By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
Proudly hailing from the Natural State, home of the Razorbacks, Johnny Cash, and the world’s only public diamond mine, I am Miss Rodeo Arkansas, Libby Looney. I was born and raised in Searcy, a little Christian college town north of Little Rock. Most of my childhood was spent in an arena. I knew Friday nights were for hauling and getting ready for the rodeo the next morning. After graduating high school in 2015, I moved to Jonesboro, to begin classes at Arkansas State University with a full ride academic scholarship. My family and I began and operate a franchise of the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, where I act as secretary and treasurer. This is where I developed my love of bookkeeping and office work, which in turn resulted in a career change to accounting.
When I began my reign in April during the Central Arkansas PRCA, I knew I had to start out strong. I devoted much of my time early in my year to local rodeos like Old Forts Days and Rodeo of the Ozarks, non-rodeo events, and volunteering. My out-of-state traveling started with Greeley Stampede and Cody Stampede. This tour is where I met many of the other state queens and Lisa Lageschaar. I finished this trip at the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo at Lazy E Arena, where I got to cheer on my two sisters and was honored to be asked to help with the NLBRA Rodeo Queen competition and meet Shiloh Martin, 2017 NLBRA Rodeo Queen.
While fully immersing in Cheyenne Frontier Days, I had the chance to meet as many of the other state queens as possible. After Cheyenne, I spent time in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock, CO, for the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo and PRCA Hall Of Fame Inductions, where I witnessed the first women athletes being inducted. I then crossed into the Texas Circuit for the Dallas Western Market at the Dallas World Trade Center. My next stop was Coffeyville, KS, for the Inter-State Fair and Rodeo.
Once back in Arkansas, I had a little time at home between PRCA rodeos in Imboden, Crossett, and Jonesboro. My fair tour continued with the Saline County Fair and Rodeo and the Ashley County Fair Horsemanship Queen competition. During the White County Fair in my hometown, I was the Master of Ceremonies for the White County Fair Queen Pageant. That weekend, I also traveled to the Harrison PRCA in Harrison, AR. I got into a Cajun state of mind when I traveled down to the Springhill PRCA, where Miss Rodeo Louisiana and I got to dust off our heading and heeling loops for a quick run in the Saturday night performance. My last two trips up to this point have been the ACA Finals in Jonesboro and the Arkansas Finals Rodeo for the ARA in Pine Bluff to promote the PRCA to local rodeo athletes. I’ve also made a point to attend as many Arkansas High School Rodeos as possible, supporting my sister and singing the National Anthem.
I knew going into Miss Rodeo Arkansas, I would have a large group of people looking at me to bring home the first Miss Rodeo America title to Arkansas. I’m an ambassador for rodeo and rodeo queening in my state. My passion is educating about rodeo, bringing people to love and appreciate rodeo, and helping gain support and participation in my state’s rodeo queen competitions and community.
I wouldn’t have been as active these last six months as I have if not for the support I’ve received. My family and friends have been a huge driving factor to me by helping fund all my travels and my wardrobe. The Miss Rodeo Arkansas Organization has given me so much confidence with my travels and has answered any questions I’ve had along the way. I’m also grateful to all of the former state queens who have given me advice and encouragement as I prepare for Miss Rodeo America. Most of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with this chance of a lifetime to meet new people and have the chance to travel and promote my western heritage.