By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
From the Garden State, I’m Killian Clark, Miss Rodeo New Jersey 2017. What sets New Jersey apart from the southern or even western states is our diversity- twenty minutes one way and you’re en route to catch a ferry to New York City, while 20 minutes the opposite direction you’re in the heart of Jersey farm land where we boast our farm to table meals.
Dissimilar from my peers in the rodeo queening world, I didn’t grow up on a ranch, nor am I a fourth, third or even second generation rider, but I was bit by the horse bug early on. From a town called Tinton Falls where most riders wear breeches and tall boots on their imported Warmbloods, my Wrangler jeans and Justin boots always seemed to stick out more than most. Though my home in Central Jersey is aptly referred to as “English Land,” New Jersey as a whole is rich in rodeo history- we boast Cowtown Rodeo, which is the oldest weekly rodeo in the United States, kicking off their season at the end of May and concluding at the end of September.
Next fall, I will be graduating with my Associates of Arts Degree which I will use to transfer to a four-year school to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with intentions of attending law school to become a prosecuting attorney. While I chase these bigger-than-life dreams, I share my passion with and teach young and upcoming riders at our boarding facility and do guided trail rides on our farm’s 10,000 acres. In addition, I work for a program that supports special needs adults in a college setting where they’re able to audit regular college classes, learn about independent living and receive job coaching.
Since I was crowned in January I’ve traveled to our circuit finals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, visited Florida twice (where I learned that there’s more to the Sunshine State than just Disney World!) and just returned from Oklahoma in the beginning of May where I was honored and blessed to attend the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo where world champions meet the first week of May.
Rodeo queening has given me what a classroom fails to address- self confidence, public speaking skills, and of course, how to keep your suitcase under 50 pounds. For the rest of this year, I look forward to traveling our great nation more, representing the sport of rodeo and the western life style that is thriving in the Garden State. As Miss Rodeo New Jersey, I want to encourage and remind our youth that through our failures and our triumphs, all the glory is to God.
Miss Rodeo New Jersey 2017