By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
Growing up on a mink ranch producing luxury fur items in a state that produces the greatest snow on earth hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been home. The best thing about my Western heritage is that it connects me to my family the same way the Golden Spike National Site once connected the entire country. My family’s motto has always been to work hard and play hard, and that motto rings true for the rodeo life as well. There are many misconceptions about what being a Rodeo Queen is and isn’t, and I do my best day in and day out to show the world the reality behind what might appear to be nothing more than a shiny smile and beautiful pair of boots.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from the rodeo life is you either win or learn. Whether I’m barrel racing or public speaking, there is always an opportunity for growth and championship regardless of the outside competition. Most of the time, the person we wind up competing with the most is ourselves, and the rodeo life definitely challenges me to dive deeper into myself to strengthen my integrity, authenticity, and work ethic. At the end of the day, the rodeo is one giant family and family always comes before competition.
Another passion of mine that always seems to find a way to weave inspiration into my rodeo life is volunteer work. Being a Rodeo Queen requires a sense of responsibility towards the community and helping out any way possible. One of my most gratifying and heart warming moments stems from raising money to help childhood cancer. I feel very passionately about this fight and to know that there are children struggling to deal with something bigger than them inspires me to do all that I can to make a difference in their lives. A few wonderful women and I had the privilege of visiting the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City to give the kids a day full of fun and magic. With the help of Attitudes Salon, we were able to dress the girls up in princess outfits and it was an absolute ball. The motto for the event was glitter like diamonds and sparkle like a princess!
My experience doing volunteer work for childhood cancer helped me figure out exactly why I want to be a Rodeo Queen and what it’s all about. For me, being a Rodeo Queen is about being a bright beam of light for someone who may be experiencing a cloud of darkness. On the surface, a smile seems like nothing more than a smile, but in reality, a smile can go a long way in regards to cheering up someone’s mood or brightening their day. Being a role model and having a positive impact on the community is one of the most rewarding things that this experience has to offer. Working hard to be of service has a reflective effect in which whatever we put out towards others always seems to bounce back into our hearts, so for every person I am able to help during this journey, I am sure that they have helped me as well.
I am incredibly honored to be representing the wonderful state of Utah, and I am so excited to be following in my mother’s footsteps who was also crowned Miss Rodeo Utah in 1981. The rodeo life is my family, my passion, my biggest challenge, and everything in between. Cheers to glittering like diamonds and sparkling like princesses!