Winning the title of Miss Rodeo Wyoming and then going on to win Miss Rodeo America was an experience of a lifetime. The amount of time I spent in the public eye was mind boggling. Even when I was home, which wasn’t very often, people looked at me as a public figure and a role model for kids. I always had to be aware of my actions and words. The easiest way to do this was to be true to myself. I would remind myself that they chose me as Miss Rodeo Wyoming 1991 and Miss Rodeo America 1992 for who I WAS, not for something they thought I COULD be. So even when all eyes were on me, I remained true to myself. I was the ranch-raised cowgirl that didn’t have all the fancy clothes, trucks, trailers or the $40,000 horses, but I came from a ranching background with a very loving and supportive family who made me who was then and still am today.
Over the years I have coached many girls and the most important thing I try to teach them, is to be true to themselves. Each one of us wants to make a positive impression, whether it is in front of a judge or our colleagues, but we should never compromise our true self to impress anyone! For example, if you put on a fake personality during a pageant and win, that is the person everyone expecting to see for the next 365 days, and that is a long time to not be your true self. Be proud of who you genuinely are! God made each and everyone of us unique and with an individual purpose.
Throughout my year as Miss Rodeo Wyoming and Miss Rodeo America the greatest compliment I would receive was when someone spoke of how sincere and down to earth I was. It was the most flattering compliment, because it was about who I was, not all the glitz and glamour, it was about sincerity. I always felt like it was a privilege to represent the PRCA and the western way of life. It was a job that I took very seriously and the only way I could do it justice was to be my true self, all the time. So, when a young lady asks what the most important thing is that she can learn or do to win a pageant, the answer is always the same… be true to yourself and be proud of who you are.
So live love and work with a will, for tomorrow the clock may be still.”