A Crowning Moment
A lot can be said about a crowning moment… Many would refer to it as climactic, surreal, or in some cases simply unbelievable, but for me, my crowning moment was much more than that. To put it quite simply, and to quote a good friend of mine, “it truly was a dreamcatcher experience!”
As the 2022 Miss Rodeo USA Pageant approached, my heart, mind, and dreams ran faster and faster with each passing day, until finally, it was here! The week kicked off in true “rodeo queen” fashion with room check-in’s, orientation, on-stage introductions, food (of course), amazing sponsorship packages and goodies, photography sessions, and a tea party fit for a queen. That was just day one… Can you believe that?
Fifteen contestants total, 7 days of interviews, 2 rounds of horsemanship, modeling, sponsored fashion shows, 2 speeches, impromptu questions, a surprise late night group interview, tons of great food, 4 rounds of the IFR, all packaged and wrapped up with some of the best fellowship and friends a girl could ever ask for made for an amazing experience. Needless to say, our week was “jam packed and jelly tight,” filled with extra blessings and little miracles along the way.
As Sunday rolled around you could tell that the weight of the week was laying pretty heavily on everyone during coronation day. Nerves, excitement, anticipation and exhaustion all filled the air as we prepared to step foot on the arena floor at the Lazy E. Introductions were quickly made followed by the announcement of fourth through first runner-up and then… (long dramatic pause for effect) they announced the name of the new 2022 Miss Rodeo USA! My heart literally jumped out of my chest as “the formers” surrounded me to place the crown on my hat, place my new sash across my shoulder, buckle a set of new chaps around my waist and legs, take some photos quickly, and then jump on the back of a buckskin 5 Star Quarter Horse to make my first lap as Miss Rodeo USA. Whew, talk about a whirlwind of emotions! At that moment in time, so many feelings, memories and emotions flooded my heart, mind and spirit. “A crowning moment” that quickly became defined by so many moments and stepping stones in life had just given me the opportunity to “be a dreamcatcher” and catch a dream that I had since I was a little girl. Wow, what an honor! I have been asked, “what was it like in the arena that day…” and quite honestly, all I can say is that it was the most humbling and reflective experience of my life.
The more we get to know one another, the more you will discover that I am an avid woman of faith and truly believe that the Lord works all things together for our good. Most importantly, the Lord and Holy Spirit will discern what is the best path and trail for us to travel. It may not always be a bucket of apples and carrots, but it will be the best path for us to learn, grow, and help inspire others to be a better version of themselves than they were yesterday. I can confidently say that I am truly honored and proud that the Lord challenged me to step out my comfort zone and embark on what I believe is going to be the most amazing journey to date. Most importantly, I am thrilled that He is working on me and is allowing me the opportunity to become the cowgirl and ambassador He would like for me to be.
As we close in on our first rodeo of the season, I would like to remind every cowgirl and rodeo queen out there that you can do it! Whatever your goals and dreams are, go for them because you never know what could have been if you didn’t try. Not to mention, we would love to have you all at next year’s Miss Rodeo USA pageant! Just as a quick reminder, The Miss Rodeo USA is selected based on the following judging criteria: Horsemanship 30%, Public Speaking 25%, Personality 20%, Appearance 20% & Written Test 5%. Although it isn’t necessary to win each judged category, it is very important to be consistent and perform well in each category during the competition. Horsemanship is the highest percentage category for good reason. Horsemanship is crucial for a rodeo queen. The rodeo queen never knows what type of horse she will be given to ride at each rodeo. Let’s ride!
I encourage all of my Cowgirl friends between the ages of (18-27) to review the Miss Rodeo USA qualifications (missrodeousa.com), get out there, get involved, and start preparing for the 2023 Miss Rodeo USA pageant. You will not regret it! Remember… Be Genuine, Be Real and most importantly Be You!
Until we meet on the trail again,
Miss Rodeo USA 2022
Jessie Lynn Nichols reigns as the 57th Miss Rodeo USA. Be sure to stay up to date with all her latest travels and endeavors right here.