I use the term “rodeo queen” and “rodeo ambassador” interchangeably. I actually prefer using “rodeo ambassador,” because that’s a more accurate representation of who we really are! We are ambassadors for the sport of rodeo in and out of the arena. Our job is not as glamorous as it seems, even though we are called a rodeo queen. Of course there is the occasional jokester who will say “your highness” or make a motion to bow down to the queen. I always joke right back with them naturally.
We rodeo ambassadors take our job seriously and want to be the very best we can. This past week, the Miss Rodeo USA Association put on a clinic to teach aspiring rodeo queens all about competing in a pageant for a rodeo queen title. This clinic was one of many that ladies throughout the U.S. can go to and receive the experience of a lifetime. As a rodeo queen there isn’t necessarily a class at a university or a step by step handbook to teach you everything you need to know. This is why we put on clinics to teach ladies how to become a rodeo ambassador. A clinic doesn’t just cover each individual competition category, but how to handle different situations that might arise throughout a pageant. It is not for the faint of heart though. With so many different categories to learn about we had 3 jammed packed days of learning in the classroom as well as workshops to put into practice what was being taught. Many folks don’t understand all that goes into representing the sport of rodeo. I didn’t even realize it either until I started preparing for my first pageant in 2014.
What is involved in becoming a rodeo queen you may ask? First, one must compete in a pageant. Many pageants are very similar but some are more in depth than others. Overall, they typically have the same features involved. For example, a lady vying for the title of Miss Rodeo USA will be judged in the categories of horsemanship, written test, state speech, platform speech, personality, appearance, photogenic, and a multitude of interview sessions. These all happen over the course of six days in conjunction with the International Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Throughout my time in the rodeo queen industry I have improved my skills as a rodeo ambassador by attending clinics put on by former rodeo queens. I quickly learned that by going to these clinics I would be able to learn more of what I needed to know to be the best representative for the sport of rodeo. The women leading the clinics, like myself, have been through it all and want to pass the valuable experience they have to those who are looking to follow in their footsteps. I have always said that I wanted to be very transparent to the women coming up in the rodeo industry so they wouldn’t have as much trial and error like I did in my time competing in rodeo queen pageants.
Our clinic this year was put on by Miss Rodeo USA 2019, Heather Morrison. She did an amazing job bringing in some of the best clinicians I could think of. On top of it all, she made it happen in the middle of a pandemic, which definitely threw her many curveballs. Even up until the last minute. At the end of the day, we were determined to make the clinic happen for all our participants because there has already been enough cancelled over the course of this year. My favorite part of the clinic was our girls night! I led a painting class where I had each participant create their own vision on a canvas! The goal was to paint the crown of the title they wanted to compete for and write a quote for inspiration to achieve that goal. We all laughed and I enjoyed seeing what each individual painting looked like at the end. The mental game of pageantry is just as important when practicing and preparing. This exercise was a way to get each lady to mentally visualize what their next goal was and them to have a physical piece of art work as a daily reminder to keep working toward that goal.
During the 2020 Miss Rodeo USA clinic I too was blessed to make even more amazing connections. I love meeting ladies who take the initiative to become the best version of themselves. It is an inspiration to me as well to see the motivation in their eyes. I hope each one of the women who invested their time to come to Athens, Alabama knows I am so proud of them for investing in their future as a rodeo queen. They all made leaps and bounds in the confidence they portrayed over the course of just a couple days. While it might seem like they gained the most out of this experience, I’d say that every one of them made even more of an impact on me! I would like to end on a huge thank you to all our wonderful sponsors that made this clinic possible for each participant to go home with so many goodies!
Miss Rodeo USA 2020
Brooke’s Bloopers: While playing rodeo musical chairs at the Cimarron River Stampede, I took a tumble! Here’s how the game is played. When the music starts, you mount your horse and race to the end of the arena. The last person to sit in a chair is out. You continue to race back and forth across the arena until there is one final person standing. I played this game Friday and Saturday night at the rodeo and the first night was very successful as I came in second place! I was very confident that I would do well the next night too. I was wrong. Half way through the race I went to dismount my horse on the run and I hit the ground! I dusted myself off and climbed back on my horse in defeat. I realized then I needed to work on my goat tying dismount if I was going to have any future in winning this game.
Queens Corner: One of the best things I did for myself through the years as a rodeo queen was to attend different clinics to prepare for each rodeo queen title I set out to compete in. I am living proof that you don’t always need a personal coach to succeed in this industry. There is so much value in investing in a clinic atmosphere because you don’t just gain valuable information, but also friendships and connections with like-minded women who have similar goals as you. I have made so many friends all across the U.S. by attending rodeo queen clinics and I have reconnected with these women at rodeos and in different cities on my travels. It has been an experience that just keeps on giving.
● Miles Traveled: 8,863
● States Visited: 5
● Rodeos Attended: 14
● Number of Performances: 27
● Horses Ridden: 21
● Other Appearances: 15
Follow Miss Rodeo USA 2020, Brooke Wallace as she travels 100,000+ miles across the U.S. and Canada promoting professional rodeo!