your life when you can make decisions that will drastically change your life.
In 2014 I started my rodeo queen journey. Initially it was just something I picked up as a hobby. I never understood all of the impact it was going to quickly have on my life. After completing my first pageant I vowed that I would never ever compete again. However, once it was time to pass down my title I realized that promoting the sport of rodeo had become a part of who I was.
It wasn't until 2016 that I knew, being a state rodeo queen was my passion. I suddenly realized that being Miss Rodeo Wyoming was the ultimate dream.
That’s when the fun began. I ate, slept and breathed that dream. I took up a philosophy of what I like to call the "Three R’s” Reading. Riding and Rhinestoning. I channeled everything I had into chasing my dream. I made the conscious decision to work harder than I ever had before. This hard work and a will to accomplish a goal is often the part of rodeo queening that others don’t see or even understand.
Winning the title of MRW 2018 wasn’t just a way for me to live out my dream for a year, it was a way to teach myself that I can do anything if I work hard enough for it.
I will take the memories and friendships I have acquired this year with me for forever. I can’t thank everyone enough for making this year a reality. I hope that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their dreams the way I did.
There comes a point in life when quarterbacks have to throw their last football, bull riders take their last wrap and rodeo queens have to take the crown off their hat. My only advice, do it. Enter the rodeo, join the team, take the job, make the big move or run for the title. Don’t be afraid to work hard and let your choices change your life. I know they changed mine.
Thank you for the greatest ride ever.
With all my love,
Sometimes things don’t go the way you had hoped but you look back and realize they went exactly the way they were supposed to.
I imagined my Miss Rodeo America horsemanship run plenty of times but not many of those imaginations ended in me two handing the horse to complete the pattern.
Over the course of my rodeo queening career, I’ve had people tell me I can’t do something most of those pertaining to riding. I’ve been on horses that have bucked, kicked, reared, fallen over, runoff and just about everything in between. I’ve been bucked off, I’ve fallen off, hung over the side and stepped on a time or two. I’ve had to double grab, hang on the saddle horn or hang on for dear life. Each one of those experiences making me a better rider than before.
A lot of people have said “man if you could have had a clean run it would have made all the difference” But I think I was supposed to get that horse, on that day, at that time. Things don’t always go your way, sometimes you have to grab life by both hands, laugh it off and move on.
A decade- a time period of ten years. It has been a decade. Yes, a whole decade since I have held the title of Miss Rodeo Wyoming. It was a year of learning. Of course my knowledge of the sport of rodeo deepened, my horsemanship improved with each new horse I rode and I learned how to keep my hair curled in the hurricane winds that we have in Wyoming. But more than those things, I learned skills that have been life giving over the last ten years.
These are the skills that make me so thankful for the opportunity to serve as Miss Rodeo Wyoming. I say “serve” because that is exactly what I learned to do. I learned to serve others and to have a servant’s heart. As Miss Rodeo Wyoming, I served the Miss Rodeo Wyoming committee. I served rodeo committees. I served rodeo fans. I served little girls who had the dream of one day becoming a rodeo queen.
Sometimes success isn’t found in the limelight, but in the shadows.
It is hard for me to believe that it’s been 20 years since I was Miss Rodeo Wyoming. I remember everything, I could swear it was only a few years ago. But, the reality is, I am now in my forties and married with three boys two of whom are teenagers. There may be more years than I would like since I wore that gold and jade crown, but those years of experiences are full of lessons that molded me.
Mentally Preparing Yourself For Your Next Pageant
Attention Miss Rodeo Wyoming Contestants and Sponsors!
Changes are coming to the annual pageant program book. Miss Rodeo Wyoming sponsor, Boots and Cleats Marketing, LLC, will be designing the pageant book this year and some changes have been made for the new layout. For additional information on the pageant program book, please visit the pageant information downloads.
Below is a little back ground information on "Rhino" to help you better understand this specific virus.
New to the clinic this year were the one-on-one sessions held on Friday night. The girls were given 50 minutes to work with our clinicians independently on any topic they chose. Saturday morning, horses were brought in for the girls to ride during the horsemanship rotations. They worked on elements of patterns to prepare them for upcoming pageants. Saturday afternoon was focused on clothing, rodeo knowledge, public speaking, and equine knowledge. The night wrapped up with a causal "mixer" for the girls to get to know each other and the clinicians better. The clinic continued Sunday with PRCA knowledge, modeling, clothing colors, and interview and application tips. Before the girls headed home, they were given a final opportunity to ask the former titleholders questions during the Queen panel. At that time, the parents attended a Parent Panel where they were able to talk more with the parents of former titleholders.
Here is what some of the girls had to say about the clinic:
“The multiple horse clinics were great. I liked getting multiple perspectives.”
“So informative, have been to many clinics this is the BEST!”
“Fantastic quality horses! “
“Mixer was great fun.”
“It was an amazing clinic! I learned so much!”
“I liked the one on one sessions it really helped us to learn quicker.”
“Everyone was so warm and welcoming and it made all of the girls participating feel comfortable. It was the best clinic I have attended.”
Thank you to the sponsors and individuals who hauled in horses for the clinic!
Abby Hayduk | Abbey Shelton | Albany County Farm Bureau | Hayduk Ranch | Jerry Arnold | Katherine Merck
Kathy Austin | Kristine Hayduk | Mark Karlstrom | Nik Kennedy, Kennedy Ranch | Morgan Flitner, Flitner Ranch
The Bent & Rusty | University of Wyoming